How to Select the Right Co-source IT Service Model

Eric Dykes

Outsourcing has become the strategic go-to for SMBs who want to focus their efforts on business growth, rather than the rigors of daily IT support. However, the growing importance, complexity and scope of IT as a whole has driven many companies to move to more of a partnership model where Managed Service Providers divide IT responsibilities with an organization’s own internal IT team. In this newer partnership model, companies still benefit by gaining access to experience and expertise it may not possess internally.

In this article from CIO.com, senior writer Thor Olavsrud recommends that businesses value shop instead of aiming for the lowest price when evaluating Managed IT Service Providers.

Indeed, complex business needs are driving companies to place much greater importance on the advanced services they can access. The emerging partnership model in managed IT services is known as ‘co-sourcing’, a distinct segment of the MSP industry.

Read more about the differences between IT Outsourcing and Co-sourcing.

How big is big enough to consider a co-sourced partnership with an MSP? If your business employs greater than 50 people, you probably need to give co-sourcing strong consideration. Before you get too far into thinking about co-sourcing, it’s important to know the basic types of co-sourcing is available and what the common needs are.

Table Stakes for Co-source Solutions

When your business experiences growth, IT’s workload can quickly increase to the point where the IT team is swamped with work and production drops. Effective project management, a roadmap for IT strategy, access to enterprise-class tools, and security become major concerns as the IT team falls further behind. Co-sourcing takes the burden off the backs of your IT department so your IT professionals can get back to doing what they’re best at. What are some of the critical table stakes for co-source solutions for growing companies?

Project Management

Smaller businesses may have one or two IT staff on hand who are great at what they do, but lack experience in project planning and management. When partnered with the right Managed Service Provider, your IT staff benefits from from a lighter workload that allows them to focus on projects that help your business to grow. Outsourced project management gives your business access to experts who know how to plan and manage projects of all sizes.

IT Roadmapping

The creation of an IT strategy for an SMB can be a huge challenge. Aligning short-term and long-term goals with the technologies needed to actualize them can be more than a small IT staff can handle. Working together with your MSP for IT roadmapping provides access to a team of experts that will immediately boost the productivity of your IT staff and pass the benefits of increased efficiency to faster business growth.

Enterprise Tools

When you work with the right MSP, you gain access to enterprise-class tools that provide your business with the same level of insight and service that large companies can provide for themselves. The best part is that you don’t have to make huge investments to develop a sophisticated IT team or software to do this. When you outsource, you gain immediate access to the same kinds of tools and services your business could not afford otherwise.

IT Security

It may be last in this section, but it certainly isn’t the least in importance. One of the critical areas of business operations is the security of its IT infrastructure and digital assets. SMBs often lack the resources and skill set necessary for implementing and maintaining an effective security strategy. Outsourcing your security needs to a reputable MSP / security services provider makes robust security much more than a pipe dream. With the right security partner, your business gains access to state-of-the-art technology and security experts who know how to keep your IT infrastructure and digital assets safe.

Outsourcing is about much more than just handing off a bunch of work to another business. It’s also about forming  mutually beneficial partnerships that help both businesses grow. Read on to learn about the two most common co-source scenarios offered by IT Managed Service Providers.

Model #1: Outsource Helpdesk, Insource Escalation Resources

In this scenario, a business partners with an MSP to provide everyday tech support while keeping escalation in-house. This allows your tech support experts to focus on resolving the toughest issues while your co-source partner takes on the mundane helpdesk calls. This is a particularly effective model for companies that are spread out across multiple locations and time zones.

One of the greatest advantages of co-sourced helpdesk services is standardization of service across all of your company’s locations. Your business also gains the ability to reliably provide support services outside of normal business hours. When you have a professional, co-sourced helpdesk strategy in place, you eliminate the need for one or more IT personnel working the graveyard shift waiting for someone to call.

“Great MSP. One of the best, if not the best I have worked with in my career.”
Bert Sams, VP of IT, Haggai Institute

Model #2: Outsource Infrastructure Management, Insource Tier 1 Helpdesk

This option is a great fit for a business that:

  • Has over half of its employees at one location
  • A handful of remote workers or offices that connect into HQ resources
  • Remote work schedule that’s aligned with HQ time zone

In this model, your business outsources all of its IT infrastructure management while keeping first-line technical support in-house. You may have an IT staff that lacks the time and advanced skills necessary to provide advanced infrastructure support or the resources to plan and manage projects. Your business may also lack dedicated security resources to protect IT infrastructure and digital assets.

You may have a company culture where employees expect to be able to just walk down the hall to IT rather than calling over the phone. Outsourced IT infrastructure management is ideal for an organization that needs expert IT skills and experience to manage and secure IT infrastructure. This removes the burden of infrastructure management from your IT staff, freeing them up to provide first-rate, personalized help desk support to everyone throughout your organization.

What UTG Offers

The highly skilled professionals at UTG provide full outsource solutions as well as model #1 and model #2 co-source solutions. No matter which type of service you need, we provide the expertise and outstanding customer service to supplement your existing capacity.

Our Model #2 services, in particular, provide senior-level resources that include project managers, relationship managers, and tier-2 and tier-3 help desk support. What really sets us apart is our ability to work with the Model #2 approach so many businesses require. If you’re an SMB with a need for co-sourced support or managed services, contact us today!