Make 2021 the Year You Get IT Right: A Co-Managed IT Approach

November 6th, 2020

Worldwide, businesses spent approximately $4 trillion on IT in 2019. As organizations become increasingly digitally focused, they often struggle to stay on top of the latest technology and IT security. For SMBs, this struggle is particularly intense as the investments needed to maintain this level of service continues to grow.

No business, however, can afford to ignore the growing importance of technology. A business needs to exist online to find and communicate with customers. It needs to confidently and effectively protect its data and its customers’ data. Building quality cybersecurity protocols becomes critical – neglecting cybersecurity is not an option. For those with a limited budget, however, it can be cost-prohibitive to maintain a full in-house IT staff that manages all upgrades and necessary planning. At the same time, these businesses need an IT staff they can count on to manage day-to-day responsibilities as well as keep up with all of the changes and strategic thinking required for a successful IT department. For many, outsourcing IT remains the best solution. However, AGJ offers a hybrid option – co-managed IT.

What is Co-Managed IT?

When people start building their IT departments, they often find themselves faced with 2 main proposals.

  1. They can build an in-house IT team, or
  2. They can outsource their IT management to a third-party vendor.

In reality, however, these are not the only options. Co-managed IT combines the best of both systems. It creates a hybrid team that relies on in-house employees, fully integrated with the business and its vision, and an outside vendor to provide support.

With outside assistance, companies have a greater capacity to take advantage of the latest technology, as it is the outside vendor who shoulders the burden of staying up-to-date. The outside vendor must also manage the costs associated with hiring and maintaining a strong IT team for information security.

Working with a co-managed IT solution provides, the in-house IT staff has the tools they need to excel in their particular positions without having to bear unattainable costs for the organization. The in-house staff provides intimate knowledge of the brand's goal and vision. Third-party MSP employees offer extensive IT experience. Together, the in-house expertise and third-party MSP, keep the brand functioning securely and efficiently.

What are the Benefits of a Co-Managed IT Management Solution?

The ability to fill internal IT gaps

Outsourcing all or parts of your IT to an MSP can help businesses fill any potential gaps in their personnel or infrastructure. For example, if you have professionals who can manage the day-to-day operations, you can access an IT consultant who can help with the broader planning and management tasks. Similarly, if you have gaps in your network security capabilities, the managed IT services can provide access to the software and technology to upgrade your systems. Finally, if an unexpected transition occurs within your in-house IT team, we can keep things going until someone new comes in.

By having these tools and systems in place, we can help build much-needed flexibility and transparency into your business’s network.

Improve information security

Secure IT should play a cornerstone role in modern business. A single security breach can end up costing a business significant time, talent and financial resources to mitigate the breach, not to mention the missed sales opportunities in the interim. You can’t even attempt to quantify the loss of customer trust and the damage to the brand’s reputation.

Information security from an outside vendor can help businesses access the latest, best practices. Working with an experienced IT consultant will help the business stay up-to-date on the latest advancements and development in network security which can be very hard for SMBs to remain current on independently.

Access the technology without having to make the upfront investment

IT management professionals provide access to the latest technology with reduced upfront investment. Tools that monitor and manage hardware like desktops, laptops and on-premise firewalls can be expensive. However, partnering with an expert MSP like AGJ can help keep those fixed costs down. We will help your business, organization or municipality stay up-to-date on the latest tools. Together, we’ll assess the right investments to keep your systems efficient and safe.

Maintain IT support around the clock

In the age of the novel coronavirus pandemic, an increasing number of businesses have turned to cloud services and remote work to maintain their companies, resulting in employees completing work outside of traditional work hours. An IT staff that goes off the clock at 5, however, will be unavailable to help if support is needed.

Working with a third party vendor, who can help provide IT support for extended hours or even around the clock, can help the business maintain their productivity.

It is important to note that co-managed IT solutions work hand-in-hand with the in-house IT staff -- with no need to replace anyone who already works for the business. Instead, it provides the existing staff with the tools, personnel and expertise they need to maintain a strong IT infrastructure.

What are the Co-Managed IT Approaches?

For businesses that want to take advantage of co-managed IT approaches, there are 3 main strategies to consider.

Help with low-level IT tasks
If you have IT professionals who do an excellent job managing the overall planning, but they do not have time to keep up with the day-to-day operations, you can hire IT management to help with these low-level tasks. A third-party IT management team can run a help desk and/or provide remote support.

Help with mid-level tasks
Businesses might find they have the visionary aspects of IT managed as well as the basic tasks. But, mid-level tasks, such as managing servers and firewalls, might be burdensome. Outside help can assist with this level of tasks as well.

Help with high-level tasks
Some businesses find that their day-to-day operations run smoothly, but they struggle to maintain the bandwidth and experience needed for strategy development and planning IT project management. Fortunately, an IT consultant can help with this as well.

When Should Companies Consider IT Co-Management?

Businesses considering working with a co-managed IT solution may be interested in learning about the indicators it’s time to investigate this solution further. Any of these scenarios indicate strongly that a business needs more support.

  • The IT team is inexperienced and small.
  • The IT team struggles to keep up with the demands of the business.
  • The IT team cannot maintain the network effectively, and the business experiences frequent problems.
  • The IT team costs too much in comparison to the size of the business.

Businesses in any of these positions have the most to gain from working with an MSP. IT co-management can provide the business with experienced network security and support professionals.

How Does AGJ Co-Manage IT Better?

Organizations that use AGJ for their co-managed IT services find a wealth of benefits that allow them to capitalize on this secure and profitable relationship.

  1. We prioritize your time. We know businesses count on technology to help them manage their operations. Whether computer repair is needed or an urgent network problem arises, you can count on us to respond as quickly as possible.
  2. We want to help you understand. We pride ourselves on our ability to explain what is going on with your computer and technology infrastructure in plain English so you can follow what we do and why.
  3. We promise clarity. Whether it is in the bill we deliver or the outcome we promise, our clients know they can trust us to be accurate and have a predictable, certain outcome.
  4. We put our customers first. We promise our customers 100% satisfaction and work to exceed their expectations each step of the way with our consulting and project services. Our support for our community only helps us nurture these positive relationships.

Get Started with a Co-Managed IT Solution

For modern business, technology is imperative in keeping your business running smoothly. Work with an IT team you know you can trust to keep your equipment secure while also enhancing your IT capabilities.

Take the first step toward these technological capacities with a complimentary assessment of your IT infrastructure. We will build you need for a sound technology plan. To learn more about how a co-managed IT solution from AGJ can help you thrive, reach out to us today.