Understanding Co-Managed IT Services for Your Business

Discover which IT service model is right for your medium-sized business.


What are Co-Managed IT Services?

Co-managed IT services can be a game-changer for medium-sized businesses that require a strategic blend of in-house and outsourced IT support. This model allows businesses to collaborate with an external IT provider while retaining some control over their IT operations.

With co-managed IT services, businesses can tap into the specialized expertise of the external provider to address specific IT needs or projects, or to handle the heavy lifting of daily IT responsibilities while leaving the control in the hands of your IT leadership. This approach offers a cost-effective solution as it allows businesses to leverage external resources without completely outsourcing their IT functions. The collaboration between the internal IT leader(s) and the external provider ensures a seamless integration of skills and knowledge, resulting in improved IT performance and efficiency.

For medium-sized businesses looking for a flexible and scalable IT support solution, co-managed IT services can provide the perfect balance between in-house control and external expertise.


What are Fully-Managed Outsourced IT Services?

Outsourced IT or Fully-Managed IT services refer to the practice of hiring external IT providers to handle all aspects of a company's IT operations. This model allows businesses to offload the entire responsibility of managing their IT infrastructure to a third-party provider, compared to a co-managed approach blending in-house and outsourced IT support. 

Fully-managed outsourced IT services offer several advantages for businesses, depending on size and operational style. This model frees up internal resources and reduces burden on business leaders, particularly in the absence of a robust IT team or IT-specific executive. By outsourcing IT operations, businesses can benefit from comprehensive IT support, as the external provider takes care of all aspects of IT management, including network monitoring, data backup and recovery, software updates, and cybersecurity. This ensures that your company's IT systems are always up-to-date and protected against potential threats.

Additionally, fully-managed outsourced IT services provide scalability and flexibility, allowing businesses to easily adapt their IT resources to meet changing demands. With the expertise and resources of the external provider, companies can focus on their core competencies and strategic initiatives, while leaving the technical aspects of IT in capable hands. However, it is important to consider the potential loss of control and dependency on the external provider that comes with this model, particularly if you are a business that already has an IT team in place. Overall, fully-managed outsourced IT services can be a valuable solution for medium-sized businesses looking to optimize their IT operations and improve efficiency.


Factors to Consider When Choosing an IT Service Model

When choosing an IT service model for your medium-sized business, there are several important considerations to keep in mind.

Assess Your Business Needs

First, assess your business needs for both IT support and technology infrastructure. This will help you determine whether a co-managed or fully-managed outsourced IT model is the right fit for your organization. Scalability and flexibility are also crucial factors to consider. Consider the direction of your business growth and the need for flexibility in IT services to ensure that the chosen model can adapt to your changing demands.


Evaluate Your In-House IT Expertise

Next, it is crucial to take stock of your in-house IT expertise. Evaluating the skills and knowledge of the existing internal IT team or IT leadership allows you to determine the level of support you will require from an external provider. This assessment helps in identifying the gaps in expertise that can be filled by outsourcing certain IT functions. By leveraging the specialized knowledge and resources of an external provider, businesses can address specific IT needs or projects effectively. Additionally, understanding their in-house IT expertise helps businesses strike the right balance between in-house control and external expertise when opting for co-managed IT services.


Evaluate Your Budget

To make the right choice for your medium-sized business, evaluate your IT needs and budget. Analyze your IT requirements and align your IT expenses with your budget to ensure a sustainable solution. Is a monthly or yearly fixed-rate contract the most cost-effective approach for your business, or do you have the budget to maintain both the salaries for an internal team and a service fee for additional support?


By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision that optimizes your IT operations and improves efficiency.


Making the Right Choice for Your Business

Before making a decision, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option against your self-evaluation of IT needs and expertise. Co-managed IT services will offer access to specialized expertise and cost-effective IT management, but there may be potential coordination challenges when providing regulated control over IT operations and decision-making. Fully-managed IT services provide comprehensive IT support and reduce the burden on internal resources, but can pose a challenge for existing IT teams when relinquishing control over certain aspects of IT operations to a third-party provider.

In the end, whether you opt for co-managed IT services or fully-managed IT services, carefully considering your business needs, in-house expertise, and budget will help you make an informed decision.


If you're unsure which option is best for your business, we have the expertise and experience to demonstrate how each model has worked for different organizations. Our team can guide you in finding the perfect balance between in-house control and external expertise. Don't hesitate to take that next step and reach out to Five Nines to elevate your IT support to the next level.


Free Resource: The Business Leader's Guide to Co-Managed IT