Partnering for IT Success: How Co-Managed IT Services Can Empower Your Business

Co-Managed IT Services

Co-managed IT services allow businesses to partner their in-house IT staff with an outside tech company to get help. This hybrid model gives you the best of both worlds – your internal team handles the tasks they are good at, while an expert co-managed partner takes care of other jobs. It lets you focus on your core business without worrying about tech issues.

Co-managed IT works by:

  • Analyzing your current IT needs and skills
  • Figuring out which areas outside help is needed
  • Partnering with a tech provider to fill those gaps

Some common reasons to consider co-managed services include:

  • A small internal team that’s stretched thin
  • Large projects that need extra support
  • Filling gaps in technical expertise
  • Getting 24/7 coverage for emergencies

With co-managed IT, you can customize the help you get to match your unique situation. This flexible approach gives control while boosting your capabilities.

What is co-managed IT?

So, in the introduction, we discussed how co-managed IT services allow you to partner your internal tech team with an outside provider. But what exactly does this model look like? Let’s break it down. At its core, co-managed IT is a customized approach to managing your IT needs. Instead of handling everything yourself or fully outsourcing, you get the best of both worlds through a strategic partnership.

Your Co-Management Partner

With co-managed services, you’ll work with an experienced MSP or managed service provider. These companies specialize in supporting businesses through helpdesk, security monitoring, and project work. You gain instant access to their expertise, resources, and round-the-clock coverage by teaming up with an MSP. It takes some pressure off your in-house team.

Finding the Right Fit

When choosing a co-management partner, ensure they have a proven track record of success. Look for companies with strong technical skills and the flexibility to meet you where you’re at. A good partner will take the time to understand your unique situation and customize a plan. They should offer transparent communication and make your team part of the process.

Splitting Up Responsibilities

With co-managed IT, you and your partner will divide duties based on your strengths. For example, you may handle desktop support and infrastructure while they focus on security and strategic guidance. It allows everyone to play to their talents while filling each other’s gaps. Regular check-ins ensure smooth collaboration and accountability on both sides.

Access to Advanced Tools

You gain access to robust systems and software by teaming up with an MSP. Remote monitoring, automated ticketing, and virtual CIO services give you powerful capabilities. It boosts your operations without requiring substantial upfront investments. You can try new technologies safely and scale services as needed.

Co-managed IT is a flexible model for businesses seeking extra support. It combines internal know-how with a partner’s wide-ranging skills and resources to maximize efficiency.

When to consider co-managed IT

Co-managed it services
Co-Managed IT Services

Every business has unique IT needs that change over time. So, when does the co-managed approach make the most sense? Let’s look at some everyday situations:

●        Limited Internal Resources: If your in-house team is small, they may need help to handle everything from helpdesk to projects. Co-management takes some pressure off by providing extra hands.

●        Skills Gaps: You may be vital in certain areas but lack expertise in others, like security or cloud migration. A partner can fill knowledge holes without costly new hires.

●        Major Projects Ahead: Upgrades, system implementations, and digital transformation require extensive support. Co-management eases the burden by supplying dedicated project resources.

●        Budget Constraints: By only paying for the services you use, co-management offers a lower-risk, more flexible alternative to hiring full-time staff.

●        24/7 Coverage Needed: When downtime isn’t an option, partnering with an MSP gets you emergency assistance nights and weekends.

●        Regulatory Demands: If your industry faces strict compliance rules, co-management can help navigate audits and meet all standards.

●        Remote Workforce: Supporting a distributed team requires robust security , monitoring, and remote management capabilities provided by a partner.

●        New Technologies: Keeping up with innovation is challenging. Co-management gives controlled access to the latest tools through an expert guide.

Customizing your co-managed strategy

Every business has unique IT needs that change over time. So, when does the co-managed approach make the most sense? Let’s look at some everyday situations:

Tailoring Services to Your Situation

One great thing about co-managed IT is flexibility – you’re not locked into an all-or-nothing solution. Work with your partner to craft a customized plan. Start by assessing your current strengths and weaknesses. What are your team’s core responsibilities? What tasks could use an extra set of hands?

