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In today’s fast-paced business landscape, organizations are under constant pressure to streamline their operations, reduce costs, and enhance their information technology (IT) capabilities. Many businesses have turned to managed service providers (MSPs) or co-managed IT support as a viable solution to balance their IT needs effectively. MSPs can step in and offer organizations a flexible, customizable, and scalable approach to managing their IT infrastructure and operations.
Of those flexible solutions, co-managed IT is a model offered where a company and managed IT service provider partner together to share responsibilities for managing and maintaining the company’s IT systems.
However, misconceptions about co-managed IT services often overshadow the numerous benefits they offer. Let’s explore these misconceptions while shedding light on the advantages of adopting co-managed IT services.
One of the most common misconceptions surrounding co-managed IT services is the idea that your business relinquishes decision-making authority of your IT infrastructure and operations. Co-managing can be tailored to suit your organization’s unique needs. This allows for a flexible partnership where you can choose which specific IT functions to delegate while retaining control over other critical aspects.
For example, you may choose to retain control over strategic IT decisions, cybersecurity policies, and overall IT governance while outsourcing day-to-day helpdesk support and system monitoring. This flexibility empowers your organization to strike a balance between control and delegation, aligning IT support with your business objectives.
Security concerns and data privacy are paramount in today’s digital age. Organizations, in general, are understandably cautious about sharing control of their IT infrastructure with external partners, fearing potential vulnerabilities and breaches. A common fear among internal IT teams is that co-managed IT services will lead to job losses or a diminished role within the organization. This misconception often results from a misunderstanding of the co-management model.
Managed IT service providers prioritize security and data privacy as part of their core offerings. In fact, despite continued data security concerns, 78% of organizations worldwide feel confident about their outsourced partners.
Managed IT service providers typically adhere to strict security protocols, industry standards, and compliance requirements. They invest in robust cybersecurity measures, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption to safeguard your organization’s data and infrastructure.
These services can help your organization detect and respond to security incidents more effectively than you might on your own. Collaboration with experienced service providers can enhance your organization’s security, provided that both parties are committed to maintaining a strong security framework.
Another prevailing misconception is that co-managed IT services are exclusively designed for large enterprises with extensive IT budgets. Co-managed services are a versatile model suitable for organizations of all sizes, including small and medium-sized businesses.
Small and medium-sized businesses often face resource constraints and may lack the budget to maintain a fully staffed in-house IT department. Co-managed IT services offer an opportunity for these organizations to access specialized expertise, 24/7 support, and advanced technologies that would be otherwise unattainable. The scalability of co-management allows small and medium-sized businesses to pay for only the services they need, making it a cost-effective option for enhancing their IT capabilities.
Additionally, co-managed IT services can help small and medium-sized businesses remain competitive in the digital age by providing access to the latest software, hardware, and security solutions, which are essential for growth and sustainability.
Companies may fear that implementing co-managed IT services will result in job losses among their internal IT teams. In many cases, co-management augments the existing IT staff by providing additional expertise and support, rather than replacing them.
Co-managed IT services complement your internal IT team rather than replacing them. By outsourcing routine tasks and day-to-day maintenance to external experts, your internal IT staff can focus on strategic initiatives, innovation, and projects that align with your organization’s long-term goals. This allows your internal IT professionals to transition from putting out fires to that of strategic advisors, driving technology-related decisions that positively impact your organization.
Additionally, co-managed IT services can alleviate the burden of round-the-clock support, enabling your internal IT team to achieve a better work-life balance and reduce burnout. Instead of being a threat to job security, co-management can enhance the career development and job satisfaction of your IT staff.
Transitioning to co-managed IT services is often viewed as a complex and time-consuming process, deterring organizations from considering this model. While it does require careful planning and coordination, the transition can be smooth and well-managed with the right approach.
Reputable co-managed IT service providers have experience in guiding your organization through the transition process. They typically follow a structured onboarding process that includes assessing your existing IT infrastructure, documenting processes, and defining roles and responsibilities. Effective communication and collaboration between your organization and the service provider are essential during this phase.
Once the transition is complete, your organization can benefit from improved IT performance, reduced downtime, and access to a broader range of expertise. The perceived complexity of the transition should not deter you from exploring the potential benefits of co-managed IT services.
Another misconception about co-managed IT services is that they come in a one-size-fits-all package. Rather, service providers work closely with you to understand your objectives and design a tailored approach that aligns with your organization’s IT strategy. Whether the focus is on helpdesk support, network management, cybersecurity, cloud services, or a combination of these, co-managed IT services can be configured to meet your organization’s precise requirements.
The flexibility of co-managed IT services means that your organization can choose which functions to outsource and which to retain in-house. This adaptability is particularly advantageous if your organization has unique IT needs, compliance requirements, or industry-specific challenges.
Accountability is a critical aspect of any IT support model, and the misconception that co-managed IT services lack accountability can be a major deterrent for organizations considering this approach. However, reputable service providers understand the importance of clear accountability and performance metrics.
Service-level agreements (SLAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) are standard components of co-managed IT service contracts. These agreements specify the expected service levels, response times, and performance benchmarks that the service provider must meet. By establishing such metrics, you can hold your co-managed IT service provider accountable and measure their performance objectively.
Regular communication and reporting between your organization and the service provider also contribute to accountability. Open lines of communication ensure that issues are addressed promptly, and improvements can be made proactively. Accountability is a shared responsibility between you and the service provider and is essential for a successful co-management partnership.
Effective communication is crucial in any business relationship, and the fear that co-managed IT services may hinder communication between the organization’s internal teams and the external service provider is a valid concern. However, this misconception can be mitigated through careful planning and collaboration.
Service providers recognize the importance of seamless communication and typically establish clear channels for interaction with your business. These channels may include regular meetings, reporting mechanisms, ticketing systems, and dedicated points of contact. By defining communication protocols upfront, both your business and the service provider can ensure that information flows smoothly, issues are addressed promptly, and objectives are aligned.
Moreover, co-managed IT services can enhance communication by providing access to specialized expertise and industry best practices. This can lead to more informed decision-making and better strategic alignment between IT and your business goals.
Some organizations view co-managed IT services as a temporary solution to address immediate IT challenges or project-specific requirements. While co-management can certainly accommodate short-term needs, it is not limited to a temporary role.
Co-managed IT services can be a long-term strategy for your organization if you are seeking continuous support, scalability, and access to specialized skills. As technology evolves and business requirements change, the co-management model can be adapted to meet your evolving needs. Co-managed services offer a flexible approach that can grow your organization, providing consistent support and value over time.
Co-managed IT services offer organizations a flexible, customizable, and scalable approach to managing their IT infrastructure and operations. Additionally, successful co-management relies on clear expectations, effective communication, and a trusted partnership with the service provider.
However, several misconceptions have hindered their adoption. By debunking these misconceptions, organizations can make informed decisions that optimize their IT operations, drive innovation, and achieve their business goals in an ever-evolving digital landscape.
To find out how our co-managed IT services can bring long-term value to your organization, contact us today by calling 623.850.5392 or by emailing us at inquiries@