Resources > Co-Managed IT: The Perfect Post-Pandemic Partnership

Co-Managed IT: The Perfect Post-Pandemic Partnership

Co-managed IT

With a degree of normality and certainty on the Horizon, businesses can now take the opportunity to review how they adapt operating models to ensure they can thrive.

The worry of the pandemic has passed, the challenge of remote working has been overcome, and many businesses are better placed than ever to succeed. Now is the time to be proactive, not reactive.

With the influx of new technologies that have been adopted and deployed businesses should review not just how these technologies aided them to survive, but how they can empower the business to grow in the future.

Few businesses are in the fortunate enough position to go it alone, however. Co-managed IT offers businesses the expertise, flexibility and support they need to thrive post-pandemic.

Remote Working Creates New IT Support Challenges

Remote Workforce

We have already covered the technology and infrastructure challenges that remote work poses in some detail. But that’s not the only challenge posed by the new way of working. Businesses must also rethink the way they handle IT support. 

Before the pandemic, businesses may have been able to make do with a one or two-person IT department in a 100-person office. Even with this seemingly limited setup, there was always someone on hand to answer issues immediately, fix equipment on-site and govern the IT strategy of the business. 

Unfortunately, and through no fault of the business or the IT department, remote working presents a significant number of challenges that a one or two-person IT team can’t overcome alone. 

When everyone sits inside the same office, it’s fairly simple for an IT manager to support the needs of every employee. With employees distributed across a city or even the entire country, however, it’s suddenly much harder for a smaller team to deliver the kind of IT support they pride themselves on. 

When a physical problem occurs with a laptop, for instance, the IT manager can’t just visit the employee’s desk. There is an entire set of logistical challenges to overcome, like identifying the problem remotely, fixing the issue if possible or organising for a replacement device to be sourced and delivered. 

The time it takes to handle IT issues increases dramatically with a remote workforce. But that’s not all. The technology IT departments require to deliver support changes, too. So do the skills need to administer support. 

The role of an in-house IT manager will almost certainly never go away. If anything, a distributed workforce makes having a central point of contact even more important. But IT teams everywhere need additional support if businesses continue with a remote and agile way of working. 

That’s where co-managed IT comes in.

A Long-Term Partnership For Success

To reiterate, there is no one better than an in-house IT manager to understand how business-specific systems function, what the user base needs and which direction the IT strategy needs to take. 

But given the significant challenges, remote working presents to IT departments, outsourced IT companies are well placed to provide ad-hoc and complimentary services to help in-house teams navigate the new way of working.

A co-managed IT strategy is so-called for a reason: in-house IT departments and outsourced IT provider manage everything together. It’s not about an outsourced IT company coming in and taking over. We actually believe co-managed IT is only successful when in-house IT experts stay in the driving seat and give direction to the third-party experts. 

In 2021, co-managed IT solutions can give in-house technicians the help they need to navigate the shift to a new way of working and split a rapidly increasing workload. Typically the partnership will take one of two forms. Businesses may choose to outsource support work to a third party while the in-house experts manage big picture strategy and growth. 

Or it can be the other way round, with in-house IT dealing with day-to-day problems while outsourcing specialist projects to a third party. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important, for instance, but in-house IT teams may not have expertise in that area. Outsourcing the work to a third party is a win for everyone. In either case, the emphasis is on working together to help the business thrive.
 

Co-Managed IT Services

A Flexible, Reliable and Expert Team at Your Fingertips

The other alternative to deal with the growing demand for IT support is to hire additional in-house IT managers. While this may be a viable strategy for some businesses that allows them to keep everything in-house, hiring additional employees doesn’t provide nearly as many benefits as a co-managed partnership. 

When you reach a certain size, disruptions of any kind to your IT infrastructure are no longer acceptable. But that’s exactly what you risk by piling everything onto a one, two or three-man IT team. What happens when they go on holiday? Or when they get sick? What about after-hours support? Even a world-class in-house IT manager can’t be on-hand 24/7/365.

Partnering with a third-party IT company can offer that level of availability. They can also scale up or down support as needed. So if you experience a sudden surge in growth and your IT workload doubles, you have support that can scale with it. What’s more, outsourced IT can handle all of the tasks in-house IT don’t want to do. This gives them the freedom to focus on the jobs they’re most effective at and provide maximum value to the business. 

Hiring new employees is significantly more expensive, too. Not only have you got to pay salaries, benefits and national insurance, there’s also sick days and holidays to account for. That’s if you can even find an employee with the wealth of skills you need to handle all of the new challenges you’re facing — and find them fast enough.

Is Co-Managing the Future of Your IT?

Co-managed IT is an excellent long-term strategy that benefits everyone. It may well be the future of the IT support industry if agile and remote working practices are here to stay.

At Method, we have experience working alongside in-house IT departments of various sizes in a number of sectors. Some outsource day-to-day IT support to our team while they focus on big picture strategy. Others rely on our specialist advice to overcome a particular business challenge or implement a new system. However you and your team wish to work together, we’ll make sure your business is set up to succeed.

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