For MSPs: Navigating the realm of Co-Managed IT services (Co-MIT)

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As the name suggests, Co-MIT is an arrangement where an MSP works along with the internal IT team to manage an organization’s IT. The extent of the MSP’s involvement is governed by the terms of the SLA (Service Level Agreement) that the organization and the MSP together draw up. Usually, the organization’s internal IT team handles mission-critical processes and those that are unique to the organization, while the MSP takes care of auxiliary functions such as server maintenance, upgrades, tech support, etc. Sometimes, organizations planning a major IT overhaul, such as cloud migration or digitization, may also enlist an MSP’s expertise to help them along their journey. Yet other organizations could leave handling the security aspect of IT to MSPs. Organizations may choose the Co-MIT way for a variety of other reasons - to attain higher efficiency, to support an understaffed/inadequately-experienced IT team, to accelerate expansion, etc.

What MSPs providing Co-MIT should do:

Align your goals with the organization’s goals

The first step towards a successful Co-MIT relationship is to thoroughly understand the organization’s overall goals and expectations from you, and formulate a strategy to take them where they want to be.  Having a clear, two-way communication channel is instrumental in ironing out possible conflicts and aligning the interests of both parties.

Bring out the best in the internal IT team

As a Co-Managed IT service provider, your primary goal should be to help the internal IT maximize their productivity. You could do this by providing them with tools (which are already at your disposal), and teaching them best practices that you’ve gleaned from working across industries and verticals.

Be accountable

Even if you make a mistake because you were provided with incorrect data, or an inefficient practice that the organization follows; that is, even if the organization is partly to blame for the mistake, try to take responsibility for it and not pass the blame around. Doing so not only saves precious time in correcting the mistake but also makes the organization trust you more.

Things MSPs providing Co-MIT should avoid at all costs

Be pushy

Don’t try to impose your ideas and working practices on the organization from the word go. You may be in the right, but it’ll only make the incumbent teams resentful. 

Violate their privacy

Most organizations want their data to reside only in their servers and not be stored anywhere else. Ensure you don’t breach their privacy codes (even accidentally) by downloading or transferring their data to your personal systems. Organizations can even start legal proceedings against you if such an event comes to light. 

Share sensitive information about your other clients

Some clients may even choose to keep their vendor information secret, so it’s best to avoid divulging any information about one client to another unless you have their written consent.

Tell me something I don't know - I won't leave you until I know about it as much as you do. Later, I'll make sure I know more about it than you.

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