it support houston MSP

More and more companies are seeking IT managed services providers for specialized expertise, reduction in downtime and costs, efficient support, and use of the latest technology. A managed service provider (MSP) provides enterprise-level critical technology services to organizations of all sizes. Common engagements include managing internal networks, running software updates, streamlining workflows, providing cybersecurity, and creating custom information technology strategies to help meet business objectives.

Why do these organizations outsource to MSPs? How do MSPs help meet IT budgets? What can happen if you hire the wrong MSP? And what level of service should you look for in a managed IT provider for your Texas business? In this article, we'll explore these questions in detail.

Do They Have Far-Reaching Technical Expertise? 

The first thing you check in a managed services provider is their actual level of technical expertise. A quality MSP will hold relevant certifications, have connections with relevant vendors, and have experience in the field as well. 

MSPs are actually fairly unregulated, so it's possible for nearly anyone to launch a "startup" IT company by simply reselling packaged solutions. Such companies lack the real-world experience and know-how to keep all but the smallest IT environments operational. You can save a lot of time and money by hiring an experienced IT provider for the job.  

Do They Have Resources That Scale?

Outsourcing to an MSP is about more than securing knowledgeable labor to perform IT work.

An MSP should be able to manage your IT infrastructure, provide upgrades, and guide your growth strategically in the long term. This involves the ability to easily scale their service up or down to meet the demands of your organization.

Do They Have Specialized Experience?  

Has the MSP worked in your specific industry, and if so for how long? Every sector has its own requirements and challenges that are unique to the field. The MSP who knows the space and can anticipate your needs can offer more tailored solutions when there’s a need. Without any working experience in the field, the service provider will have to resort to providing "catch all" solutions that might not meet your expectations.  

Can They Adapt? 

The best Texas IT service providers are flexible when it comes to serving their clients. There are numerous advantages to custom-tailored solutions versus out-of-the-box solutions that are chosen purely on price or limited availability. Your IT professionals must be able to adapt to the needs and objectives you bring to them.

Can They Create and Commit to a Strategic IT Plan? 

IT has become a strategic consideration, not simply a matter of "keeping the lights on". An MSP must be able to work with you strategically to make the most of your IT budget, and they must also be able to commit to the execution of the plan.

This commitment should go beyond paperwork and promises. Your MSP should work with you on executing and streamlining your processes, and they should hold themselves accountable through transparency and accurate reporting.

How Good Is Their Reputation?  

Always check their reputation before hiring a managed services provider. Customer testimonials and case studies can reveal more about their efficacy than any sales meeting or discovery call. Look for positive reviews, not only about the technology provided but the speed and quality of service they've provided in the past. 

Do They Provide End to End Service?

Your Texas MSP should be able to take on full oversight of IT service, functions, applications, processes, and supporting technologies. The purpose of outsourcing your IT is to offload tasks and decisions that aren't part of your organization's core competencies. You shouldn't be left to fend for yourself when it comes to anything IT.

Common Pitfalls When Hiring the Wrong MSP

Not every managed service provider will be the right fit for your organization. Hiring the wrong IT provider can lead to many costly problems later on:

Poor Communication. Communication can pose a challenge for the IT provider/client relationship, especially if the provider operates from outside of your area. Poor communication or customer service leads to slow response times and losses in productivity. The right MSP will be the one who can clearly, quickly, and effectively communicate throughout your engagement.

Unplanned Charges and Hidden Costs. There is no single set billing model for managed service providers, so ambiguity in your contract could lead to unexpected costs. One of the greatest benefits of using the right it support company is a fixed-price billing model that makes costs predictable, so the last thing you want is a surprise. Ensure your MSP is clear on what is included in your agreement, what can incur additional charges, and what approval process is in place to avoid unwanted invoices.

Getting Shoehorned into Technology Solutions. Some MSPs will try to lock their clients into certain vendors or solutions. This can be troublesome if your situation changes down the road and you need different solutions. Your Managed services partner should be flexible about which solutions you are able to use -- but they should not simply bend for every request, either. A wise MSP knows the value of standardization, and they may recommend changing to a certain product or solution for relevant reasons.

Long Delays and Slow Project Work. An MSP can become stretched so thin that it creates delays on nearly any IT project they handle. Choosing an MSP with the expertise and resources to keep up with their client list is essential if you want to avoid slow response times and delayed projects.

Choosing an IT Provider in Texas

It may take some time to find the right IT provider for your Dallas or Houston business, but it's a decision that could affect your success for years to come. Know what to look for and which red flags to avoid and you can be confident when it comes time to make a decision.

If you have more questions about choosing a managed IT service provider, give the team at 3i International a call. We also recommend downloading our MSP Buyer's Guide, a free book that goes into more detail about the ins and outs of choosing the best IT company serving Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Woodland, Galveston, and all of the Lone Star State.