The Perks of Co-Management: Supplementing your IT Support with an MSP
In general, most companies will chose from one of the following solutions below. Read on if you're looking for guidance around what next steps to take with your IT solution.
Solution A: Your company maintains an in-house IT department.
Solution B: You are an SMB (small or medium sized business) with limited internal tech support, so your company’s additional technical needs are supplemented by an IT Managed Service Provider, or MSP.
Solution C: Your firm outsources all its operational IT needs to a third-party MSP.
For most situations in life, one solution doesn’t always fit all. This extends to how a business retains or subcontracts their technical service and support requirements. Regardless of your organization’s working scenario, there will always be pros and cons. While some companies employ and maintain an internal IT team (Solution A), some choose co-management (Solution B), and others may outsource an external resource to handle all their operational IT needs (Solution C). Read on to find out what solution may work best for your individual enterprise, and why co-management might be worth the investment.
Dave Sobel, host of the “Killing IT” podcast on MSP Radio, defined MSPs as “a company that will handle your IT operational needs for you”. This means, if your company chooses to hire an MSP, they can forgo having an in-house IT team altogether. (Solution C).
“[An MSP] takes on anything that an internal IT department might be responsible for, [including] help desk requests, computer management and maintenance, and security.” – Dave Sobel via No Jitter
Over the years, the MSP market has expanded and advanced. From providing basic IT functions to extending its services systematically; now, many MSPs offer cybersecurity and cloud solutions, virtualization, and even business/budget planning resources. If your company chooses to fully outsource their IT requirements to an MSP, evaluate your sourcing options with the following focus points:
- Ability – how well they can deliver technical services (compared to their competitors).
- Customer Service – response time, level and quality of response and service delivery, problem resolution (how efficient they are in handling requests, resolving incidents, and dispatching support).
- Knowledge of your respective Industry (some MSPs focus on specific industries). An MSP that is well-versed in your company’s industry will likely bring more experience and knowledge in handling and supporting your organization.
- Cost. Consider the previous factors first and keep cost as the finalizing step in your decision making.
Supplementing your In-House IT team with an MSP
Everyone has different strengths, so play to yours and leverage the assets of others. Having an internal IT team manage your in-house needs and technical infrastructure allows for hands-on support and the familiarity of knowledge from the inside. However, if your IT team’s expertise is limited in specified areas such as cybersecurity, compliance, or virtualization, you might consider outsourcing to an MSP. (Solution B)
“An MSP can simply fill the gaps to give your IT team time to focus on strategic projects.” – Your Tech Team
Cybersecurity experts within MSPs consistently research and analyze existing and trending cyberthreats; they keep up with the latest security tools and resources to provide up-to-date solutions and strategies to battling threats. For larger corporations with in-house IT support (Solution A), supplementing an MSP allows for layered assistance. This adds extra hands and eyes to focus on, for example – the security or compliance aspect of the business, while the in-house team manages the day to day and more enterprise-critical tasks.
Overall, the combination of internal and external technical support gives a company additional tiers of defense, as well as a wider range of skills and specialized expertise. Small businesses with insufficient internal staff can also benefit from partnering with an MSP. In addition to gaining access to a diverse team of experts, they can also preserve costs because MSPs are only billed for services they perform.
Consider: Co-Manage to Strengthen your Solution
Companies who are experiencing accelerated levels of growth, especially in a brief amount of time, may also find teaming up with an MSP to be beneficial. Additionally, if your company requires expert IT skills to manage your organizational infrastructure (such as having employees in a broad range of locations, from on premise in headquarters to various offsite and/or remote offices) – outsourcing your “infrastructure management” would dissipate your internal staff’s priorities and allow them to concentrate on providing tailored support to the organization. Just like strength adds in numbers, power increases with partnership.