Choosing the right kind of IT support for your organization is critical to a successful vendor relationship.

Businesses looking for an IT services partner may encounter two terms that appear similar on the surface, but are in fact very different: managed IT services and co-managed IT services. Even for many people in the IT industry, the closeness of these two terms can be confusing.

While many of the companies that offer managed IT services will also offer co-managed solutions, this guide will help you decide which is right for your business.

Do You Already Have an IT Staff?

This is the most important distinction between the concepts.

Co-managed IT services is not a comprehensive solution; it’s designed to augment the capabilities of your in-house team and help them meet their challenges. Businesses that don’t already have at least one IT staff member — whether that’s a senior IT engineer to handle strategy and planning, or a technician to address support issues — should not consider a co-managed package.

Fully managed IT services solutions, like C360 Fully Managed, are designed to meet all an organization’s technology management and cybersecurity needs.

With that basic distinction clarified, here are some of the ways you can tell if your business needs a co-managed IT services solution.

Is Your IT Team Stretched Too Thin?

Burnout in the IT industry is very common. IT teams at small and midsized businesses are being asked to manage increasingly complex systems, with more on the line strategically than ever before, making IT one of the top 3 industries for burnout.

The stress of dealing with day-to-day IT management issues, while also addressing big picture strategic problems like disaster recovery and business continuity, is often enough to overwhelm a small team. How do you know if your IT team is being asked to do too much? Here are some of the common red flags.

  • Network downtime has become a problem
    This is the first and most obvious warning sign something isn’t right. Every time that a network application or service goes down, it has a costly impact on productivity and morale. If your business is experiencing regular or prolonged periods of IT service disruption, it’s a strong indicator that something in your management or maintenance process needs to improve.
  • IT employee turnover is high
    Strong demand for IT staff can lead to high employee turnover, but when 46% of IT industry professionals think their job is too stressful already, juggling multiple projects or providing 24/7 maintenance service often prompts people to seek less intense positions.
  • Lagging help desk metrics
    Your help desk provides a clear, data-driven basis for understanding the effectiveness of your current IT support program. Is your internal IT team struggling to improve metrics like mean time to resolution (MTTR) or first response time? Trouble achieving help desk goals may indicate that your team is struggling with the workload they’re being asked to handle.

Working with a co-managed IT service provider gives you not just the people, but also the processes and technologies to support your team and improve on each of those areas. And it does it all without interfering with your already established IT support processes.

Are You Meeting Your Technology Goals?

Network technology is now inextricably linked to how businesses connect with new customers, satisfy existing clients, and grow. When your technology isn’t serving your business goals, your business will suffer.

To ensure you have the right tools, a co-managed IT service provider gives your technology team the support of a virtual chief information officer (vCIO), a senior IT engineer who will help you evaluate new technologies, architect solutions, plan a streamlined IT budget, and acquire new hardware at the lowest possible price.

Having strong technology leadership and vision provides many important benefits:

  • Clearer technology budgets
    Planning upgrades, hardware upgrades, and major network infrastructure is an important part of any effective IT management process, but one that can be difficult to address while also keeping that same network healthy and usable. Having a senior network engineer to do that planning, procurement, and asset disposition frees your staff of a burdensome task.
  • Business-technology alignment
    Does your team have software and hardware that align with your business goals? A vCIO helps you ensure alignment of your technology and business goals through regular meetings with executive and department heads, discussing their latest priorities and then supporting those objectives by adjusting your IT roadmap and reconfiguring existing systems.

As with any vendor-client relationship, the more you can communicate with your co-managed IT partner in an open and honest way, the better it enables them to serve your needs.

According to infrastructure monitoring company Dynatrace, 49% of CIOs say that siloed business teams are making it harder for their organization to succeed.

Is Your IT Team Struggling with Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a specialist skillset that few in-house teams can manage effectively on their own. That’s why it’s important that when vetting co-managed IT service providers, you pick a vendor who has a demonstrated track record partnering with in-house IT teams to develop a strong security posture.

Working within the confines of the co-managed relationship, when done correctly, provides a perfect balance between the vendor’s security expertise and the institutional knowledge of your in-house staff.

Working with a co-managed provider can help you strengthen your existing cybersecurity controls, including:

  • Security Information and Event Management
    Armed with the latest tools for security monitoring, analysis, and reporting, a co-managed IT service provider will stand 24/7 watch over your network, relieving your team of a time and resource intensive security job.
  • Patch and update management
    Making sure that hardware and software patches and updates is critical to closing security backdoors, but it’s also a time-intensive task that busy IT staff can easily neglect. With patch management tools and process in hand, your co-managed provider will ensure this important task is always performed properly.

Those are just a few of the ways that a co-managed provider can help you improve the consistency and reliability of your cybersecurity protections. To learn more, continue reading our Complete Guide to Co-Managed IT Support.

20 Years of Co-Managed IT Customer Satisfaction

IT teams in Albany, New York, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Bluffton, South Carolina have been partnering with the Complete Network team for decades to strengthen their IT support and technology management processes. If you’d like to learn more, contact us any time at 877 877 1840 or [email protected]. We look forward to speaking with you!

How To Supplement Your Internal IT Team.

In an ideal world, technology would be a consistent source of competitive advantage and benefit for small and midsized businesses. The reality is that many fail to realize that confidence.

Without the right resources and support, even a highly skilled technology team can become overwhelmed by the growing list of technology management duties. When important tasks get neglected, it creates ripple effects throughout an organization that damage productivity and efficiency.

The co-managed IT services model solves these problems by providing your existing IT team with all the support and resources they need to successfully plan, manage, and defend your network technology.

This guide covers:

  • • Aligning technology with business goals
  • • Reducing churn while preserving institutional knowledge
  • • Empowering your staff to maximize productivity
  • • Achieving the highest level of cybersecurity defense

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