Doing More with Less: Gain a competitive advantage with Co-Managed Networks

Rapid digitalization has fueled the exponential growth of IT and networking, creating new opportunities for enterprises that are flexible and digitally savvy to reap the benefits of increasingly sophisticated hardware and software. But with rapid digitalization comes the increasing pressure on enterprise network capabilities — including the evolving technological landscape and global inflationary pressures — demanding greater resources and expertise.

For example, geopolitical tensions combined with a once-in-a-century pandemic have led to major supply chain disruptions, leading to a range of economic, infrastructure, and talent issues that continue to plague the industry today [1]. Modern enterprises are also now dealing with huge amounts of data across multiple locations due to the normalization of hybrid work, requiring data and network infrastructures to be reevaluated, updated, and optimized.

Due to this optimization mindset, many enterprises are now trying to “tame” their rapidly deployed infrastructure so that it is more reliable, scalable, secure, and cost-effective. To do so effectively and efficiently, enterprises must start with selecting the right operational model. But what do these options look like?

DIY vs fully managed service providers

One approach is to do everything in-house. Some companies prefer the DIY option and choose to manage their network themselves — but this comes with a range of different issues.

Firstly, this requires in-house experts, and hiring the right talent can be difficult given the current tight labor market and widespread skills shortage.

Also, due to changing business demands, internet connectivity and bandwidth requirements can fluctuate, leading to inconsistent network performance, forcing enterprises to engage in constant monitoring and management of all network and security components. Additionally, ensuring security is up to date calls for constant updating and capacity planning as the IT landscape evolves rapidly.

Other companies may prefer a fully managed solution with the use of a Managed Service Provider (MSP). While this approach enables enterprises to focus on their core business functions, it can be more costly and less flexible. The MSP will handle your network needs from end to end, so enterprises that use this approach would not need in-house specialists. However, such enterprises will be at the mercy of the MSP’s service quality, hindering agility, and the enterprise may be less able to react quickly and well to sudden changes or critical issues that need to be addressed urgently.

Co-management — best of both worlds

Co-management of SD-WAN combines the strengths of DIY, like control and visibility, with the expertise and experience of managed services, making co-managed solutions the best of both worlds. This allows enterprises to control critical aspects like application routing as well as security policies while leaving the nitty-gritty details to the MSP.

Most co-management offerings also allow enterprises to define what aspects of their network infrastructure should be managed by the MSP. This gives enterprises the advantage of flexibility and agility regarding their network needs, in addition to greater control and visibility of the network.

Enterprises can reap many benefits with a co-managed approach as it enables more control and confidence over network deployment and management and provides access to specialized and dynamic skills. These include increased flexibility and agility through both internal and external IT teams, improved cybersecurity, higher productivity and performance, constant assistance, and cost savings.

How a co-managed approach provides a competitive advantage

In-house intelligence with external expertise to overcome skill shortages

The skills shortage resulting from today’s multi-faceted global pressures means that enterprises must find ways to optimize smaller teams. With the co-managed approach and MSPs, enterprises can look forward to maintaining a leaner internal IT team that is familiar with its environment while tapping the specialized and dynamic support from the MSP. This supplementation provides a boost to the enterprise’s IT capabilities.

Strengthened security and regulatory compliance

Co-managing your enterprise network with an MSP can lead to a more robust cybersecurity framework. This is especially important in a hybrid working environment in a post-pandemic world where data flows and accessibility can be spread across geographies. MSPs can help you stay on top of the latest cybersecurity trends and tackle new problems as they appear. This will ensure that your data and connectivity is safe and secure thanks to multiple layers of security between your IT team and the MSP.

Furthermore, MSPs can help ensure that your operational processes are compliant with the many different regulatory obligations that are implemented worldwide. This provides peace of mind, especially in a world where data can be stored and transferred globally, and cybersecurity regulations and policies can vary widely between countries and regions [2].

Productivity power-up — keeping up with the changing network and technology landscape

As businesses in all industries undergo their respective digital transformation journeys, it can be tricky keeping up with the latest developments and changes in how networks are run. The clearest example can be taken from the effort needed to adapt to new working conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

By partnering with an MSP in a co-managed arrangement, enterprises can unlock better productivity and network performance as the provider can relieve the technical and operational load on your in-house IT team. The MSP works alongside your internal IT team, filling in the gaps and performing tasks such as handling complex changes, providing after-hours support, and lending additional resources during peak periods and emergencies. In this manner, having a co-managed IT service provider will enable constant, round-the-clock troubleshooting and assistance. While a purely in-house team can be susceptible to downtime, co-managed services provide comprehensive IT support, ensuring businesses can address issues that may affect their operations promptly.

Cost Optimization — doing more with less

Ultimately, the operational efficiency of your IT and network infrastructure boils down to costs. The reality is that it can be very expensive to either fully outsource your network infrastructure to an MSP, or fully manage an in-house IT team. This has increasingly become a hurdle for many enterprises to overcome due to the talent shortage brought about by global pressures and economic challenges.

Training an in-house IT team to be up to date with the latest technology and solutions leads to increased expenditure, while the cost of hiring an MSP to manage your IT needs in full can quickly add up depending on your business requirements. With a co-managed solution, enterprises can access technical expertise at lower rates, helping them overcome the strengthening economic headwinds that have been whipped up by inflation and rising costs.

Finding the right co-managed service partner

A co-managed approach could be the competitive edge you need to get ahead in today’s fast-paced digital world. But how should enterprises choose an MSP that best suits their needs to get the best outcomes?

Perhaps we can help. To date, Coevolve has been able to optimize network and IT infrastructure to meet our customers’ unique network needs, regardless of their size, geographic location, industry, and sector. Start a conversation here and together we can take your business to the next level.