There’s a good chance your company’s internal IT team is feeling overwhelmed. It’s not a reflection of their skill or dedication, but rather a sign of the times — technology and cybersecurity threats are evolving faster than ever. Sometimes companies are victims of their own success: They’re growing so quickly that their in-house IT departments can’t keep up with requests for employee onboarding or migrations to new applications.
But an internal team doesn’t have to feel overwhelmed forever. Co-managed IT services can handle some of the toughest and most tedious challenges your IT team faces, freeing them to focus on the work they do best.
What is co-managed IT?
Co-managed IT services, also known as supplemental IT, refer to any IT services that support your in-house IT team. Though needs can vary by company, smaller IT teams often rely on external partners for time and resource-intensive tasks like 24/7 network and systems monitoring as well as duties that people find boring and onerous, like patching and managed backups with test restores. At Xantrion, we’ve found that such support empowers in-house teams to devote more of their time to strategic initiatives and work they like doing. (Don’t be surprised if taking advantage of co-managed IT services instantly boosts morale in your in-house IT team!)
IT security services are another area in which businesses frequently seek external support. Basic security services include inventory management and endpoint protection, while advanced security services include vulnerability management and 24/7 identity monitoring as well as incident detection and response. Not surprisingly, companies in regulated industries that handle sensitive data, such as financial services and life sciences companies, tend to gravitate toward advanced security services.
Co-managed IT services can also help fill any skill gaps an in-house IT team might have. If there’s an IT issue that an internal team can’t resolve or an IT project that requires experience the team doesn’t have, they can turn to their external provider for help. Leading providers like Xantrion hire engineers certified as specialists in Microsoft technology, cloud solutions, IT operations, networking, and security. When an IT project is particularly complex, providers like Xantrion can also assign certified project managers to ensure that the project is executed on time and within budget.
Cost savings through co-managed IT
While co-managed IT services can be a new expense for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), working with an external service provider is often easier and less expensive than expanding their internal team and developing new capabilities. In addition, when the right IT partner is reliably monitoring their systems, backing up their data, identifying and responding to security threats, it can help businesses avoid costly problems like data breaches and downtime.
The a la carte model offered by providers like Xantrion is also cost-effective for companies because they choose and pay for only the services that complement the activities of their internal team. And as companies grow and find their needs changing, they can adjust their la carte options accordingly.
Identifying what services to use
There are business and IT leaders who know exactly what type of help they need from a co-managed IT services provider. Others could use a little (or a lot) of guidance.
Though it’s not standard practice in the industry, Xantrion conducts evaluations to determine which services make sense for clients. Xantrion examines factors such as:
- Capacity and areas of expertise among members of the internal IT team
- IT initiatives and challenges
- State of the business’s IT infrastructure
- Data protection needs
- Department and industry-specific needs
During our assessments, we also determine what IT support we should provide immediately, and which projects and initiatives companies can afford to tackle later. Such prioritization is especially helpful to companies hesitant to implement many changes at once. We don’t overwhelm their operations — instead, we start small and add initiatives when the business is ready.
Choosing the right co-managed services provider for your business
Co-managed services providers can vary widely in their offerings and in how proactive they are about helping clients meet their business goals. Some focus on very specific services, such as endpoint protection, but don’t provide network or systems monitoring. Some are quick to alert you to a potential network or security issue, but don’t provide response and remediation services. If a company isn’t careful, they might end up having to manage multiple service providers or work with a partner that doesn’t meet all of their security, infrastructure management or technical support needs.
At Xantrion, we take a holistic approach, providing companies with a complete picture of what’s happening with their network, systems, endpoints, and cloud environment. We excel at patching, data backups and issue detection to prevent costly problems. We provide 24/7 incident response so businesses can address issues before they become big ones. And we clearly outline what services we are providing and where our responsibilities end, so clients don’t face unpleasant surprises down the road. This level of service helps businesses run more smoothly while offering much-needed relief to in-house IT teams.
If your company and in-house IT team are ready to work with a co-managed services provider, Xantrion is here to help. Our IT experts have helped hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses reduce IT support costs, improve cybersecurity and increase productivity. Contact us today to learn more.