Does the idea of handing over all of your IT management to a third party scare you? Some business owners love the idea of paying someone to deal with all their IT needs because they don’t understand technology and don’t really want to. It’s not that they don’t care necessarily, but they simply have too many other things to focus on. They want to give up direct control of their technology so it’s one less thing for them to stress over.
If that doesn’t describe you, you may think that working with an MSP isn’t the right solution for your business. You want to retain some control over your technology, and you may already have a team of dedicated IT professionals. You don’t want to replace them by outsourcing, but at the same time, you may not necessarily be able to expand that team to meet all of your IT needs.
There is a solution: co-managed IT. In this model, you continue to do some IT work internally while a MSP comes in to take over some of the other tasks. It can be the perfect option for some companies, including yours. The team here at Wooden Spoon is ready to partner with you and your IT team to craft a solution that allows you to offload some of your technology tasks while still letting you retain direct control over your infrastructure.
Let’s take a deeper look at co-managed IT solutions and why such an option may be a good fit for you.
What is Co-Managed IT?
Before looking at the advantages and benefits of using co-managed IT, it’s important to understand exactly what it is. With fully managed IT services, all of your technology needs are outsourced. The MSP partner handles everything from system design and implementation to software maintenance and cybersecurity. You may only need an internal IT person to handle basic troubleshooting and daily tech support.
With co-managed IT, however, you continue to handle some of your IT needs yourself. While some of the work is passed over to a third party, you’re responsible for the rest. This is ideal for a company that already has a strong IT team but needs some additional expertise or wants to expand without hiring employees. Co-managed solutions are often custom packages negotiated with the MSP, which means you can get exactly what you need. It’s the middle option between doing it all yourself and outsourcing everything, and it’s often the perfect route.
If that doesn’t convince you that a co-managed IT solution isn’t for you, learning the benefits of this approach might. Here are a few of the ways co-managed IT could benefit you.
Your Internal Team Can Focus on Projects
By co-managing your technology, you’re able to keep IT projects in-house while also freeing up your team to focus on those projects. You can have the MSP handle monitoring of your system, upgrades, and other types of maintenance while your team prepares to migrate to the cloud or undertake other major IT projects that you want to have direct control of.
Of course, this doesn’t mean the two teams will be working independently all the time. You’ll be in regular communication with your MSP, and there may be a number of projects that you collaborate on. However, even with heavy collaboration, you’ll still have more time to focus on other projects while your partner handles the day-to-day grind.
You Can Deal with Problems More Quickly
Having two teams of IT professionals working on problems can greatly reduce your downtime and any loss of profits that can result from such downtime. Whether it’s a malfunction in hardware, a glitch in the software, or the result of a cyberattack, your company needs its network to function correctly in order to operate. In some businesses, when the network is done, work grinds to a halt. In others, it may not be that bad, but productivity still declines, and some employees may be unable to work until access is restored.
If your business is hit with a natural disaster, a cyberattack, or any other crisis that takes down your infrastructure, having two teams can be critical in quickly restoring access. Your internal team can work on the main problem at hand while your MSP can work to set up a workaround so you can quickly get back to business as usual. In fact, Wooden Spoon focuses on getting employees access to what they need so they can get back to work right away. While we focus on that, your internal team can start the investigation into the cause of the problems. You can be up and running in half the time.
You Have a Team of Experts at Your Call
What do you do if you find that you need an expert in an area of IT that you don’t have on your own internal staff? Most would think there are only two options: hire such an expert or work with a contractor who has the knowledge and skills you need. However, both can be costly. Hiring an employee brings with it the additional costs of benefits, office space, equipment, and more. Hiring a contractor, likewise, may require you to provide office space and equipment, plus many of the best contractors charge a significant amount of money.
The third option, though, is to work with a MSP. By co-managing your IT with one of these partners, you gain access to their entire team of experts. All of their skills, knowledge, and tools are at your disposal. If you need to consult someone who is a cybersecurity expert, they have one on hand. Got questions about migrating to the cloud or creating a disaster recovery plan? All you need to do is ask your MSP representative and they will set up a meeting. You don’t have to hire anyone.
It Helps Your Budget
Since you’re not hiring anyone, your budget isn’t going to be as affected. You won’t have to include additional costs for salary and benefits, plus your indirect costs such as equipment and office space won’t change. With a MSP contract, you know what you’ll be paying every month. It’s a steady amount, which makes it much easier to budget for. The only time you’ll have fluctuations is if you decide to pass more work off to your partner or bring some of the outsourced tasks back in-house.
Co-Managed IT Solutions Aren’t One-Size-Fits-All
Do you have unique IT needs? Just about everyone does, which is why a standard one-size-fits-all approaches typically don’t work that well. You need a solution that takes your needs, your current situation, and your current resources into account. A co-managed IT approach typically does consider these things. You and your provider work out a specific contract that details exactly who is responsible for what. This contract can be amended and renegotiated as needed, of course, which gives it the flexibility you may need to react to changes in your situation and needs.
Are There Downsides to Co-Managed IT?
Yes, of course, there are some downsides to co-managed IT, but those downsides are fairly minor. You do have to have an internal team to handle some of your IT responsibilities. If you don’t have such a team, looking at a fully managed IT solution may be the better option. You will need to have space and equipment for your IT staff, and you may need to hire more if you keep a good amount of work in-house or as your infrastructure grows.
However, there are a few other downsides to co-managed IT as long as you have the right partner. If you work with an MSP that is responsive, knowledgeable, and truly working to meet or exceed your IT needs, the benefits to outsourcing at least some of your technology tasks are well worth it.
Why Wooden Spoon is the Best Co-Managed Partner in Santa Rosa
Finding a great provider is key to maximizing the benefits of co-managed IT. If you don’t have a provider who is willing to listen to your needs, work closely with you to design a solution, regularly check in to see if your needs have changed, and be vigilant in their monitoring and maintenance schedules, you may see little to no benefit.
Wooden Spoon remains focused on helping every client no matter what their needs are. We focus on putting the human element of IT first. That means we don’t just make sure your computers are functioning, we make sure everything is working in a way that reduces stress and frustration. We want you and your employees to be able to effortlessly harness technology to grow your business and support your own clients. That becomes very difficult if you have to use inelegant workarounds and slow hardware that crashes more often than it works.
If you’re ready to move into a flexible, custom co-managed IT solution, Wooden Spoon is here for you. Contact us today at 707-523-2222 or via email to discuss your IT needs and how we can help you achieve your goals.