Many business owners and decision makers may approach IT from a two-prong point of view, either choosing in-house or outsourced IT. In fact, there is a third option that many fail to completely consider: co-management with an MSP.
What It Is
Co-managed IT scenarios are quite common in today’s complex IT environment. At its core, co-management involves both internal personnel and a managed IT services provider working hand-in-hand. There are many ways to blend these together.
Single Internal Resource
Some businesses prefer to employ one internal resource to advise and take responsibility for the IT infrastructure. While this person may often assume the title of CIO, there are many job descriptions to which these tasks may fall. In this case, the internal employee would help shape and mold to the needs of the company while an MSP takes over the monitoring, project work, and troubleshooting tasks.
This frees up a likely higher paid individual from being responsible for tasks more suited a junior-level staffer.
MSP Monitoring and Maintenance
Often, a SMB will have a team of IT personnel. These employees may excel in certain fields: programming, IT architecture, etc. While these IT teams may excel in these specific areas, perhaps troubleshooting or monitoring of machines and servers is not their preferred way to spend the day.
This is an ideal solution for MSP monitoring and maintenance, while the internal team takes on project-based tasks. Similar to the CIO above, this frees these higher paid personnel from getting bogged down in day-to-day operations and allows them to focus on one front and follow it through to completion.
The project–based relationship between MSP and SMB is essentially a role reversal from the above. This is common in organizations like schools or non-profit organizations that may maintain an internal IT staff for troubleshooting, but needs additional help for major overhauls, cloud migrations, or other advanced (or even simply additional) tasks that would increase the workload above what the internal staff can handle.
In this scenario, the SMB likely has an internal staff that runs the day-to-day operations. However, a decision-maker may wish to bring in some fresh faces to help identify weaknesses or inject new ideas. In a consulting role, an MSP can provide a team of experts to make various assessments, advise on upcoming trends, or train employees on new or more advanced techniques.
Consulting is also a very common angle when dealing with compliance requirements. Applicable to all compliance limitations, but especially evident in the world of CMMC, an MSP can provide an independent alignment check to give a better stance against an outside compliance audit.
While the above examples are perhaps the most common scenarios, the only limitation to possibilities for IT co-management is the need of the business and the imagination of the MSP partner. However, co-management scenarios can free internal personnel for tasks appropriate to their skill level and leave the rest to for someone else to worry about!
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