What is Co-Managed IT Services and What are the Benefits
What is Managed IT Services
You may have heard of Managed IT Services. A business hires an IT Services Company to take over all aspects of IT due to the lack of in-house skills, underperformance, inadequate training and other reasons. A Managed IT Services company brings their staff, their tools, and their processes.
What is Co-Managed IT Services
Co-Managed IT defers from Managed IT Services in that the IT Services Partner is not replacing anyone; they are working symbiotically with the business and their existing IT staff. With Co-Managed IT, the business already has some form of IT and looking to augment, extend or enrich their team with expertise, tools, and processes from an IT Services Partner. Make no mistake, this is a partnership. There must be trust on both sides; you must have each other’s back in the context of working on the success of the business.
Benefits of Co-Managed IT Services
- Co-Managed IT is not as expensive as Full Managed IT Services, yet with many of the advantages
- Your business can use Co-Managed IT Provider’s tools like remote management and monitoring, patching, support, PSA, support portals and more
- Access to additional expertise from the Co-Managed IT partner, which can include:
- Azure Virtual Desktop
- Cloud Infrastructure
- Process improvement
- Your staff will learn from the Co-Managed IT Partner on the job
- Your team has more flexibility to take a vacation when they need to
- Less downtime due to having proper proactive tools in place for monitoring and patching
- Learn from other companies – working with a co-managed IT services provider, you gain the additional benefit of them already working with other companies and tackling problems that you may have to face too.
With its monitoring and remote management tools, Co-Managed IT can come in particularly handy to eliminate or minimize unplanned outages.
The True Cost of an Outage or Security Breach
An outage can be caused by many factors, for example
- Software may not have been updated on time, leading to a security breach
- The improperly trained staff makes a mistake because they were not taught the new Cloud technologies.
The cost of an outage is not simply the cost to fix it. Not surprisingly, multiple studies estimate the actual cost of downtime ranging from $100 to $400 per minute for SMBs and up to $17,000 per minute for large enterprises for a single incident.
Some of the factors contributing to the total costs are
- Salaries of employees who were not able to perform their work during an outage
- Recovery costs such as employee overtime, data recovery costs and repairs to systems and devices
- Delays in the supply chain or delivery to the customer and associated fees and penalties
- Lost customers (remember the BlackBerry outage of 2011? Where is the company now?)
- Lost prospects due to their loss of trust in the company
- Lawyers, public relations, and other possible costs to mitigate the damage
The costs can escalate significantly if the outage is due to a security breach where the bad actor copies all your data and threatens to send the data on the dark web unless you pay. If you do not pay, you may risk massive damage to your brand and your integrity. Depending on what industry you are in, the damage could shut you down.
Below are a few charts showing the costs of data breaches and unplanned outages:
(source: Ponemon Institute)
End User and Management Satisfaction
Most IT is busy trying to keep the lights on and the systems operating. They have little time for planning and worrying about end users’ needs. With Co-Managed IT, the opportunity is to shift the tasks of patching and monitoring to the tools that are brought into the partnership. This gives the internal IT staff more time to work with end users and management to understand what benefits the business most, which brings more revenue to the organization. Happy users, happy management, less stress on IT.
Keeping Up with Current Technologies
In line with the point above, internal IT may not have time to learn new technologies. With a Co-Managed IT partnership, they can leverage by learning on the job from their new partner or free up time to update their skills.
Different Models of Co-Managed IT
In all these instances, you take advantage of your Co-Managed IT partner’s tools and experience. Managed Services Providers have deep knowledge of supporting desktops and servers at scale. They use tools like RMM and PSA software.
These tools will allow your staff to ensure that devices are up to date, run scripts that can inventory what is in your environment and what is connected to your network, increase automation, and drive efficiencies.
- Model 1 – Your partner takes care of all desktop and user support; you take care of servers and network.
- Model 2 – Your partner takes care of all servers; you take care of all desktop and user supports.
- Model 3 – You take care of all of it, and the partner handles all 3rd level support and provides guidance.
Co-Managed IT Can Help You with Projects
Because your partner is part of your team, you trust them and they already have a deep knowledge of your environment, you get the added benefit to engage them for project work such as:
- Remote Desktop infrastructure
- Cloud Migration
- Business Analysis
Co-Managed IT Services is Not for Everyone
Typically, we look at the following factors:
- Do you currently have an in-house IT?
- Does your IT have the technical depth, time and sufficient resources to support your business?
- How expensive is the downtime to your business?
- What kind of areas do you need additional specialization?