Co-Managed vs Managed IT: Which one is right for your business?

Chances are, you’ve already heard of managed IT services. When you use this type of assistance, you outsource IT tasks to a single team or company and you don’t need to do anything in-house. Although managed IT works well for a lot of organizations, there may come a time when you feel that you want to manage some tasks.

Co-managed IT allows you to get the best of both worlds. You can retain some of your in-house IT staff and autonomy while outsourcing tasks when you need to. If you’d like to use a managed service provider while retaining some of your independence, it’s time to learn the key differences between the two approaches.

Managed IT Is Essentially All or Nothing

Managed IT services involve outsourcing all your IT to one provider. The organization you choose will fully embrace the role of being your IT provider. So when you need help with something, they’ll become your help desk. And if you need someone to consistently screen for cyberattacks, they’ll do that too.

In contrast, a co-managed IT service will share responsibility with your in-house IT team. It’s an ideal approach when you have one or two IT staff members and you still want them to perform a lot of your tasks without becoming overwhelmed. When this is the case, your co-managed IT provider acts as an ideal adjunct to your existing IT services, but they’re not there to replace them entirely.

Co-Managed IT Is a Little More Flexible

If you already have IT staff, it’s natural to feel as though you want to outsource only certain IT tasks. For example, your existing IT staff may be adept at patching software and meeting immediate help requests. But you might want a co-managed provider to help you with ongoing protection against cybercriminals. This makes sense, as it’s estimated that an attack occurs every 39 seconds.

When you’re using a co-managed service provider, you have the freedom to pick and choose when it comes to what they do. One advantage of this is that you retain some independence. You may feel reassured by your ability to still perform some tasks in-house. 

Both Provide You with Professional Technicians

Whether you’re going to use a managed or co-managed service provider, you’ll gain access to a wealth of IT talent. Managed services providers tend to hire the best IT staff available to them. Many of them also focus on individuals who work in specific niches. This can prove especially useful when you’re trying to fill a gap in your own workforce.

Being able to hone in on specific niches is especially important. For example, let’s say you want to remain compliant with certain industry guidelines. One example of this is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). It outlines 12 factors that businesses must fulfill if they’re to accept major credit cards as a part of their usual payments. According to some statistics, 28 percent of organizations don’t respond to known PCI DSS vulnerabilities that could compromise their compliance. By using an MSP, you can make sure you’re not a part of that 28 percent.

Both co-managed and managed IT services can prove useful to your business. If you already have an in-house IT team that you want to retain, but they need support, aim for co-managed services. Otherwise, if you want to outsource all your IT tasks to one organization, managed services are the way forward.