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What You Should Know About Choosing a Co-Managed IT Service Provider

 

Every business leader knows the sting of IT disruptions. According to a Ponemon Institute report, the average cost of IT downtime can be as high as $9,000 per minute. That’s a staggering $540,000 per hour, a price many small businesses cannot afford.

“The future of business hinges on the seamless integration of IT services, which makes the process of choosing a co-managed service provider vital,” says Chris Power, CEO of Power Consulting.

But how exactly do you choose a co-managed service provider, and what should you look for in a potential partner? We’ll answer those and other questions in this article.

 

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Understanding Co-Managed IT Services

What is Co-Managed IT?

Co-managed IT is a service model where an external IT Managed Services provider collaborates with your internal IT team. This partnership fills skill gaps, enhances technical expertise, and ensures business continuity.

The Advantages of Co-Managed Services

The benefits of co-managed IT are numerous.

They offer a cost-effective solution for businesses with limited resources in their house IT department. It’s about maximizing efficiency and ensuring your IT operations align with business goals.

Key Considerations in Selecting a Co-Managed IT Service Provider

1. Experience Matters

When considering how to choose a co-managed service provider, their track record is crucial. Providers with a history in the industry will understand the nuances of services including advanced technical support and cybersecurity.

2. Expertise is the Point

One critical reason IT Operations seek co-managed IT partners is to upgrade their IT capabilities.  IT Partners with greater expertise in (for example) security, monitoring, or projects add to the aggregate IT capabilities of the host company.

3. Scalability is Key

Your co-managed service provider should be able to adapt as your business grows. They should offer solutions that are a fit for your business, both now and in the long term.

4. Communication is Crucial

Fast response times and open channels of communication ensure that your existing IT team and the provider work in harmony.

5. Security and Compliance

In an age where a data breach can cost your business as much as $4.45 million per incident,  your provider should prioritize cybersecurity. Additionally, they must be compliant with industry standards to ensure the safety of your data while helping you maintain business continuity.

6. Transparent Costs

A cost-effective solution doesn’t mean cheap. It means value. Ensure the provider’s pricing model aligns with your budget and offers genuine value for your business.

Red Flags to Watch Out For in the Selection Process

Choosing the right co-managed IT service provider is crucial for your business’s long-term success. However, not all providers are created equally. Here are some warning signs to watch out for.

1. One-Size-Fits-All Solutions

Every business has unique IT needs. Providers offering generic solutions without considering your specific requirements may not be the best fit. Tailored solutions are essential for addressing your internal IT department’s unique challenges and objectives.

2. Lack of Transparency in Pricing or Services

A Sprout Social study showed that 86% of Americans believe transparency from businesses is more important than ever before. If your provider charges you hidden fees and provides unclear service descriptions, it can lead to unexpected costs and unmet expectations.

A reputable co-managed service provider will provide clear and transparent pricing, ensuring you know exactly what you’re paying for.

3. Poor Customer Reviews or Unresolved Complaints

While no company is immune to negative feedback, a pattern of unresolved complaints or consistently poor reviews is a major red flag. Researching and reading reviews is essential to gauge the provider’s customer service quality and reliability.

4. Limited Technical Expertise

If the provider lacks expertise in specific areas crucial to your business, it might lead to skill gaps. Ensure that they have a diverse team with a wide range of technical skills to cater to all of your IT needs.

5. Inflexible Contracts

Long-term contracts without flexibility can lock you into services that might not evolve with your business needs. It’s essential to choose a provider that offers adaptable contract terms, allowing for changes as your business grows and evolves.

6. Slow Response Times

When it comes to co-managed IT, quick response times are crucial. If a provider is consistently slow to respond to inquiries or issues, it could lead to prolonged downtimes, affecting your business operations.

7. Lack of a Business Continuity Plan

Every reputable co-managed IT service provider should have a robust business continuity plan (BCP) in place. However, a Mercer study showed that 51% of companies lack one.

If your prospective provider does not have a BCP, it’s a sure sign that they might not be prepared for emergencies, putting your data and operations at risk.

By being aware of these red flags, you can make a more informed decision and choose a provider that aligns with your business’s needs and goals.

A Quick Guide to Choosing a Co-Managed IT Service Provider

Criteria Description
Experience Look for a provider with a proven track record in the industry.
Expertise Find a provider with expertise that ADDS to in-house capability
Scalability Ensure they can adapt to your day-to-day and future needs.
Communication Prioritize providers with fast response times.
Security Ensure they have robust cybersecurity measures in place.
Cost Opt for transparent, value-driven pricing.

 

Interested in learning more about managed IT services? Check out these blogs:

 
Choosing a Co-Managed IT Service Provider
Work With a Co-Managed Service Provider You Can Trust

Choosing the right co-managed IT service provider is a pivotal decision for any business. It’s about ensuring seamless operations, filling skill gaps, and driving business growth forward.

Get Reliable Co-Managed IT Services in Your Location Today

 
As a leading managed service provider, Power Consulting specializes in co-managed IT services. If you’re looking to elevate your IT operations and align them with your business objectives, our experts are ready to step in and assist you.

Experience the benefits of co-managed IT services by contacting us today for more information and to schedule a free consultation.