Common Co-Management Models

Some typical co-managed models include:

●        Helpdesk Support – Handle fundamental user issues so your team can focus elsewhere

●        Project Work – Supplement internal project managers for major initiatives

●        Strategic Guidance – Get advice on technology roadmaps, security practices, and more

●        Infrastructure Management – Monitor servers, storage, and networks so you don’t have to

●        Security Monitoring – Continuously check for vulnerabilities and threats around the clock

Mix and Match Services

Once you understand your options, select specific services like helpdesk, security, and project work to outsource. Leave other functions internal if your team prefers to manage them.

Revisit Plans Regularly

It needs to change, so your partner must review your arrangement periodically. Scale up services as your business grows or try new solutions their expertise suggests. With communication and flexibility, co-management lets you craft the perfect hybrid model. You call the shots based on your unique situation.

Essential services of a co-managed partner

When choosing a co-management provider, it’s essential to understand the full scope of support they can offer your business. Let’s explore some standard services:

●        Helpdesk and User Support: Reliable assistance when users have questions or issues is table stakes. Look for 24/7 coverage, remote access capabilities, and ticket-tracking software.

●        Infrastructure Management: It includes monitoring servers, storage, networking gear, and more to catch problems early. Automated alerts ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

●        Security and Compliance: Robust security programs, vulnerability scanning, firewall management, and policy guidance are necessary. Regulatory expertise also helps pass audits.

●        Backup and Disaster Recovery: Your data must be protected from ransomware and hardware failures. Select a partner with bulletproof and encrypted backup solutions and tested DR plans.

●        Project Management: When deploying new systems or migrating to the cloud, rely on a partner’s certified project managers to track progress, timelines, and budgets.

●        Strategic Consulting: Partners with deep expertise can advise on technology roadmaps, process improvements, and industry best practices to optimize operations.

●        Application Management: For mission-critical software, look for 24/7 support, upgrades, integrations, custom development, and performance monitoring services.

●        Remote Management Platform: A secure portal gives your team visibility into systems, tickets, projects, and more from anywhere via computer or mobile device.

Advantages for your business

By now, you can see how co-managed IT delivers flexibility, but what’s in it for your organization? Let’s explore some top benefits:

●        Improved Efficiency: With the right partner handling routine tasks, your team gains time for higher-priority work. It boosts productivity across the board.

●        Access to Expertise: Businesses can only afford to employ some specialized skills. Co-management gives you instant access to deep technical knowledge on an as-needed basis.

Co-managed it services
Co-Managed IT Services

●        Reduced Costs: You only pay for the exact services utilized, avoiding sizeable upfront hardware or long-term staffing investments. Budgeting is more straightforward, too.

●        24/7 Support Coverage: When issues arise after hours or on weekends, you’ll appreciate having a team standing by rather than going alone.

●        Proactive Monitoring: Advanced tools let your partner spot potential problems before they impact users. It minimizes disruptions to daily operations.

●        Peace of Mind: Knowing a team of experts has your back frees your mind to focus on core business goals rather than IT headaches.

●        Risk Mitigation: With a partner managing security, compliance, and backups, your systems gain extra protection from threats.

●        Expert Guidance: Regular strategic advice keeps you informed on new technologies and best practices to optimize the business continuously.

●        Scalability: As your needs change, a co-managed relationship scales up or down more quickly than hiring permanent staff.

Questions to consider

Now that you understand the critical aspects of co-managed IT, it’s time to start evaluating potential partners. Ask the right questions upfront to find the best fit for your unique business.

●        Experience and Expertise: Consider a provider’s history, certifications, and client references. Do they have experience in your industry? Look for deep skills across your priority areas.

●        Communication Style: Will they sync well with your team? Ask about status reports, portals, meetings, and response times to ensure apparent collaboration.

