In today’s technology-driven world, having a robust and reliable IT infrastructure is crucial for the success of most organizations. However, ensuring that everything runs smoothly can be a daunting task. This is where IT support comes in. IT support entails a team of experts that handles everything from software updates and data backup & disaster recovery to cybersecurity and network management.
While some companies may already have an in-house IT staff, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best way forward for a business. In many instances, managed service providers (MSPs) can offer a better path for technical support. This can be done through two types of support systems: co-managed IT support and fully managed IT support. In this blog, we will compare these two options and highlight the benefits of each, so you can make an informed decision on which one is best suited for your business needs.
Co-Managed vs. Fully Managed
Co-Managed IT Support
Co-managed IT support refers to a partnership between a business with an in-house IT team and an outside IT support service. In this model, the business retains some level of control over their technology infrastructure while also receiving assistance and guidance from the managed service provider.
In a co-managed arrangement, the business typically handles daily IT tasks, such as installing and configuring software updates and hardware maintenance. Meanwhile, the outside support team focuses on more complex tasks, such as network management and cybersecurity.
One benefit of co-managed IT support is that it can offer greater flexibility, as businesses can choose the level of support required based on their specific needs and budget. It also allows for cost savings, since businesses can handle routine problem solving tasks in-house while outsourcing more complex issues to the outside support team. This setup can also be as simple as hiring an outside service provider to offer things like cybersecurity awareness training, which an internal IT department might not have the time or resources to do properly.
Examples of scenarios where co-managed IT support may be the best option for a business include:
- Small businesses with limited budgets that need to maintain a certain level of control over their technology infrastructure
- Organizations with in-house staff that need additional support for more complex tasks
- Companies that have specific IT needs that require a specialized skill set that their in-house staff may not have
Fully Managed IT Support
Fully managed IT support refers to a model where a third-party provider takes full responsibility for administering a business’s technology infrastructure. In this arrangement, the support provider handles all IT tasks, including routine maintenance and upgrades, network management, cybersecurity, and 24/7 technical support.
A fully managed system eliminates costs such as hiring and training an in-house IT team, purchasing and maintaining expensive network infrastructure, and dealing with unexpected issues that can disrupt business operations. With a fully managed service, businesses can focus on their core activities while leaving their IT needs in the hands of experienced support specialists who can ensure reliable and secure technology infrastructure.
Examples of scenarios where fully managed IT support may be the best option for a business include:
- Organizations with limited in-house IT staff or no IT staff at all
- Companies with complex technology infrastructures that require specialized expertise
- Businesses with strict compliance requirements that need to ensure that their technology infrastructure meets regulatory standards.
Pros & Cons of Co-Managed vs. Fully Managed
Both co-managed and fully managed systems have their pros and cons. Co-managed support provides businesses with flexibility and cost savings, while a fully managed option offers complete outsourcing and 24/7 support. Here are some of the pros and cons of each option:
Co-Managed IT Support Pros:
- Flexibility to choose the level of support needed
- Scalability to the needs of the business
- Ability to chose coverage for what budget allows
- More control over technology infrastructure
- Having highly qualified external expertise to utilize
Co-Managed IT Support Cons:
- May require more management from the business
- Overhead & HR staffing considerations of having an in-house team
- There can be less structure and communication breakdowns can happen if teams are not properly aligned
Fully Managed IT Support Pros:
- Complete outsourcing of IT tasks, eliminating all concerns of maintaining in-house staff
- 24/7 support
- Higher expertise on call
- Eliminate internal costs including staff and internal infrastructure.
- Network and infrastructure is always up to date
- Faster response times to issues
Fully Managed IT Support Cons:
- No internal expertise
- Less control over technology infrastructure
Choosing the Right Support for Your Business
When choosing between co-managed and fully managed IT support, businesses should consider several factors. These include the size of their organization, the complexity of their technology infrastructure, their budget, and their IT support needs. Here are some tips on how businesses can determine which type of IT support is best for their specific needs:
- Assess your IT needs: Start by evaluating your technology infrastructure and identifying the areas where you need IT support. Consider factors such as hardware and software maintenance, network management, cybersecurity, and compliance requirements.
- Evaluate your budget: Determine how much you can afford to spend on IT support and compare the costs of co-managed and fully managed support.
- Consider the complexity of your technology infrastructure: If your organization has a complex technology infrastructure that requires specialized expertise, fully managed IT support may be the best option. On the other hand, if your technology infrastructure is relatively simple, co-managed IT support may be sufficient.
- Determine the level of control you want over your technology infrastructure: Co-managed support allows businesses to retain some level of control over their technology infrastructure, while fully managed provides complete outsourcing. Consider which option aligns better with your organization’s goals and objectives.
- Choose a reputable IT support provider: Regardless of which option you choose, it’s essential to select a reputable IT support provider with a track record of high-quality service. Look for providers with experience in your industry and check their references and reviews.
- Establish clear communication and expectations: Once you’ve selected an IT support provider, it’s essential to establish clear communication and expectations to ensure that both parties are aligned. Define the scope of services, response times, escalation procedures, and any other relevant details.
There are many factors for a business to consider when choosing between co-managed and fully managed IT support. By assessing your IT needs, evaluating your budget, and considering the other facets listed above, you can determine which option is best for your business.
At EVERNET Consulting, we are dedicated to helping organizations with their IT needs. We work diligently to find the solutions that best fit the needs of your business. Whether you’re looking for co-managed or fully managed IT support, we are here to help. Let’s schedule a discovery call and see how we can help you work smarter, not harder.
Eric is a Business IT cybersecurity advisor, consultant, manager, integrator, and protector who founded EVERNET in 2007. Eric co-hosts a podcast called “Finance and Technology Insights by Brian & Eric” on YouTube. Eric is a regular contributor to the EVERNET blog, writing about the latest technology news and providing his expertise in cyber security prevention and management.