Byte-Size Tech: What Is Co-Managed IT?

Co-Managed IT may be a new concept for a lot of viewers, but Mark Anderson and Libby Powers of Anderson Technologies break it down. A co-managed IT solution is a partnership between your internal IT team and a managed IT services provider brought in to help handle workload, fill skill gaps, and provide access to new hardware and software. Is a co-managed IT partnership right for your business?


Libby Powers: Hi, everybody, welcome to another episode of Byte-Size Tech.

Mark Anderson: Hi, everyone.

Libby Powers: I’m joined with Mark Anderson again, one of our founding principals here at Anderson Technologies. We’re excited to talk to you about what co-managed IT is.

Mark Anderson: Absolutely.

Libby Powers: Mark, do you want to share a little bit about what co-managed IT is?

Mark Anderson: Sure, sure. Co-managed IT is when a firm’s internal IT staff is augmented by a team from the outside, say, a group from a managed service provider will come in and join together with your IT staff and come up with some awesome solutions for ongoing problems.

Libby Powers: That’s awesome. Can you give me a little bit of some areas where a co-managed IT could be supportive to an organization?

Mark Anderson: Absolutely. So you can think logically that if you have one or two people in your IT department, if one of them decides to move to California or go on an extended leave of absence, you’re no longer going to be able to solve problems as rapidly as you once did. And those one or two or small handful of individuals oftentimes find that just the day to day help desk functions will eat their lunch. The large ticket items—implementing brand new technology or getting more efficient in a particular area—just get sidelined and ignored, not because there’s not a desire, but just there’s not enough hours in the day. Augmenting your staff with additional help from a managed services provider that could bring some additional muscle to bear often will be really good. That’s one example.

Libby Powers: I can see how that would really be beneficial to the organization. All those nitpicky things that a help desk provides, with: ‘I can’t find a file’ or ‘My computer went down,’ ‘I can’t log into Outlook’—and instead of having your internal IT person waste their time with these nitpicky issues, a managed services provider could actually just take that over for you.

Mark Anderson: That’s exactly right. Also, in our particular company, as an example, we have approximately 250 years’ worth of experience that you could bring to bear on a particular problem, a very broad spectrum of skills that could help you solve problems. Potentially a one- or two-person shop might be limited in certain areas.

Libby Powers: What are some other areas that you think having a co-managed IT firm can help?

Mark Anderson: Any company that is a managed services provider obviously can buy their technology stack, if you will, at scale. Because you’re buying so many licenses of the different tools that you need to utilize, the price of those licenses is more reasonable than if a firm were to go out and try to buy those exact same tools. You don’t need 2000 copies of a particular piece of software; you might need 50. There’s a pricing competitiveness, that gets brought into the equation as well.

That’s one example. Another is—and we kind of touched on this—that I think often strategic IT initiatives don’t get their fair shake, if you will, in an environment that’s just trying to keep their head above water. Having a co-managed environment, where an outside party could truly sit with you and partner with you to identify what your #1, #2, #3 priorities are, and then start chipping away at them. I think that’s what we found to be very, very beneficial.

Libby Powers: That’s really a great topic, because I think when we’re talking to a lot of companies right now, one of the biggest things is budgeting for IT because it changes so rapidly. You guys having the expertise that you do have, you can actually help companies budget for years in the future on their technical IT cybersecurity needs and know that that’s going to be relevant when the time comes.

Mark Anderson: Yes, absolutely. Right, and that is an important function of handling your IT big picture thinking well is looking into the future and trying to anticipate where you might need to go as a company.

Libby Powers: So basically, Mark, what you’re saying is that this is really a solution. We work together with your current IT infrastructure, then we create this partnership where you get to grow as a company because of the partnership that has been created with having a co-managed IT.

Mark Anderson: I love that, Libby. Yes, it’s absolutely us or any MSP coming in and trying to fortify what you’re doing already, and allow your team to more rapidly move in the direction that you’re setting for your firm—without the limitations of not enough resources to get these pesky IT problems handled in a timely fashion.

Libby Powers: That’s awesome. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk about that today. If you want more information on this topic, you can check out our blog, as well as other videos in Byte-Size Tech. Thank you for your time.

Mark Anderson: Thanks, guys. Bye!