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Managed IT Services
Published on
January 7, 2022
Michelle Lievense Portrait
Michelle Lievense
January 7, 2022

Managed IT vs Co-Managed It Services: Which One is Right For You

managed vs co-managed it services
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As technology advances, we are seeing many businesses, from start-ups to legacy corporations, flourish. Technology reduces brick-and-mortar overhead, increases marketing reach, and brings ease to many other everyday business functions. However, technological advancements also means increased risk to security. That’s why many companies are turning to managed IT services - because it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage all IT needs in-house. But which is better for your business, managed or co-managed IT services? Find out below.

Managed IT vs Co-Managed It Services: What is the Difference

Properly managing IT services is a major expense for every company, whether they are in-house, managed externally, or co-managed. To know what’s best for any organization requires an understanding of the basic differences.

In-house IT Services

As you probably already know, in-house IT services mean the company has employees who work exclusively for the company to manage all IT services from employee assets to company servers, and all possible access points to company data.

Until recently, a small company would often hire a freelance IT professional to handle security on an as needed basis. Other companies might have a small team of IT generalists - professionals that have a basic understanding of most IT areas including security, networking, asset management, and more. Larger companies, of course, require larger teams.

These days, however, it’s more important than ever that every team has more specialists. Generalists are no longer able to handle all the everyday threats to company security. At least one person must have a deep understanding of security. In some cases, there is a dedicated team of security specialists with a few others that handle repairs, maintenance, and other IT basics.

Many companies simply can’t afford the number of specialists it takes to keep company data safe and secure. That's why managed and co-managed IT services are more important than ever. The difference between the two is straightforward.

Co-Managed IT Services

A company that has co-managed IT services is one that employs both an in–house team and an external team.

The in-house team is likely made of generalists that can handle the everyday working of IT requirements for the company. They manage assets, do basic repairs and maintenance, deploy basic security measures, and apply patches on an as needed basis. They are a critical part of the larger IT team, tasked with handling all the daily services that keep the company running smoothly.

The external IT team is actually an external managed IT services company. They have a contract with the company to provide additional services as outlined by the hiring company. They may monitor IT security to anticipate and deal with security threats. They also often have specialists that they deploy on an as needed basis to fill any expertise gaps that the in-house IT team may have.

Regardless of the contracted work, the co-managed IT team is led and directed by the hiring company to fulfill some IT need(s) that the in-house team can’t cover.

Managed IT Services

When a company hires managed IT services, it means they don’t have an in-house IT team. Instead, the managed IT services provider manages and deploys all aspects of IT, from security, to your helpdesk, to all other facets of company IT management.

This is particularly useful for companies that require a variety of specialties and can’t realistically afford all the skill sets they need as an in-house team. Managed IT services bring a lot to the table including the ability to source all necessary talent from anywhere in the world to deal with any and all IT needs your company may have, now or in the future.  

Benefits of Co-Managed IT Services

Those interested in co-managed IT services will find out just what a value add they offer. You’ll be able to keep and maintain an on-site team to work on the day-to-day IT needs of the company. This can reduce costs and add convenience.

However, the benefit of a partially managed team, a co-managed IT team, is that you have access to a variety of specialized IT professionals that can fill the gaps that may exist on your in-house team. Having that talent available, as needed, is invaluable.

Benefits of Managed IT Services

Those who decide on a completely managed IT team will have the advantage of globally available talent and a variety of specializations.

Plus, they take the trouble of managing IT in-house completely off your plate. When you outsource the entire IT department, you also outsource the need to understand and shop for specific problems, solutions, and relevant talent. They’ll put together the strategic plan and the action plans needed for all relevant scenarios.

Who Should Consider Managed It Services versus Co-Managed IT Services?

The first thing to consider is whether your company requires an on-site team. Co-managed services are the best fit for those who need an on-site team to manage local IT day-to-day challenges and maintenance. Use the managed portion of the team to fill talent gaps and help with emergencies where specialised talent is crucial. Co-managed IT services is also a good choice for companies that are smaller and simply want access to managed services should a security breach occur but can handle everything else needed in-house.

If your company does not need an on-site presence, fully managed IT services might be the best choice. It takes the trouble of hiring a team and managing your IT off your plate. Plus, it gives you and the entire company access to the best specialised talent available, worldwide. Every challenge will be dealt with and all maintenance will be regularly attended to without the need to find and attract the right people to your company or manage the team yourself.

Final Thoughts

While most companies hire an in-house IT team, there’s no doubt that growing technology advancements require more versatile and adaptable teams.

If you require an on-site team, co-managed IT services will probably be the right choice. You can still have a strong on-site or in-house team, but you’ll have access to other IT professionals with various specializations to support your core team and fill skill gaps, as needed.

Or choose a fully managed IT services provider to take the trouble of hiring and managing IT off your plate. You’ll receive access to the talent you need, when you need it, and you won’t have to worry about how they’ll mesh with your in-house team.

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