When it comes to IT support, most businesses rely on one of three options: They have a dedicated in-house IT manager, an outsourced Managed Services Provider (MSP), or an informal “break/fix” system whereby they seek help—perhaps from a tech-savvy employee or family member—whenever they happen to run into problems. There is, however, a fourth option that may just be the ideal solution for your business: Co-Managed IT.

In a nutshell, Co-Managed IT provides businesses with the best of both worlds: An on-site IT provider AND access to an off-site IT team. Depending on your company’s size, budget, and infrastructure needs, this can prove to be an effective (and cost-effective) option, as it’s less costly than employing a full on-site IT team, and is more comprehensive than relying on a single in-house IT manager.

Simply put, the Co-Managed IT solution gives your business more options when it comes to optimizing your technology stability and security. For instance, having an in-house IT manager means you have someone who knows your business and its very specific needs. But, depending on the scope of your business technology and the scale of those needs, this job can be very complicated and time-consuming. This is where having access to an off-site team of IT experts can be invaluable—this way, your in-house IT manager has someone to call when they’re stuck or simply can’t keep up with the workflow.

Co-Managed IT Brings Everything Together Co-Managed IT has the potential to provide you with the best of both worlds: An in-house IT provider who can be the first point of contact for staff whenever they have a problem, as well as a team of IT experts who can tackle the bigger issues—as well as keep your networks safe after your onsite IT person has clocked out for the day.

One of the benefits of this approach is employee retention. Small or single-person IT teams can get overwhelmed and overworked fast, resulting in high turnover rates. If your on-site team lacks access to the proper tools or resources, it won’t take long for them to become overwhelmed and burned out. If there’s a crisis, such as a ransomware attack or a storage failure, and your internal IT team isn’t given the support they need to succeed, it puts undue stress on them while putting your business at risk. If they have access to additional support and resources through a partnering MSP, they are far more likely to manage their incoming workflow and help keep all IT operations running smoothly.

Co-Managed IT also provides a host of other potential benefits, such as:

Your Issues Get Resolved Sooner. No more waiting around for your “IT guy” to finish addressing one issue at a time. With an MSP at your disposal, you can rely on a team of experts to help resolve issues quickly and work on multiple support requests at once.

Regulatory Compliance Becomes A Breeze. Depending on your industry, you likely have to deal with all kinds of compliance terms and regulations. Having a coordinated IT team with additional knowledge, tools, and resources helps you stay up-to-speed as technology and security continues to evolve at lightning speed.

You Can Streamline Your Staffing Processes. While the size and scope of your business may require you to have at least one IT person on staff, there is no need to hire (and manage) an extensive team of IT employees to keep your operations running smoothly. Working with an MSP give you access to an entire team of IT experts without the costs and liabilities of employing them.

You Have A Healthier Company Culture. This is a big one that often gets overlooked. When your in-house IT team has access to additional support when they need it, they’re a lot happier—along with the rest of your employees, who won’t have to deal with extended periods of downtime whenever they experience IT issues. This will ultimately boost company morale, but also help your bottom line, as less downtime means fewer opportunities to lose revenue and clients due to technology failure and noncompliance.

If you employ at least one in-house IT staff member and haven’t yet looked into Co-Managed IT, you might just find that partnering with an MSP is the ideal solution for your business. And in a time when cyber security is more important than ever before – with more teams working remotely and cybercriminals working overtime – every business can use all the help they can get.