With cyber crime becoming more and more prevalent every day, and Houston being ranked the #2 most vulnerable city to cyber attacks, Texas-based businesses are beginning to take precautions to prevent costly data breaches.
Many businesses, while they may not have the budget to hire an in-house team of IT professionals, understand that break/fix IT support and generic IT solutions simply aren’t sufficient to protect against cyber crime. Instead, they are turning to a Managed Service Provider for more comprehensive IT support that still fits within their budgets.
But with several options for Managed Service Providers across Texas, which provider should you choose? How do you know which one is best for your unique business needs?
To answer that, we’re taking a closer look at five common traits amongst the top managed IT service providers in Texas, and what makes them shine above the rest:
1. They’re cybersecurity focused.
Cybersecurity should be at the top of every business leader’s list of priorities when it comes to IT, especially since the average cost of a cyber attack is estimated at $3.92 million. There is an increase in both phishing attacks (25% in one year) and ransomware (nearly 75% in one year), making unsecured IT networks and systems increasingly dangerous. A single breach is so dangerous, in fact, that 60% of small businesses that suffer one will close within 6 months of it happening.
The best Managed Service Providers in Texas understand the risks of an unsecured network and lacking cybersecurity. They can help your business build solutions suited to your size and set-up, with the right network protection, secure data storage options, and cybersecurity law compliance measures in place. Furthermore, they offer 24/7 system monitoring, so that even if a threat does come your way, it’s detected and patched immediately.
2. They develop a strategy and align it with business goals.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to your IT. Too many IT companies are offering generic solutions to all businesses, regardless of their industry, or are simply offering break/fix support that doesn’t prevent downtime or security risks. Instead, your IT provider should be offering customized services that are strategized according to your business goals.
The best Managed Service Providers will consult with you regularly regarding how they can align your IT with your business plans and projections. They understand that without optimizing your IT according to your specific needs, your IT can hinder your growth. They work with you to scale your infrastructure and plan for growth, and they can offer solutions such as cloud storage, hosting options, and more to fit your growing needs
3. They provide clear budgeting and a roadmap for upgrades and updates.
On average, companies spend 3.28% of all of their revenue on IT. Many companies are afraid to invest too much in IT, after decades of overspending in the wrong direction. If you’re similarly concerned about where your IT budget goes, then choosing an MSP with a clear monthly fee and transparent cost strategies is important.
Rather than working with a project-based IT company who often overcharges after servicing an IT issue, working with a top MSP means knowing the cost of their service beforehand. Managed Service Providers come at a monthly fee that is as low as one salaried employee, making it a transparent and cost-effective IT option for many businesses.
Additionally, the best IT service providers do not only provide reactive services, but also proactive plans to improve your systems, minimize downtime, and reduce IT issues so that your costs go down. They will be clear about when you’ll need upgrades and updates and how much they’ll cost. They’ll only offer the software and hardware your business actually needs, meaning that you only spend where it is most beneficial to your business.
4. They answer support tickets quickly.
Most businesses can’t afford to tolerate long periods of downtime while waiting for their IT service providers to respond. The longer a period of downtime, the more money you lose. A single minute of IT downtime can cost as much as $5,600, which equates to $300,000 per hour. The longer you have to wait for IT support, the more money it costs.
The best MSPs use support ticket systems that allow you and your team to signal how serious an issue is. As such, they can respond immediately to IT emergencies and prioritize businesses who are experiencing downtime, offering remote or onsite support as needed. They also should have 24/7 support desks, so that no matter when an IT emergency arises, you can get the support you need.
5. They mitigate risks so your business is always up and running.
With 24/7 system monitoring and consistent strategizing, a great MSP will make sure that risks are mitigated and your business is protected from downtime, data breaches, and other interruptions. This saves you time and money. The best MSPs make your systems more efficient as they analyze risk assessment data and find ways to improve your infrastructure.
Choosing the Best Texas Managed Service Provider
If you want to make sure you’re getting the best of the best, do your research and don’t be afraid to ask your local MSPs how they work. If they don’t meet the standards above, then you need to find someone who does.