●        Service Level Agreements: Understand available support hours, response commitments, change management procedures, and associated SLAs like uptime percentages.

●        Security Practices: Inquire about security certifications, policies, employee screening, encryption methods, and vulnerability testing frequency to feel confident in their defenses.

●        Pricing and Contracts: Get pricing models in writing and details on setup fees, ongoing costs, payment schedules, and contract lengths. Avoid hidden charges.

●        Platforms and Tools: Evaluate solutions for functions like monitoring, helpdesk, backups, and reporting. Are interfaces intuitive for your level of technical expertise?

●        Customizability: Can they adapt their standard offerings to meet your unique needs, or are solutions one-size-fits-all? Flexibility is key.

●        Ongoing Optimization: Ask how the provider stays on top of new technologies and ensures continuous improvement through regular reviews and upgrades. You can select a co-management partner aligned with your goals, budget, and risk tolerance with the correct information.

Take the Next Step with ZZ Servers

Are you ready to boost your business with the advantages of co-managed IT but need help figuring out where to start? As an industry leader serving mid-sized companies for over 17 years, ZZ Servers understands your unique technology needs and pressures. Our customized, results-focused approach has helped hundreds of organizations like yours optimize operations through a strategic, scalable partnership. Contact our team today at 800-796-3574 to learn how a co-managed solution from ZZ Servers can empower your business with the right balance of support, guidance, and control. One of our IT advisors will be happy to discuss your current environment, goals, and budget to design a personalized plan for success.


Co-managed IT services offer scalable expertise through a strategic partnership with an experienced MSP focused on your unique needs. The customizable model allows you to choose the right mix of services for your situation and budget. Co-management boosts capabilities like security, 24/7 coverage, and access to advanced tools without significant upfront costs.

Your team retains control and oversight while gaining relief from routine tasks through outsourced services. This approach improves efficiency, reduces risks, and optimizes operations for changing demands when implemented correctly. By leveraging the strengths of internal and external resources, co-managed IT delivers a winning combination of control, support, and performance optimization fit for today’s dynamic businesses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is co-managed IT right for my small business?

For companies with 10-50 staff, co-management optimizes limited resources. An MSP supports your team so they can focus on core tasks. Services scale up gradually, and you control costs. It’s lower risk than full outsourcing but boosts capabilities. Evaluate your needs objectively; an MSP can advise if this hybrid model fits well.

How is a provider the right fit for my needs?

Carefully review experience, certifications, and client reviews. Observe communication styles for cultural fit. Understand service level commitments and available solutions in-depth. Evaluate pricing models and contracts thoroughly. Most importantly, your “gut feeling” about trust and partnership is critical – find a provider committed to understanding your unique situation and customizing their approach for long-term success together.

What costs are associated with co-managed services?

Most MSPs use a simple per-user monthly fee to cover standard helpdesk, monitoring, and security services. Additional project work, cloud migrations, or strategic consulting incur hourly rates. Upfront costs are minimal, often just a small setup charge. Compare the total cost of ownership over 12-36 months versus hiring full-time staff. Responsible providers also offer introductory assessments and pricing guarantees to ensure budget predictability as your needs evolve.

How much oversight will my team have?

A quality MSP empowers your existing team rather than replacing them. You retain complete control and decision rights. Expect transparency through portal access, status reports, and regular check-ins—your input matters for customizing the right solution. And you’re always in charge of the relationship – if service slips, be proactive in giving feedback or finding a more compatible partner. With the proper collaboration, co-management maximizes your oversight while leveraging an expert guide.

What types of projects are well-suited for a co-managed approach?

Significant infrastructure upgrades, complex migrations like moving to the cloud, multi-phase security compliance efforts, and digital transformation initiatives stretch even experienced in-house teams. By augmenting your project managers with a dedicated MSP team, co-management ensures expertise, dedicated resources, and 24/7 availability for seamless execution. It’s lower risk than going it alone and better than outsourcing ultimately, giving you strategic oversight throughout.

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