Co-managed IT can be highly beneficial for businesses of all sizes, playing an important role in business development. Co-managed services can provide your business with a higher level of IT support, after-hours coverage, and additional skills from daily maintenance to project management. Additionally, co-managed IT services can provide your business with specific expertise that you may lack in-house. For example, professional co-managed service providers have access to the latest cybersecurity tools and knowledge, allowing you to manage cybersecurity risks. This is particularly important when you consider that over 62 times as many malware attacks occurred in 2018 as in 2009.
However, to fully realize these benefits, it is important to leverage co-managed IT correctly and effectively incorporate it into your IT strategy. To do so, you must first develop a thorough understanding of your IT department and the challenges they face.
Understand the “suffer silently” mentality of IT
In order to successfully incorporate co-managed IT services into your business’ IT strategy, it is critical that you understand the “suffer silently” mentality that is all too common when it comes to IT. As a highly specialized resource, IT can often feel apart from other resources in companies. Additionally, this resource provides essential support to every other department and serves all staff, so the expectations placed on them are high.
When something goes wrong with technology, all too often, the first thought is “IT didn’t catch this” or “IT needs to fix it”. Under pressure of these high expectations, overwhelmed, and unable to request additional resources, the IT department feels they have no option but to hunker down and do what they can.
Stay aware of the state of your IT team
To avoid this kind of mentality and behavior developing in your IT department you need to keep on top of the current state of your IT team at all times. It is essential that you pay attention to their work in order to understand workflow and identify bottlenecks that may be occurring. You cannot rely on your in-house IT team to tell you they are overburdened. You and others within your organization may be stuck in the opinion that every IT problem represents a failure of the IT team. You need to shift that line of thinking, and instead focus on the reality that IT problems demonstrate a lack of IT resources.
Drill down into the workload of your IT team
The next step in the process of effectively incorporating co-managed services into your IT strategy is to investigate how your IT staff spend their time. If you are relying entirely on an in-house IT team, you will likely find that they spend most of their day on support-related tasks. Tickets, maintenance, and remediation take up the majority of the day for many in-house IT staff, as they do everything they can to keep up with the demand for support. You may also find that your IT team is falling behind on support and struggle to find time for more strategic tasks.
Something else that you’ll likely find as you drill down further into the workings of your IT department is that this team is regularly called on to work beyond normal work hours. They probably feel they have to come in early or stay after work just to get through their daily tasks. In this context, it’s easy to see why strategic or “big picture” tasks are sometimes seen as extravagances, and are left uncompleted.
Check the turnover of your IT department
Another notable trend of in-house IT departments that are under pressure is that these teams typically have a higher than average turnover. You’ll notice that your IT team has higher turnover than the rest of your company. The team is losing members too often because of pressures and frustrations that have become characteristic of their work day, as well as poor work/life balance. High turnover in your IT department will make it virtually impossible to implement an effective IT strategy.
Note delayed implementations
Finally, as you pay more attention to your IT team you’ll most likely also find that they are falling behind on implementation timelines. This is because overstretched teams will be forced to delay implementations to catch up on office support. This manifests in consistently missed deadlines which creates more stress and pressure within the team. This can also have operational consequences for other parts of the company, and significant costs in some instances.
Assist overburdened resources with co-managed IT
Co-managed IT gives your team the resources needed to accomplish their tasks and achieve their goals. Including co-managed services in your IT strategy is simpler than trying to staff a larger team, with faster set up times. This will deliver more resources at a lower overall cost, while giving your business access to processes and tools that give you more bandwidth than you would have thought possible.