What are Co-Managed IT Services?

In today's digital age, information technology (IT) services have become an integral part of most businesses. Whether a company has an in-house IT team or not, IT services are necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of operations and the security of the organization's data.

IT services encompass a wide range of activities, from providing technical support and maintenance to implementing and managing complex software systems. For businesses without an in-house IT team, outsourcing IT services is a cost-effective way to access the expertise required to meet their technology needs. In contrast, businesses with an in-house IT team may use external IT services to supplement their team's skills or to tackle specific projects that require additional resources.

Regardless of the size or type of business, IT services play a crucial role in enabling companies to stay competitive and adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape.

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What Does a Co-Managed IT Service Provider (MSP) Do?

The responsibilities of a co-managed IT services provider can vary depending on the needs of the business. However, they typically include:

  1. Strategic IT planning: Assisting businesses in developing and implementing strategic IT plans that align with the organization's goals and objectives.
  2. IT infrastructure management: Managing and maintaining the organization's IT infrastructure, including hardware, software, and network devices.
  3. Cybersecurity: Helping businesses develop and implement cybersecurity measures to protect against cyber threats.
  4. Helpdesk and support services: Providing helpdesk and support services to the organization's employees to ensure smooth operations.
  5. IT asset management and procurement: Playing a key role in helping businesses acquire and oversee IT assets such as hardware, software, and licenses.

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What Are the Three Models of Co-Managed IT?

There are three primary models of co-managed IT, which businesses can choose from depending on their specific needs and requirements.

These models include:

  1. Monitoring and Maintenance: In this model, the external IT service provider is responsible for monitoring and maintaining the organization's IT infrastructure, while the in-house IT team focuses on providing support to end-users.
  2. Aligned Service Model: The external IT service provider works closely with the business to provide a complete IT service, including end-user support. This model is helpful for businesses that need extensive IT support but still want to control their IT infrastructure.
  3. Advisory: In this model, the external IT service provider provides guidance and advice to the in-house IT team, helping them to improve their IT strategies and operations. This model has the option for the IT service provider to supply IT, security, and network-monitoring tools.

Each model offers businesses a collaborative approach to IT management. By partnering with an external IT service provider, businesses can optimize their IT infrastructure while maintaining control over critical IT functions.

One of the key advantages of co-managed IT services is the flexibility they offer businesses. These IT services provide businesses with the ability to tailor their IT support to their specific needs and requirements. Businesses can build a technology system that works for them and can change and grow as they do.

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What are the Benefits of Co-Managed IT Services?

Co-managed IT services offer businesses of all sizes numerous benefits, including access to specialized expertise, improved cost-effectiveness, and enhanced security and compliance.

By working with a co-managed IT service provider, businesses can leverage the expertise and resources of skilled IT professionals to manage their IT assets more efficiently and effectively. This can help businesses save time and money, increase productivity, and ensure that their IT infrastructure is secure and compliant with relevant regulations and standards.

  1. Access to a broader range of IT expertise: Co-managed IT services allow businesses to leverage the expertise of external IT service providers. This collaboration provides access to a broader range of IT expertise than an internal IT team could provide.
  2. Cost savings: Co-managed IT services can be cost-effective for businesses because they only pay for the services they need. This arrangement eliminates hiring additional staff or investing in expensive IT infrastructure.
  3. Scalability: Co-managed IT services are scalable, meaning businesses can increase or decrease their IT services as needed. This flexibility allows businesses to adjust their IT needs.
  4. Increased efficiency: Sharing IT services between a company and an outside IT provider can reduce the workload for the in-house IT team, making things run more smoothly and cutting down on wasted time. This lets the business concentrate on what they're really good at.
  5. Enhanced security: When a company works with an outside IT provider, they can strengthen their technology systems against cyber attacks. They can also follow the best guidelines and standards in the industry to keep their technology safe.

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Co-Managed IT Services and Cybersecurity

In today's digital world, cybersecurity is a top concern for businesses of all sizes. Cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and frequent, making it critical for businesses to implement robust cybersecurity measures to protect their sensitive data and systems.

Co-managed IT services can play a crucial role in cybersecurity by providing businesses with access to specialized cybersecurity expertise and advanced security solutions.

