Company and employee growth, system migrations, work-from-home and BYOD challenges, your IT team needs help. Whatever the reason for exploring the realm of outsourced IT, here are some areas to look into for your partnership with a co-managed IT provider.
What is Co-Managed IT?
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “co-managed IT”, it’s simply the concept of partnering with a managed services provider (MSP) to offload some of the work requirements your IT team is facing. This can be an on-going partnership or a project-related contract to handle a specific action or task. Co-managed services are most often used as an extension of your IT department without the need to bring on additional staff.
Since your partner in co-management has a number of experts and specialists on their staff, by extension, you also have access to those specialists as part of yours.
According to IDG’s 2021 Security Priorities Study, “62% of organizations already or plan to outsource at least some of their security functions over the next 12 months,” so you won’t be alone. Below are a few points to consider when selecting a partner for your co-managed services.
Company History and Longevity
The number of managed and co-managed service providers have been increasing over the years with the increase in IT service needs. However, if you are searching out a company to partner with, having a company in its infancy might not be the safest play. While they may be an up-and-comer and (hopefully) offer you a lower rate to try and build their client base, consider that they may not have a large enough staff to handle your various needs and, with a limited track record (and the ever-present challenges/difficulties of starting companies), there is the chance that they might not be around or available when you need them.
As noted above, in this partnership, you’ll be sharing your company’s network and cyber security management or support with an outside agency – you’re working together to accomplish your IT objectives. Can you trust them to do what they say by the deadlines and within windows that you need?
Customer testimonials on their website are always helpful to see how they work with and support their clients. Being that they’ve vetted and shared these on their website, they’ll be vetted and will likely only be sharing the best of customer reviews – still valuable, but curated. Take a look on some search engines to read a number of other reviews that show up there – under the condition of anonymity, people are often more honest in their reviews. This approach can also give you a look into how they respond to customer feedback in the public realm.
Lastly, take a look over the company’s story on their website. A founding story and company history can provide some insight into their principles, which should point to how they would treat you as a client.
The Cost of Co-managed IT
We can’t ignore the cost, right? When looking at costs, keep in mind that you’re outsourcing this work, so the direct comparison would be the cost of searching out and hiring someone for the role your co-managed IT partner is doing, training them, and maintaining all the costs of that employee on board. Another reminder is that with a co-managed IT partner, you’ll have access to a variety of specialists to give you the best in a given task. When you hire an employee they may be a specialist in one area, but be slightly lacking in another area that you need.
If you seek out several proposals from different companies and get wildly different quotes, you’ll want to ask the companies on each end of the spectrum why they might be so different. On the low-end side, is it worth it to “save” money if you’re not able to get support when you need it most? Or on the higher-end, what are you getting for your services – 24/7 support and responsiveness, comprehensive support?
Be sure to not just look at the price tag of a proposal – as it’s often said, “If you think something is too expensive, just try the ‘cheap’ way.”
Talk To Someone
At the end of the day, you might be contracting with another company, but you will be working with people.
Have a conversation with someone and check the overall feeling you get from that discussion. Ask whatever questions you feel you need to ask about their company and services and how you might work together. …Don’t be shy. After all, you are potentially going to be opening your organization to another company, you need to feel comfortable with who you are sharing that information with.
With a managed services provider, you’re making an investment into your growth. When searching for the right partner, you want a company who will help bolster your capabilities, who supports you in the areas you need when you need it, and who can communicate with you and your team well. Ultimately, you are looking for a company that will help make life easier for you.
If you’re interested in learning more about Diamond IT’s Co-Managed IT services, we would be glad to be given the opportunity to earn your business and begin a partnership. As one of the points noted above, it can start with a conversation – click here to schedule a time to talk. We hope to hear from you soon!