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Co-Managed IT Services: The Ultimate Guide for Connecticut Businesses

Co-managed IT services blend the expertise of your internal IT team with the advanced skills and resources of a Managed Service Provider (MSP) like ASG Information Technologies. This creates a powerful partnership to manage your IT infrastructure, cybersecurity, and network.

With options like fully managed IT services and co-managed IT services on the table, it can be challenging to understand which path aligns best with your organizational needs and goals. This blog post aims to shed light on the distinct differences between fully managed and co-managed IT services, providing you with the insights needed to make an informed choice. Whether you’re a small business owner, a C-level executive, or an IT decision-maker, understanding these options is crucial in ensuring your IT support structure is both efficient and effective.

Co-Managed IT Services vs. Fully Managed IT Services: What Sets Them Apart

Fully managed IT services and co-managed IT services stand out as distinct options for organizations, each catering to different needs and operational structures.

Fully Managed IT Services

Fully managed IT services are designed for businesses that prefer to outsource their entire IT operations. This approach allows an external IT service provider to take over as the complete IT and cybersecurity department. The provider handles everything from cybersecurity management to infrastructure maintenance, offering a comprehensive suite of IT support services. This model is ideal for organizations looking for a hands-off approach, enabling them to focus on their core business activities while the IT experts manage the technology aspect.

Co-Managed IT Services

Co-managed IT services, on the other hand, offer a partnership model. In this setup, the external IT provider works in conjunction with the organization’s existing IT staff. Rather than taking over completely, the external provider offers additional support, serving as an escalation point for the internal team. This can include help with specialized tasks such as backups, cybersecurity measures, and managing relationships with other technology vendors. Co-managed IT is suitable for businesses that have an IT team but need extra support to enhance their capabilities or cover more ground without fully outsourcing their IT operations.

Both fully managed and co-managed IT services have their unique benefits, and the choice between them depends on the organization’s specific needs, internal capabilities, and strategic goals.

Choosing Between Fully and Co-Managed IT

For businesses with fewer than 50 employees, hiring a full-time IT staff member might not be the most efficient use of your resources. In fact, opting for managed service providers can often be more cost-effective than the salary of a full-time IT employee. However, the scenario shifts a bit as your company grows.

When you reach around 100 employees, co-managed IT becomes the more cost-effective solution, primarily because of the salary considerations for IT staff. A typical IT staff member’s salary might range from $50,000 to $60,000 annually, especially for someone who has been with the organization for a long time or has developed alongside the company. At this stage, co-managed IT services become an attractive option, blending external expertise with your internal capabilities for a balanced, efficient approach to IT management.

Recognizing the benefits of co-managed IT services is just the beginning. As your business grows, not only does the complexity of your IT needs increase, but also the importance of protecting your company from online threats and adhering to industry regulations. It’s not just about having enough hands on deck; it’s about having the right kind of expertise to navigate the evolving landscape of cybersecurity and compliance. This is where the distinction between co-managed and fully managed IT services by ASG really comes into play.

Comparing Cyber Security and Compliance

When it comes to safeguarding your business against cyber threats and ensuring compliance, both co-managed and fully managed IT services by ASG have got you covered. However, the way we tackle cybersecurity and compliance in each model has its unique advantages.

With co-managed IT services, we step in as your external powerhouse. Think of us as your auditor and compliance guide rolled into one. If you’re managing IT for a company with around 100 employees, diving deep into the complexities of compliance—be it CMMC, NIST, HIPAA, or any other regulation—might not be your forte. That’s where our expertise shines. Our team is specially trained in these areas, ready to serve as your third-party experts. We’re here to ensure everything is up to standard, catch anything that might be missed, and provide education and support to your team. This approach offers a blend of internal knowledge with our external expertise.

On the flip side, our fully managed IT services encompass all these benefits and more. While your in-house IT staff might be reliant on self-taught knowledge from sources like Google, our team brings a wealth of experience gained from extensive training, boot camps, and real-world practice. This means that even though our full managed plan includes comprehensive cybersecurity and compliance support, we’re also equipping your business with a deeper level of expertise and proactive management.

In essence, whether you choose co-managed or fully managed IT, ASG ensures your cybersecurity and compliance needs are met with professionalism and precision. The key difference lies in how we integrate with your team, offering either an extension of your existing capabilities or taking the helm completely, all while ensuring that best practices in security and regulatory compliance are not just met, but exceeded.

Tapping into Specialized Expertise: The ASG Advantage

At ASG, we bring specialized expertise to the table that’s hard to find elsewhere. Our team includes dedicated network engineers and cybersecurity experts, drawing clients to us through strategic meetings. It’s an eye-opening fact that about 40% of businesses will experience a security incident or data loss within three years. Often, they’ve relied on internal IT staff, only to discover that the solutions in place don’t meet their business needs. For a company with more than 50 employees, taking three days to recover from an incident is far from acceptable.

