Co-MIT is one of the most recent among the many IT industry acronyms. It stands for co-managed IT, which is when an organization outsources some, but not all, of its IT responsibility to another organization, and it’s typically a managed services provider (MSP). Why would an organization want to do this? Whether you are the sole IT support for your organization or you manage a staff of technicians and engineers, you will very likely need additional help in the form of human capital or expertise.
Reasons to engage in co-managed IT
- Your IT staff cannot keep up with the demand for support. Short-term peaks in service tickets can cause internal IT staff to become overworked, causing low morale and even resignations, making the situation even worse. Overworked staffs tend to make more mistakes. Having a competent MSP available to take up the slack can lessen the impact of these peaks in demand. Hiring additional staff can be costly or time-consuming, and sometimes not worth the budget and time spent if there is only a temporary need for support.
- A critical project keeps getting pushed aside. Like the peak in demand issue, many times we cannot find a good time to task existing staff to refresh hardware or software when necessary or to implement a new application required to improve efficiency. Putting off such projects means missing out on a good opportunity and may even serve to create more demand for the day-to-day service requests.
- Your staff lacks knowledge in a particular area. Technology is constantly changing, and busy IT departments may not have time to acquire the knowledge to implement a new process or service. MSPs tend to learn about new technologies early on, simply because they a faced with a wide variety of IT environments. As cybersecurity has become an ever-growing concern for many organizations, you can benefit from the knowledge of experts in that area.
If you think co-managed IT might be an option, carefully consider how to implement it. Organizations adapt to change at their own pace; people are used to the status quo. Employees who are used to dealing with your staff may not trust the employees of the MSP. Your IT staff may feel unappreciated or even threatened. Involve your staff and others in the process of planning for the change. Make sure you have clear expectations of the MSP and commit them to write an agreement or contract.
The agreement should be one that affords an ongoing relationship between you and the MSP. Regular business reviews need to be a part of it so the MSP stays abreast of changes in your business. You don’t want to pay for a “learning curve” each time you need help. Consider a block hour contract, where you reserve a certain number of hours of help per month or quarter. This means you are part of the workload expectations of the MSP, and it aids in assuring help is available when you need it.
Co-managed IT can be a valuable way of supplementing your IT staff. Just make sure you plan before “Co-MITing.” Find a local MSP who regularly provides co-managed IT services to its customers, and ask them to help guide you through the needs of assessment, planning, and implementation processes.
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About Davis Merrey
Davis, is Owner/CEO of TeamLogic IT of Oklahoma City, part of an international network of franchisees providing IT support for businesses. He brings many years of experience in a variety of technology related industries, leading teams in providing technical solutions that respond to critical customer needs. The company culture is defined by its Mission Statement: “To help our fellow employees and clients be successful”.
Davis earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute and an MBA in Management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He serves on several business related and non-profit boards of directors.