Here are some ways co-managed IT services can enhance cybersecurity for businesses:


Access to Specialized Cybersecurity Expertise

Co-managed IT services provide businesses with access to specialized cybersecurity expertise that they may not have in-house. Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, and businesses need to stay up-to-date with the latest threats and security measures.

Co-managed IT service providers employ cybersecurity experts who stay current with the latest cybersecurity threats and can provide businesses with guidance on how to mitigate these threats.


Comprehensive Security Tool Stack

Curated security tools and solutions are pre-selected, configured, and tested security products that are specifically designed to address the unique security needs of an organization. These tools and solutions are carefully chosen by security experts based on their effectiveness, reliability, ease of use, and compatibility with the existing IT infrastructure.

A security tool stack offers organizations access to advanced security technologies that may be too expensive or complex to implement in-house. It includes advanced threat detection and response capabilities, simplifying security management with a centralized view of the security posture across the organization. Additionally, security tool stacks can be customized to meet specific needs and provide a flexible and scalable security solution.


Advanced Security Solutions

Co-managed IT service providers offer advanced security solutions that can help businesses protect their sensitive data and systems. These solutions include consultations with a virtual Chief Security Officer (vCSO), the creation of incident response plans (IRP), regular risk assessment audits, and more.

Co-managed IT service providers can also implement security policies and procedures that are tailored to the specific needs of the business. By outsourcing cybersecurity to external IT service providers, businesses can benefit from the latest security solutions without having to invest in expensive IT infrastructure.


24/7 Monitoring and Support

Co-managed IT service providers offer 24/7 proactive threat monitoring response and support, which can help businesses detect and respond to cyber threats in real-time.

They also use advanced monitoring tools that can detect potential security breaches and respond to them quickly. This approach can help businesses prevent or minimize the impact of a cybersecurity attack.


Regularly Conduct Security Assessments

Co-managed IT service providers can conduct regular security assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities in a business's IT infrastructure. These assessments can include vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and social engineering testing.

By conducting regular security assessments, these service providers can help businesses identify potential security risks and develop strategies to mitigate them.


Employee Training

Co-managed IT service providers can offer businesses training to help employees learn how to protect against cyber threats. Companies often face cyber attacks because their employees may not be aware of how to identify and respond to potential security risks. By teaching employees the best practices for cybersecurity, the risk of a security breach can be reduced.

Co-managed IT services can enhance cybersecurity for businesses by providing access to specialized cybersecurity expertise, a comprehensive security tool stack, advanced security solutions, 24/7 monitoring and support, regular security assessments, and employee training.

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How Much Do Co-Managed IT Services Cost?

Co-managed IT services can vary in cost depending on a business's specific needs and size. Typically, the services cost anywhere from $100 to $250 per employee or end-user within your organization. There can be other costs such as an onboarding fee.

The cost of these services may also depend on the level of support needed, the number of devices and systems to be managed, and the complexity of the IT environment.

Some co-managed IT services may require an upfront investment in hardware or software. While others may seem costly, they can provide a cost-effective solution for businesses that require IT support but do not have the resources or expertise to manage their IT infrastructure in-house.

Ultimately, the cost of co-managed IT services should be weighed against the benefits they provide in terms of increased efficiency, reduced downtime, and improved security.

Several factors can influence the price, including:

Level of service: Different levels of service come with different price points. A business that requires more comprehensive and customized services can expect to pay more than one that requires only basic services.

Scope of work: The complexity of the IT environment and the number of systems and devices that need to be managed can affect the price of co-managed IT services.

Service delivery model: Some co-managed IT services are offered on a remote basis, while others involve on-site support. On-site support can be more expensive due to travel costs and the need for specialized equipment.

Service provider: Different co-managed IT service providers have different pricing structures based on their experience, reputation, and service offerings.

Contract length: Businesses that commit to longer contract terms may receive discounted rates or other incentives.

Hardware and software costs: Co-managed IT services may require the purchase of hardware and software to manage and monitor systems, which can affect the overall cost.

Overall, businesses should carefully evaluate their needs and assess the costs and benefits of co-managed IT services before making a decision.

