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Co-Managed IT: Internal Resources + Outside Consultants

Have you heard of the company HelloFresh? They have an interesting business model; they sell what are known as “meal kits.”

The company (and companies like them — there are many) sends you the ingredients and instructions for preparing meals at home. Everything is included in a given meal kit, right down to the seasoning required.

HelloFresh operates in a hybrid space — somewhere between preparing food at home the traditional way and going out to a restaurant where everything is done for you.

As a result, they fill a culinary gap for those who want quality food at home but have neither the time nor the skill (or both) to do it themselves from scratch.

In the world of tech, “Co-Managed IT” plays a similar role: It’s a blending of a company’s internal IT resources with those of an outside IT consulting firm. Here as well, the key benefit is in supplementing services that the client firm may not have the time or skill (or both!) to provide on their own.

Pay Only for What You Need

Consider the example of a 100-person firm with a dedicated, internal IT resource. This person will spend the bulk of their time on “help desk” types of activities: troubleshooting email problems, updating anti-virus software, handling upgrades, etc.

That’s not surprising. Most of the time managing a business’s internal IT consists of providing this type of end-user support.

The challenge for a company like this is that in addition to the day-to-day, there are other, higher level IT needs such as establishing and maintaining firewalls, network administration, and cybersecurity. None of these represents a full-time job, but they are essential and the skill set required to oversee these functions is considerably higher than what the internal help desk person can manage.

That’s where Co-Managed IT comes in. Since a company’s IT needs (help desk support, cybersecurity, server administration, etc.) represent discreet areas of focus, the company can outsource only the pieces of its environment that it can’t or doesn’t want to handle internally.

That outside firm then works in conjunction with the internal team. Even companies that are large enough to have a full complement of IT staff may still choose to outsource specific elements for which they don’t have the in-house expertise.

Overall, Co-Managed IT allows a company to cover all its IT bases while only paying for what it needs.

Internal and External IT Needs Are Not the Same

Ironically, it’s tech companies that often run into the most problems in managing their internal IT, because they fail to distinguish between internal and external needs.

For example, we have a SaaS (software as a service) client that provides a complex, global IT infrastructure to its clients, all of which is overseen by the company’s Chief Architect and Senior Vice President of Technology. Because he is the top tech resource in the company, all the internal IT resources report to him as well.

That’s a mistake. These two areas — while both “tech-related” — are completely different from one another in terms of the audiences they serve, the tools they use, and the overall priorities involved.

When we pointed out this inherent mismatch to our client, as well as our ability to not just take much of this off his plate but to do it in a more centralized, more efficient way, he was thrilled. He said, “I see what you are installing on our computers company-wide and I wish I had known about this before.”

The fact is, there’s no reason the chief architect of a software company would think about these things. It’s an entirely different animal and not part of his core competency.

The Best of Both Worlds

When it comes to IT, many companies live in the space between having zero internal resources and having a full staff of skilled employees that can handle all challenges, at all levels, all of the time.

That’s where Co-Managed IT fits in. It’s a flexible, cost-effective way to plug any resource gaps while ensuring that the company benefits from the latest in tech solutions — all without hiring additional staff or paying for seldom-used, in-house expertise “just in case.”

Andrew Cohen

Andrew Cohen

Having a reliable strategic partner in the realm of IT services and solutions is essential for achieving sustained growth through effective technological strategies. Our CEO, Andrew Cohen, is dedicated to helping clients optimize their technology to gain a competitive edge in their industries. At SMR, Andrew leads a team of highly dedicated professionals who are fully committed to providing exceptional IT services and solutions. With his extensive expertise and practical experience, Andrew ensures that clients receive unparalleled support and guidance for their IT projects. You can trust SMR to elevate your business systems and stay ahead in today's fiercely competitive business environment.