5 Benefits of Co-Managed IT

Running a business is a constant battle of limited resources. There are daily tasks to tick off, new project demands to attend to, and on top of it all, complex IT infrastructure to manage.

For most small and medium businesses (SMBs), there’s a real challenge in maintaining an IT team while balancing operational costs and efficiency. If you are at a crucial growth phase but your IT demands are skyrocketing, straining resources and slowing progress, one option to consider is to collaborate with a seasoned IT partner to help manage your technology setup.

Co-managed IT is one such collaborative model. It combines your existing IT team’s knowledge with the expertise of a managed service provider (MSP) to create a dedicated IT partnership. This article dives into the top 5 benefits of co-managed IT, showing you how to transform your IT into the well-oiled machine your business needs to run smoothly.

What is co-managed IT?

Before we dive into the benefits, let’s break down the exact meaning of co-managed IT.

Co-managed IT, also called co-managed services, is a collaborative support model where your business’s internal IT department partners with an external managed services provider to enhance your company’s overall IT capabilities. 

This strategic partnership combines the strengths of both your team and an expert firm specializing in IT solutions, management and support, and allows any in-house staff you have to leverage the expertise, advanced technology, and extensive resources of the MSP you choose. 

Designed to be flexible, co-managed IT can typically be customized to fill specific gaps in your business’s existing IT infrastructure, such as cybersecurity, cloud, and data analytics, without having to replace your internal team. This model helps small and medium-sized businesses especially in achieving higher efficiency, better cost management, and improved IT outcomes, while maintaining control over your strategic IT functions. It is particularly beneficial if you are looking to expand capabilities and cyber resilience without the substantial costs associated with hiring more full-time IT staff. Another advantage of the co-managed IT model is that it provides your SMB with access to channel software that is often not available to purchase outside of a partnership, which helps further streamline your business processes and operations.

With that out of the way, let’s move onto the top 5 benefits of co-managed IT for your SMB.

Benefit #1 - Enhanced expertise and specialization

One of the most significant benefits of co-managed IT services for small and medium-sized businesses is the immediate access to specialized technological expertise.

Facing the daunting task of keeping up with rapid technological advancements and complex cybersecurity threats without the budget to hire expert staff in every required domain is an increasing reality for many SMBs. Keeping up with so many emerging factors such as new regulations and tools is difficult enough for large enterprises, let alone smaller organizations. 

Co-managed IT services bridge this gap by providing your business with direct access to seasoned technology professionals who specialize in areas like cybersecurity, cloud services, and data management and are entirely dedicated to providing your team with training, support and management support for these respective areas. This partnership allows your internal staff to learn from and collaborate with experts, elevating the capability of your IT team, and provides peace-of-mind that their ongoing skills development is guided by certified industry professionals. 

Additionally, this model ensures that your business stays up-to-date with the latest technologies and industry best practices, such as generative AI tools, modern workplace solutions and data compliance laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), positioning you well against competitors and reducing the likelihood of technology-related disruptions.

SMB's benefit from the cost efficiency that comes from co-managed IT services

Benefit #2 - Cost efficiency

As an SMB, it’s only natural you are laser-focused on operational efficiency in the areas of IT infrastructure management (software, servers, security, licensing, data, etc). The management of these resources takes a lot of time and money, and can also mean taking staff away from their regular duties to help manage this infrastructure if you don’t have an existing IT team.

The co-managed IT model is designed to significantly reduce IT-related expenses. Instead of bearing the high costs associated with hiring full-time, specialized IT professionals, co-managed services make a point of allowing you to tailor the support they provide to your business around your exact budget and needs. This flexible approach means you pay only for the services you require when you need them, without the overhead of additional full-time salaries, benefits, and ongoing training costs. 

Think of co-managed services as a shared responsibility model in this instance. The MSP manages most IT tasks, such as remote monitoring, security patching and device setup, while your team may handle other tasks internally, depending on the budget you have for coverage. MSPs typically offer cost optimization services as part of this IT partnership model as well.

By partnering with a managed services provider for co-managed IT, you can better predict your monthly IT expenses, plan your budget more effectively, and allocate resources to other critical areas of your business. You can learn more about the cost of the co-managed IT service model, as well as key considerations for pricing in our free cost of managed IT guide, linked below.

Benefit #3 - Scalability

As your business grows, so do your IT needs. 

One of the biggest draws of co-managed IT services is that they are inherently scalable, meaning they can be easily adjusted to accommodate the size and scope of your business operations, and considering how fast new technology platforms and potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities emerge, this kind of scalability is extremely important to have in an IT partner. 

This flexibility is particularly beneficial for SMBs that experience seasonal fluctuations, or are in a growth phase. Whether you’re expanding your market reach, increasing your workforce, or launching new products, co-managed IT is a good way to source additional resources and technology on-demand. This adaptability ensures that your IT infrastructure can support your business objectives without the delays and costs associated with scaling an in-house team.

Benefit #4 - Proactive risk management and enhanced security

Cybersecurity is a critical concern for all businesses today, especially for SMBs who may become targets due to perceived vulnerabilities in their IT defenses. Co-managed IT services enhance your overall cybersecurity posture by bringing advanced threat detection, regular security audits, compliance assistance, network management, and proactive risk management strategies, to name a few. These services work continuously to identify vulnerabilities, update and patch systems, and protect against both internal and external threats to your business. 

With so many areas of cybersecurity to account for, such as endpoint security, identity & access management (IAM), security information & event management (SIEM) and backup and disaster recovery (BCDR), employing a IT partner to help you manage these areas and upskill your team on their importance is almost a must in the modern workplace.

By having a dedicated support team that focuses on these areas, your business minimizes the risks of data breaches and cyberattacks, which can be costly and damaging to your reputation. It also means you can re-assign your internal team to other important tasks, while the accredited experts fully manage the protection of your data and security posture.

Benefit #5 - Minimized downtime and 24/7 IT support

Downtime can be expensive and disruptive for any business, affecting customer satisfaction, employee productivity, and overall business operations. With co-managed IT, your SMB can quickly benefit from around-the-clock IT support and monitoring for your entire IT environment, ensuring that any tech or security-related issues are resolved quickly and efficiently, often before you are even aware of them. 

This continuous monitoring and rapid response capability can significantly reduce downtime, keeping your systems running smoothly and ensuring that your business operations are not interrupted.  Additionally, with experts handling complex IT issues, your staff can focus on their core responsibilities and initiatives that drive business growth.

5 benefits of co-managed IT: Next steps

Co-managed IT is just one of several support options made available by managed IT service providers for SMBs and enterprise businesses. If you are looking for a MSP with the best co-managed services package that can be tailored to your business requirements, speak to the team at SparkNav today and learn how we can help you drive your IT objectives with our customized plans.

Robert Griffin
Robert Griffin
As COO, Robert Griffin plays an instrumental role in aligning operational excellence with strategic goals by leveraging his decades of experience in enterprise leadership. With deep knowledge and expertise in security, governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), and AI, his insights are often shared through thought leadership channels, including LinkedIn and blogs. → Follow Robert on LinkedIn.