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How Can Co-Managed IT Services Complement a Current IT Team?

Co-managed IT services can be an excellent complement to an existing in-house IT team. Rather than replacing the internal IT team, co-managed IT services can work alongside the internal team to provide additional expertise, resources, and support.

Here are some ways these services can complement a current IT team:


Augmenting Staffing Resources

In-house IT teams may be understaffed, particularly during busy seasons or when dealing with large projects. Co-managed IT services can help by providing additional staffing resources to assist with these situations. 

Co-managed IT service providers have a team of experienced professionals who can work alongside the in-house team to manage workload peaks, handle urgent issues, and provide specialized expertise where necessary. 


Providing Access to Specialized Expertise

The IT team that works inside a company might not know how to manage everything on the company's computer systems. Things like keeping everything safe from hackers, using cloud computing, or using new technology might need experts who the company doesn't have.

Co-managed IT services can help by bringing in experts who know a lot about these things. This way, the company's IT team can learn from the experts without the company having to hire more people.


Extending IT Coverage

In-house IT teams may be unable to provide round-the-clock coverage, particularly for businesses with global operations or those that require 24/7 availability. Co-managed IT services can provide 24/7 coverage, including monitoring, maintenance, and support, ensuring that critical IT functions are always available. 


Offering Scalable IT Services

Co-managed IT services can offer scalable IT services that can grow with the business. As businesses expand, their IT needs may change, and co-managed IT services can provide the flexibility to meet those needs. For example, these services can help businesses migrate to the cloud or implement new technologies without the need for additional hires or infrastructure investments.


Sharing Responsibility for IT Management

Co-managed IT services can share responsibility for IT management with the in-house team, allowing both parties to focus on their areas of expertise. Co-managed IT service providers can handle routine maintenance, monitoring, and support tasks, freeing up the in-house team to focus on strategic initiatives and projects that require their specialized skills and knowledge.


Providing Proactive Monitoring and Maintenance

Co-managed IT services can provide proactive monitoring and maintenance to ensure that IT systems are running smoothly and efficiently. This can include monitoring network performance, identifying potential security threats, and addressing issues before they become major problems. By providing this level of proactive support, co-managed IT services can help to prevent downtime and minimize disruptions to business operations.


Supporting Strategic Planning and Implementation

Co-managed IT services can support strategic planning and implementation by providing guidance and expertise in areas such as infrastructure design, technology selection, and project management. This can be particularly valuable for businesses that are undergoing significant changes, such as mergers and acquisitions, or those that are implementing new technologies or processes.


Enhancing Service Levels

Co-managed IT services can enhance service levels by providing a higher level of support than is typically available with an in-house IT team. This can include faster response times, higher levels of expertise, and more proactive support. By enhancing service levels, businesses can improve the overall IT experience for employees and customers, leading to higher levels of satisfaction and loyalty.


Providing Flexibility

Co-managed IT services can provide flexibility in terms of IT resource allocation. For example, businesses can scale up or down their use of these services as needed, depending on changing business needs. This can be particularly valuable for businesses that are growing rapidly or those that experience seasonal fluctuations in demand.


Driving Innovation

Co-managed IT services can help to drive innovation by providing access to the latest technologies and best practices. This can include cloud computing and other emerging technologies that can help businesses to stay competitive and differentiate themselves in the market. By leveraging the expertise of outside IT service providers, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and drive innovation within their industry.


Co-managed IT services provide the support an internal IT team needs to cover all their bases. When working together, co-managed IT services and in-house IT teams can improve operations, increase service quality, and drive business growth.

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Let's Recap...

Co-managed IT services offer many benefits for businesses that need to manage their IT infrastructure but don't have the resources or expertise to do so effectively. By partnering with a co-managed IT service provider, businesses can access a team of experts who can help them optimize their IT infrastructure, reduce downtime, and ensure their systems are secure and compliant.

Co-managed IT services also provide businesses with the flexibility to scale their IT support as their needs change, without having to invest in additional resources or hire more staff. Overall, co-managed IT services can help businesses improve their IT performance, reduce costs, and increase their overall productivity and competitiveness in the marketplace.

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