MSPs must address cybersecurity in their offerings to meet today’s customer demand. These services also give you numerous opportunities to scale your business and increase profitability.
However, selling cybersecurity services to enterprise clients can be challenging when most prospects already have an in-house team. How do you build relationships and expand your footprint within an account? After all, a client must trust you before it hands you the key to their sensitive data.
Offering co-managed IT services helps many MSPs get a foot in the door and set the foundation for scaling their cybersecurity practices. Here’s how to get started.
What Is Co-Managed IT?
Co-managed IT is an approach where an MSP complements a client’s in-house IT team with specialized knowledge and experience. More companies are using this strategy to manage increasingly complex technologies and rising security threats while keeping their IT cost predictable.
In a co-managed IT arrangement, an MSP often handles day-to-day IT activities (e.g. data backup, security monitoring, and reporting) while the in-house team can direct their attention to strategic initiatives.
The Benefits of Offering Co-Managed IT
The long-term partnership facilitates a close relationship between the MSP and the client’s team so they can collaborate to achieve common goals cost-effectively.
Co-managed IT helps businesses increase IT staff productivity while freeing their internal team to focus on their core competence. It helps them better manage IT costs, reduce overhead, overcome the constraints of a tight labor market, and access the latest best practices to improve security.
As such, more companies are seeking this type of arrangement. Offering co-managed IT can help MSPs win new businesses, expand their client base, and open up new recurring revenue opportunities within existing accounts (e.g. by scaling up with cybersecurity services.)
Meanwhile, the collaborative approach strengthens client relationships and improves retention rates. By building trust with customers, you can gain more upsell opportunities and become a strategic partner to your clients to drive profitability with higher-value services.
Nostra, an Ireland-based fast-growing MSP with over 250 clients, leverage the co-managed IT model to scale up its cybersecurity practice. It incorporates cybersecurity services as part of its co-managed offerings and establishes collaborative relationships to expand its footprint within client accounts.
How To Start Offering Co-Managed IT Services
Offering co-managed IT services can help you drive growth and profitability. But having the right knowledge and expertise is just the beginning. Here’s what you should consider:
Adopt a Long-game Mindset
Instead of a project-based, break-fix mentality, co-managed IT requires your team to build trust and long-term relationships with your clients. You must generously share your knowledge and tools with them and foster a company culture where your clients’ success is everyone’s success.
Align with Your Current Offerings
Build on your current infrastructure and expertise instead of running two sets of service offerings in parallel. For example, you can gain operational efficiency by handling help desk tickets, remote monitoring, and reporting across traditional MSP services and co-managed IT offerings with the same systems and processes.
Build a Versatile Team
In a co-managed IT arrangement, you’d likely have to work with a client’s existing tools and infrastructure. You’ll need a dynamic and versatile team that can customize your program to support each client’s tech stack, equipment, and compliance requirements.
Be Realistic About Your Capacity
Many clients that seek co-managed IT services are larger organizations. You’ll need the capacity to onboard hundreds, if not thousands, of new end users simultaneously while managing a heterogeneous portfolio of technologies, including cloud platforms and legacy systems.
At in-SOC, we offer comprehensive client onboarding as part of our SOC as a Service (SOCaaS) packages. We guide you through the complex process of evaluating and hardening a client’s environment and ensure that you have everything for successful service delivery.
Build Trust and Rapport with the Client Team
Many in-house IT departments are skeptical about adding external resources. Invest time to educate them, build trust, and show them how your services can make their lives easier (e.g. improving documentation, preventing single points of failure).
For example, you may start with a smaller project (e.g. migrating a workflow to a cloud platform) to build trust with the client team while demonstrating the value of the co-managed IT approach.
Establish Strong Leadership and Governance
To get both teams rowing in the same direction, appoint CIO-level personnel to lead the collaborative initiatives. If the client doesn’t have the right resource, consider adding a virtual CIO to the team to provide oversight and establish the necessary governance and processes to ensure a successful partnership.
Getting Your Cybersecurity Services Ready to Scale
After setting a solid foundation, you can scale up your cybersecurity services within these accounts.
But you must be ready to expand quickly. Adding a new enterprise account often means onboarding thousands of end users at a time. It could strain your systems and processes if you don’t have the people, processes, and technology to handle the demand.
Our SOCaaS packages enable you to scale your cybersecurity services with minimal upfront costs. You can quickly deploy state-of-the-art technologies and proven workflows for enterprise clients without a lengthy setup process.
Our team will be there every step of the way, supporting you with everything from sales and marketing enablement to monthly risk reporting. You can deliver cutting-edge cybersecurity services without the high cost of buying and maintaining your own tech stack.
Get in touch to see how we can help you scale your cybersecurity practice to maximize your ROI.