Are Co-Managed IT Services the Right Fit for Your Business?

August 28, 2023

You're a business owner juggling numerous responsibilities. IT operations might be one of those nagging concerns keeping you up at night.

In-house IT department overwhelmed? External vendors not aligning with your business vision? You've probably heard of fully managed IT services, but here's something that might be an even better fit—co-managed IT services.

Imagine an approach that combines the best of both worlds—your internal IT team supported by specialized external experts. Co-managed IT can help maximize efficiency without sacrificing control. Intrigued? Read on to find out why more and more businesses are turning to this balanced, flexible option and the advantages of co-managed IT support services. 

Explanation of what co-managed IT services entail

What are co-managed IT services?

So, you're wondering what exactly co-managed IT services entail? Think of it as a strategic alliance, one that adds another layer of support to your existing IT department. In essence, co-managed IT is a partnership between your internal IT team and a specialized external service provider.

Picture this. Your internal team continues to focus on its core competencies while an external team fills in the knowledge gaps. Need to implement a more robust cybersecurity strategy? Done. Looking to migrate to the cloud but unsure where to start? Consider it handled. What you get is a more comprehensive skill set without the hassle and cost of hiring additional full-time staff.

By adopting a co-managed IT model, you're essentially getting the best of both worlds. Co-managed IT services can help you retain control over your IT environment while also benefiting from specialized expertise. In short, co-managed IT allows you to have a tailored solution that addresses your specific needs, letting you focus more on growing your business and less on technical hurdles.

Advantages of using co-managed IT services for improving cybersecurity.

Benefits of co-managed services in cybersecurity

From ensuring daily operations run smoothly to safeguarding against cybersecurity threats, the challenges are endless in the IT department. Co-managed IT services might just be the game-changer you need. Below, let's explore the advantages and what are the services included: 

Skyrocketing efficiency

You've got a business to run, and juggling between strategic initiatives and day-to-day IT tasks can spread your team thin. With co-managed IT, you can delegate routine technical support to external experts. Your in-house IT staff can then pivot their focus to other, more important services to keep contributing to business growth. The result? Enhanced efficiency, less stress, and more time for what matters.

Cost implications

Budgeting is likely top-of-mind for you. Co-managed IT services allow you to control costs effectively. You only pay for the services you need, making it easier to forecast your IT budget. Moreover, you eliminate the expenses tied to recruiting, training, and maintaining an expanded in-house IT team. Money saved here can be reinvested in business development.

Cybersecurity concerns

Are you losing sleep over potential cybersecurity threats? A specialized co-managed IT service can increase security and bring experience and expertise to fortify your cyber defenses. You're not just reacting to threats; you're proactively staying one step ahead. And in today's landscape, where cyber threats evolve daily, that extra layer of protection can make all the difference.

Proactive vs. reactive support

Co-managed IT isn't just about resolving issues; it’s about preventing them in the first place. Proactive IT services provide regular system audits, real-time monitoring, and preventive measures that anticipate and mitigate risks. This proactive approach can save you both time and money in the long run.


Your business is dynamic, and your IT needs will evolve, especially with its limited resources. Co-managed IT services can scale with you, providing additional resources when needed. Whether you're launching a new product or expanding into a new market, you have a team ready to support those initiatives.

Customized solutions

Every business is unique, and a co-managed IT service can offer tailor-made solutions to meet your specific needs. You can benefit from co-managed IT services with features that align perfectly with your organization's objectives.

Comparative analysis between managed IT and co-managed IT service models

Choosing service providers: Managed IT vs. co-managed IT model

So, you're mulling over the decision between managed IT services and a co-management IT model. It's not just a game of semantics; the differences could significantly impact how your business operates. How are they different from each other? 

Managed IT services: A full outsourcing model

In the managed IT services model, an external service provider takes complete control over your IT environment. This often includes everything from troubleshooting and tech support to cybersecurity and software updates. It's an all-in-one package where the managed service provider is the captain steering your IT ship.

Co-managed IT services: A collaborative approach

Co-managed IT services, on the other hand, allow for a partnership between your internal IT team and an external provider. This means you can choose which aspects of IT to manage in-house and which tasks to delegate to the experts. You have more direct influence over day-to-day IT decisions while still benefiting from specialized expertise.

Reasons to opt for co-managed IT services instead of fully managed IT

Why consider co-managed service models over fully managed IT?

Choosing between managed and co-managed IT services isn't a decision to be made lightly, but understanding your options can guide you toward the best solution for your business. Why choose this option? 

The power of choice

Freedom is an invaluable currency in business. Co-managed IT services give you the liberty to customize your IT operations. Choose to retain control over the tasks you excel at or enjoy and delegate the rest to your co-managed IT partner. This flexibility lets you adapt and scale your services based on changing business needs.

The best of both worlds

Fully managed IT services can sometimes lead to a feeling of loss of control, and an overworked in-house team often results in burnout and inefficiencies. Co-managed IT provides a balanced solution. Your internal team can focus on strategic projects while leaving routine or highly specialized tasks to external experts. It’s not an either-or scenario but a best-of-both-worlds approach that enriches your capabilities.

