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How to Find an MSP That’s a Right Fit For Your Organization

Today, many IT departments at Small to Midsize Businesses (SMBs) find themselves in a near-impossible position. Their team has never faced more challenges, from rolling out new IT tools to fending off advanced cyber attacks, yet, they’ve never been so under-resourced. The IT talent pool is stretched thin. Hiring and retaining employees with the right skill sets is a challenge for many businesses, and it’s only going to worsen in the coming years. It’s for this reason that outsourcing elements of a business’s IT operations to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) has emerged as such a popular practice.

Almost 80% of SMBs outsource one or more IT services to an IT outsourcing partner in 2023, up from 64% in 2022, according to the 2023 IT Operations Report. As outsourcing becomes increasingly popular, business leaders need to understand how they can find an (MSP) that’s a fit for the needs of their organization. 

In this article, we share the key steps businesses should take to identify a well-suited MSP with the skills and the capabilities to help move their business forward. 

Tech Heads is a full-service IT consulting firm headquartered in Portland, OR. With over 25 years of experience providing managed IT services to hundreds of companies, our talented professionals serve as long-standing outsourcing partners to organizations across a variety of industries.

The Value of a Well-Matched Managed Service Provider (MSP)

Outsourcing some, or all, of your business’s IT infrastructure management and security to an external vendor can be a daunting process. But done right, it’s one that can solve many internal performance challenges, setting your business on a better path forward while freeing your IT team to focus on long-term strategic projects that improve your business. 

Partnering with an MSP can result in all kinds of benefits, from cost savings to accessing advanced capabilities and specialized skill sets. It’s a predictable, stable way to manage your IT infrastructure that enables businesses to transfer the risk that comes with hiring and managing expensive IT staff, along with the risk of securing valuable corporate data, to an external partner with proven processes and frameworks. 

Key Steps to Identifying the Right Managed Service Provider (MSP)

Investing the time and resources to find the right IT outsourcing partner is a vital step in ensuring a productive long-term partnership. It’s true that there is no shortage of MSPs out there, but it’s equally true that they’re not created equal. 

As a business leader, it’s your job to find the IT outsourcing partner that’s the best fit for the unique needs and challenges of your organization. To do so, consider the steps outlined below. By following this process, you can ensure a measured, thoughtful approach to selecting the right partner for your business. 

Step 1: Assess Outsourcing Readiness

Outsourcing isn’t always the answer. Often, before starting to work with an MSP, your business might have to make several changes and upgrades to prepare for this new partnership. 

That could involve upgrading elements of your existing infrastructure and documenting key processes and workflows. You could have the best MSP in the world, but if your servers and devices are a decade old, your new partner will be extremely limited in what they can do.

The right MSP can help lead this process, building a secure infrastructure that will integrate seamlessly with the underlying strategy behind their service offering. Beyond these technical considerations, your team must also be willing to embrace the operational changes that working with an MSP will result in. 

Step 2: Leverage a Comprehensive Provider Audit

To determine which vendor is best suited to your business, you should measure every potential partner using the same methods. Every MSP is different: some provide the bare-minimum service required, whereas others will dive deep and help your business transform IT into a strategic advantage. 

By undertaking a comprehensive Audit process, your business can evaluate potential partners on the metrics that are most important to you. Think of this as a scorecard: an objective way to holistically evaluate the services provided by an MSP. 

Do you need an MSP Audit template you can customize for your business? Download the Tech Heads IT Outsourcing Readiness Kit to access a free Audit template plus a variety of other IT outsourcing resources. 

Step 3: Focus on Underlying Frameworks and Capabilities

An MSP’s service framework is perhaps one of the most important indicators of the quality of their service. Many low-quality MSPs focus solely on providing support for existing systems, and do the bare minimum to check the boxes on performing basic tasks, failing to adopt an underlying framework that guides strategy, decision-making and thoroughness. This approach often results in insufficient levels of security and also does little to move your business forward.  

At Tech Heads, our MSP services are designed to meet both the ITIL standards and the CIS Controls, delivering a comprehensive approach to IT strategy that elevates both security and service quality. We serve as long-term IT partners and have the skills to work on a wide variety of IT infrastructure projects that build enduring value for businesses. 

Step 4: Complete Comprehensive Due Diligence

Selecting an IT outsourcing partner is a vital decision that will affect the trajectory of your business’s IT infrastructure for years to come. You’ll likely be signing a multi-year contract and making significant changes to your business’s IT infrastructure. Clearly, this isn’t a decision that you should rush into.

Take the time to complete rigorous due diligence on potential partners. Dig past the marketing speak to figure out the true capabilities of your potential partner. Ask probing technical questions. Seek out client testimonials and case studies, and make sure to get a thorough overview of the MSP’s systems and processes. 
Tech Heads: A Proven Managed Service Provider (MSP)
In some ways, a relationship with an IT outsourcing partner is similar to a marriage. It’s a long-term relationship where communication, trust, and mutual goals are central to your success. If things go wrong and you need to divorce your MSP, it can be a costly, uncomfortable process. 

Finding the right partner ensures your business’s IT infrastructure serves as a launch pad for your success, not a weight around your ankles. This demands a strategic approach anchored in technical excellence and a constructive, two-way relationship focused on helping your business adapt and evolve to be successful. 

At Tech Heads, THInc Ops™, our managed IT service, provides clients with a comprehensive MSP experience centered on security. We serve as trusted, long-term partners to hundreds of businesses, bringing a tried and tested approach to IT and cybersecurity services that builds lasting value for our clients. 

To learn more about our IT outsourcing and MSP services, contact Contact Us Today!