Adding the capabilities of co-managed IT services to your already stellar IT department could be exactly what you need to fill any gaps in your department’s expertise and build the stable technology foundation your business needs to thrive.
If you could look behind the scenes and observe everything your IT department does to “make it work” on a day-to-day basis, you might even consider your IT staff unsung heroes in your company. However, as wonderful as they are, they’re still human, and many internal IT teams find themselves stretched too thin and frustrated about what they can’t get to.
For most organizations, it’s not feasible to hire enough experts in everything you need from an IT support perspective to work in a productive, profitable manner. That’s where co-managed IT services come in.
A co-managed IT service provider works collaboratively with your IT department to give you access to all the IT specialties you need.
Unfortunately, some IT managers of small to mid-sized businesses feel like having an outsourced IT provider involved is competition – that somehow the IT staff is seen as less competent if they need “outside” help.
But hear me out, because I'm going to make a case for the exact opposite.
The truth is that a co-managed IT service provider isn’t a threat to your IT department (or your job as the IT manager) but can be their best friend and allow the internal team to be more successful. Let’s explore why.
- More Resources to Tackle Multiple Issues, Complex Problems, and Large Projects
- Broader Expertise and Tools to Handle Whatever Comes Your Way
- Strategic Planning and Budgeting for Future Business Success
1. More Resources to Tackle Multiple Issues, Complex Problems, and Large Projects
Most internal IT departments are a small group of one to three people. That group is asked to take on a huge amount of responsibility. They usually take care of the help desk, system administration, hardware repair, purchasing, security, software enhancements, and on and on.
Frankly, it’s unrealistic to expect a small team to have the training and bandwidth needed to take care of every area of IT. But when you have a co-managed IT services provider on your side, your IT department suddenly has more capacity, making it possible to handle multiple support issues or several simultaneous projects.
The result is that your team can focus on what they’re great at, while the tasks that are outside their time limitations are efficiently taken care of by the co-managed IT services provider.
Related: Do you have the right IT crew?
2. Broader Expertise and Tools to Handle Whatever Comes Your Way
Consider this: doctors only have one specialty. Sure, they’re all doctors, but not all of them can operate on your heart. The same is true for IT – there are separate disciplines and specialties within the IT profession and different personality types that are more suited for one area of IT over the other.
Having a co-managed IT services provider gives your internal IT department an arsenal of certified professionals in all the IT disciplines you need. A typical engineer at a co-managed IT services company sees dozens, if not hundreds, of different environments every month. This gives the outsourced IT team a depth of knowledge and experience that is difficult to attain in-house.
Staffing issues can also be addressed readily. For example, when internal IT staff are sick or on vacation, or even when someone leaves the organization, co-managed IT services providers can help smooth the staffing gaps and step up their responsibilities when the internal staff is unavailable.
Co-managed IT services providers also have access to enterprise-class tools that typically don’t make sense for smaller IT departments to invest in. Things like: a ticketing system, advanced network visibility and monitoring tools, and cutting-edge cyber security tools.
3. Strategic Planning and Budgeting for Future Business Success
Something that internal IT teams don’t always get around to is IT planning and budgeting.
The typical internal IT department is usually very good at addressing the specific tactical needs of their organization. This is a big strength, but it’s mainly reactive and doesn’t help the organization maximize their use of technology.
You need IT strategy to leverage technology for growth and to meet business goals, so you want to make sure that the co-managed IT services company that you’re working with includes the services of a vCIO or Technology Advisor.
Technology Advisors know about business and technology, and their job is to bridge the gap between IT planning and the larger business vision. They work alongside your IT manager and business leaders, bringing ideas you might not think of and helping you vet emerging technologies in your industry. As they help you map out an IT strategy, they can also provide the business with justification for projects and budget concerns.
IT Department Success with Co-Managed IT Services
The right co-managed IT services provider can be an invaluable resource for your internal IT department. When both sides of the relationship are professional and keep the organization’s larger goals in focus, the synergy can be a huge advantage.
Co-Managed IT Services for Southern California Companies
Here at VC3, we support clients with co-managed IT services in different ways depending on their needs. So if you’re ready to enable the success of your IT department (and your business as a whole), get in touch, and together we’ll explore what working together might look like.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2018. It has been revamped and updated with the latest information.