Cultivating expertise

With co-managed IT, your internal team has the opportunity to collaborate with external specialists. This provides a platform for knowledge sharing and skill enhancement, which is a win-win for everyone involved. Your team not only gets to focus on what they do best but also learns from experts in other facets of IT.

Guide on selecting the right co-managed IT service provider.

How to choose your co-management IT provider

You know your business inside and out, and naturally, you have unique needs and challenges, especially when it comes to managing IT operations. So how do you select a co-managed IT partner that aligns well with your specific requirements? Here's what you should consider before taking the plunge.

Assess their experience

It's essential to gauge how well-versed your potential co-managed IT partner is in your industry. After all, you want a team that understands not just the technical aspects but also the industry-specific challenges you face. Ask them about their track record, the types of businesses they have partnered with, and any success stories they can share that mirror your situation.

Evaluate the range of services

Not all co-managed IT services are created equal. Some providers may excel at cybersecurity but lack in other areas like cloud management or data analytics. Get a clear rundown of their service offerings to see if they match what you're looking to outsource. Be sure to ask how these services can be tailored to fit your unique needs.

Gauge their level of expertise

It’s not just about how long they've been in the game but also about the quality of the game they play. You'll want to dig a little deeper into their team's certifications, specializations, and even the technologies they are proficient in. This gives you a better picture of whether they have the expertise to fill in the gaps that your internal team may lack.

Commitment to partnership

This isn't just a transaction; it's a partnership. Your co-managed IT provider should be committed to understanding your business goals and aligning their services accordingly. How flexible are they in adapting to your changing needs? Are they proactive or merely reactive? Make sure you're on the same page when it comes to long-term collaboration.

Test the waters

Before you seal the deal, consider doing a small pilot project or limited-term contract. This enables you to assess how well the partnership works in practice, not just in theory. Pay attention to how effective their solutions are, how good they are at communicating, and how well they adapt to any roadblocks or challenges.

Testimonials and reasons why AlwaysOnIT is a trusted co-managed IT service provider.

Why businesses trust AlwaysOnIT as their co-managed IT service provider

As you consider this significant step, you're probably looking for a partner you can trust. In Portland, businesses have found a dependable ally in AlwaysOnIT. Our clients appreciate the personalized, strategic, and proactive approach we bring to their IT operations. We're not just another vendor to them; we're part of their growth story. 

What sets us apart? We have over 80 years of combined experience, and we don't just wait for you to hit a roadblock and then swoop in to fix it. We anticipate your needs, ensuring that you have the right technological solutions and cybersecurity measures in place before issues arise. Our aim is not just to be another service provider but to be your IT ally. From keeping your systems up-to-date to formulating long-term IT strategies, we work in sync with your in-house team to carve out your path to growth.

If all this resonates with you, maybe it's time to explore the potential impact of co-managed IT on your business. Don't just take our word for it; let us prove our value to you. Click here for a Free Cybersecurity Evaluation and get a firsthand experience of how AlwaysOn IT can elevate your IT game.

Determining the necessity of co-managed IT support for your business

Does your business really need co-managed IT support? 

So, is co-managed IT right for you? If you're looking for a balanced approach that brings both internal and external IT expertise to the table, the answer is likely a resounding yes.

In short, co-managed IT is not just a service but a strategic asset. It's a balanced, flexible approach that empowers your organization's internal IT team while bringing in external expertise where needed. When executed well, it's like having an extended team that keeps up with technology and works cohesively towards your business goals—saving time and resources. Contact us for more details at or call 503-601-4335 for exclusive co-managed IT offerings. 

Frequently asked questions

How can co-managed services support my internal IT departments?

The co-managed model helps your internal IT departments by improving employee morale and filling in expertise gaps that your in-house team might not be equipped to handle. These types of services often include, but are not limited to, help desk support, network management, and cybersecurity measures. In short, the right co-management provides supplemental support for businesses of all sizes. 

What are the cost savings associated with co-managed services?

The cost savings with co-managed IT can be substantial. By opting for co-managed services, you eliminate the need for new staff and resource allocation. Your existing IT team gains access from the resources of the co-managed service provider, which they need to keep systems operational and secure.

What are consulting services in a co-managed IT context?

Consulting services in a co-managed IT context refer to the advisory roles that MSPs can offer. They bring their experience to the table to help businesses make better decisions about technology investments and strategies.

Is co-managed IT support different from standard IT support?

Yes, co-managed IT support offers advantages over standard IT support. While standard IT support generally involves a help desk dealing with technical issues, co-managed IT support takes a more strategic approach. This allows you to take advantage of specialized resources, such as access to the latest technologies and expertise that your in-house team may lack.

Do I really need co-managed IT services?

If your internal IT departments are overwhelmed or lack specific skill sets, including tools and processes, you likely need co-managed IT services for your day-to-day operations. Co-managed IT enables your in-house team to focus on strategic projects while the MSP handles more routine, technical aspects.

How do I know if I've chosen the right co-managed IT service provider?

You'll know you've chosen the right co-managed IT service provider if you see successful IT co-management benefits, such as cost savings, improved security, and more time for your team to focus on strategic projects. A successful partnership should also give you access to the latest tools and resources to support and help your business grow, just like many companies that need guidance and support.