What is Co-Managed IT Services?
In-house IT and managed service providers both have pros and cons, but you don’t have to compromise. The co-managed services model allows you to combine the two in an efficient, smooth-running manner.
Best of Both Worlds
In many cases it really is the best of both worlds. You can have IT staff on hand for in-person access and take advantage of their personal knowledge of your specific systems and configuration. At the same time you can get the flexibility, expert knowledge and financial benefits of a managed service provider.
Co-managed services doesn’t simply mean outsourcing some functions to a managed service provider while keeping other functions in house (though that does work well for some businesses.) Instead, it’s a set-up that makes sure the in-house staff and external MSP work together to take advantage of each other’s strengths.
Defining Roles & Responsibilities
One key to co-managed services is clearly identifying your IT needs and then defining the most efficient way to divide responsibilities between in-house staff and a managed service provider. Look for an MSP that’s willing to put the time in to talk through the options and concentrate on what’s in your best interest rather than simply trying to “upsell” you on services.
An effective co-managed services set-up is as much about administration and human interaction as it is a technological issue. You may worry about clashes and confusion between your own staff and an outside provider. This isn’t a problem if you choose the right provider, however. They’ll be familiar with the challenges of internal structures and authority and will work in a way that means nobody feels like somebody is stepping on their toes, or that they have responsibility without the necessary decision-making ability.
Remember that the division of tasks between in-house and MSP doesn’t just have to be based on specific areas of IT. It could also be more practical, such as having the managed service provider take care of out-of-hours support. Another popular division is to have the MSP concentrate on long-term planning and development while the in-house staff concentrate on day-to-day maintenance where speed is vital.
Communication & Reporting are Key
Communication is a major part of a successful co-managed services setup. For example, you may choose a model where the managed service provider handles basic/common support issues while your in-house staff deal with more significant or complex problems that can benefit from in-person attention. In this scenario, it’s extremely valuable if the MSP can provide a report on the frequency with which they attend to specific repeat problems. This may reveal issues that your in-house staff can address to stop the problems occurring in the future.
The most important point of a co-managed services arrangement is that you can pick the specific division of responsibilities and focus to suit your specific business. If you’d like to talk more about how co-managed services can help your business run more smoothly and efficiently, call us today for more details.
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