How to Choose the Best Co-managed IT Provider?

Best Co-managed IT Provider

Many small to mid-sized businesses are increasingly adopting digital transformation by moving to cloud services and upgrading their IT technology, networks, systems, and infrastructure. However, they often need additional guidance and support to make this transition cost-effective and compliant.

This is where co-managed IT services can help. There are several such service providers in the market today. So, how do you choose a co-managed IT provider that suits your needs? What factors should you consider the most?

Read on to learn more.

Overview of Co-managed IT Services

Before considering how to choose a co-managed IT provider, here’s a brief overview of co-managed IT services.

As the name suggests, co-managed IT or co-managed IT services are services managed in tandem by businesses partnering with external or third-party IT service providers. This mode of operation ensures that the organization’s internal teams retain control and manage the IT infrastructure on a daily basis. At the same time, the external service provider expertly guides and supports the internal team.

There are several benefits of choosing a co-managed IT provider. Some of them are:

  • Flexibility and scalability of services per changing requirements
  • Expert guidance in key areas like cloud computing, cybersecurity, and more
  • Affordable solutions that don’t burn a hole in an organization’s pocket

How to Choose a Co-Managed IT Provider?

Selecting the right co-managed IT provider for your business involves considering several key factors. Here are the top criteria to keep in mind:

1. Identify IT Needs

Analyze your existing IT needs and infrastructure. Determine the objectives for choosing a co-managed IT provider, such as improved network security, digital transformation, moving to the cloud, or implementing cybersecurity. Examine the areas that require additional support, including:

  • IT Infrastructure: Inventory your current IT resources, including hardware, servers, networks, software, and security controls.
  • IT Needs or Gaps: Identify the areas where you need support.
  • Budget Available: Determine the budget you have for these services.

2. Evaluate Potential Co-Managed IT Providers

Look for the expertise and experience of potential co-managed IT providers. A good provider should have the following:

  • Relevant industry experience
  • A wide range of IT services, including cybersecurity, network management, and cloud computing
  • Extensive technology expertise
  • A proven track record of delivering co-managed IT services
  • Positive reviews, feedback, and recommendations from customers and peers
  • Industry certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, etc.

3. Check Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Service-level agreements or contracts with a co-managed IT provider should be flexible and adaptable to your changing needs. SLAs should include considerations for:

  • Response and resolution times
  • Availability and level of support
  • Accountability and transparency of IT systems and services
  • Tools and technology provided

4. Evaluate Cost-Efficiency

Determine your budget and understand the costs involved. Request quotes from several co-managed IT providers to aid your decision-making process. Don’t focus solely on lower costs; instead, seek value-added services and benefits. A co-managed IT provider should provide:

  • Transparent and flexible pricing models
  • Cost-effective services that offer excellent value for money and deliver higher returns

5. Assess the Scalability, Adaptability, and Flexibility of Services

Over time, your business needs may evolve, so ensure you select a co-managed IT provider capable of scaling and adapting their services to meet your changing requirements. A co-managed IT provider should:

  • Stay current with the latest technologies and trends
  • Offer scalable solutions
  • Adjust the scope of services as needed
  • Adhere to industry best practices

6. Look for Security and Compliance Measures

Advanced cybercrimes increasingly target small businesses with data breaches, theft, malware, and more. Therefore, a co-managed IT provider must implement robust security measures and adhere to industry regulations and standards. Check for:

  • The co-managed IT provider’s security protocols for data and system protection, threat detection, and incident response
  • Compliance with industry standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, and other relevant regulations

7. Analyze Communication and Collaboration Skills 

Effective and efficient communication and collaboration are key to a successful relationship between your business and co-managed IT provider. They should:

  • Communicate clearly and be accessible through various channels such as email, chat, and phone.
  • Regularly provide updates on systems, projects, and statuses.
  • Collaborate effectively with your internal team and stakeholders.
  • Be available 24/7 to address queries and provide system support as needed.

8. Determine Maintenance and Monitoring Support 

A co-managed IT provider should proactively manage and monitor IT systems to prevent issues. They should:

  • Utilize advanced tools and technology for system monitoring and issue diagnosis.
  • Proactively maintain IT systems to ensure continuity and minimize downtime.

Also Read: Difference between Co-Managed IT vs. Managed IT Services

Ready to Find the Best Co-managed IT Provider?

Choosing a co-managed IT provider just got easier with the tips outlined in this article. By identifying your IT and business goals, analyzing the expertise of co-managed IT providers, and evaluating their available support, you can find the right partner who aligns with your business objectives and increases your ROI.

If you’re seeking to improve your IT services, reduce costs, and digitally transform your business, ImagineIT can assist you with all that and more. With a proven track record of delivering comprehensive co-managed IT services and serving a diverse clientele, we are well-positioned to be your next IT partner.

Choose the best – schedule an appointment today or call us at  866 978 3600.

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