Our experts are trained and focused solely on their fields of expertise, enabling us to offer significant value and support when challenges arise. This specialized knowledge is what sets ASG apart, ensuring we’re prepared to help when you’re facing difficulties.

Co-Managed IT vs. Traditional Managed IT Services: Understanding the Support Structure

The support structure within a co-managed IT setup differs notably from traditional managed IT services. In a co-managed environment, your internal IT team tackles the initial issues—be it printer malfunctions, desktop problems, or server connectivity issues. If these problems become too time-consuming or complex, they’re escalated to our team at ASG. Thanks to our trained and specialized expertise, we can quickly address and resolve these issues. This process ensures that your IT staff can focus on their strengths, with the peace of mind that they have our expert support for more challenging problems.

Co-managed IT professional

Cybersecurity Approach: Co-Managed IT vs. Fully Managed IT

In today’s digital environment, where cybersecurity and compliance management form the backbone of a secure IT infrastructure, both co-managed and fully managed IT services offer essential protections. Yet, it’s the co-managed IT model that stands out for its specialized approach to these critical areas. This model excels by integrating the expertise of dedicated cybersecurity professionals and compliance managers into its service offerings. These experts are not only well-versed in the latest security protocols and compliance standards but are also adept at navigating the complexities of the evolving threat landscape and regulatory changes.

The advantage of having such specialized expertise is twofold.

  • It enables businesses to proactively identify and address potential security vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.
  • It ensures that organizations remain compliant with industry regulations, thereby avoiding potential legal and financial repercussions.

By leveraging the specialized skills and knowledge that co-managed IT services provide, businesses can enhance their security measures, reduce their risk exposure, and ensure that their sensitive data remains protected against the myriad of threats in the digital world. This approach underscores the importance of a strategic partnership in cybersecurity and compliance management, offering a robust defense mechanism that is crucial for maintaining the integrity and resilience of an organization’s IT ecosystem.

Co-Managed IT: A Scalable Solution for Growing Businesses

Co-managed IT services are a game-changer for businesses in the growth phase. This model allows you to leverage your current IT resources more efficiently, avoiding the need to rapidly expand your in-house team. Often, an IT staff member, while skilled, may not have the experience or training needed to manage and develop a larger IT team effectively. As businesses grow, IT teams can become siloed in their specific areas of expertise, unaware of what they might be missing.

With a co-managed approach, you maintain a lean internal IT team, ensuring someone is always on hand to address immediate issues. However, the real strength of co-managed IT comes into play when your in-house team faces overwhelming demand or complex projects beyond their scope. Partnering with a co-managed IT provider means you have access to a broader spectrum of expertise and resources, significantly expanding your capabilities without the need to hire additional full-time staff. This not only enhances your IT team’s bandwidth but can also represent a significant cost saving, potentially eliminating the need for two or three additional salaries.

Think of your single IT staff member as being supported by an entire team of specialists. This setup allows for a more adaptable IT strategy, where you can manage day-to-day operations smoothly and still have the capacity to tackle larger projects or unexpected challenges. It’s a strategic approach that offers both the presence of in-house staff and the extensive support network of a co-managed IT service, making it an ideal solution for businesses looking to scale efficiently.

Co-Managed IT Checklist

Co-Managed IT Services Checklist for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses

  • Assess Specialized Expertise Needs: Determine the specific areas where your business requires specialized IT expertise that your internal team lacks.
  • Identify Projects and Infrastructure Upgrades: Pinpoint upcoming complex projects or significant infrastructure upgrades that could benefit from external IT support.
  • Evaluate Technical Challenges: Recognize any intricate technical issues your internal IT staff is facing that require advanced knowledge or resources.
  • Partner with an External IT Provider: Choose an external IT service provider that aligns with your business needs and can offer the depth of expertise required.
  • Leverage External Knowledge for Faster Issue Resolution: Utilize the external provider’s resources to achieve quicker problem-solving and issue resolution.
  • Enhance Cybersecurity Measures: Work with your external IT partner to strengthen your cybersecurity defenses and protect your business from threats.
  • Ensure IT Operations Continuity: Implement strategies with your external provider to maintain uninterrupted IT operations, particularly during absences of key internal IT staff.
  • Foster Collaboration Between Internal and External Teams: Encourage a collaborative environment where your internal IT team and the external provider share knowledge and work together efficiently.
  • Monitor and Adjust Support Levels as Needed: Regularly review the effectiveness of the co-managed IT services and adjust the level of support based on changing business needs or challenges.
  • Optimize for Business Growth: Leverage the combined strengths of your internal team and external provider to support and accelerate your business’s growth and success in the competitive market.

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Ready to Optimize Your IT Strategy?

At ASG Information Technologies, we understand that every business has unique IT needs. Whether you’re exploring full managed IT services to cover all aspects of your technology needs or considering co-managed IT to augment your existing team, we’re here to guide you through the decision-making process. If you’re navigating the complexities of IT support and wondering which path is right for your organization, contact us today!