If technology is at the forefront of your business, a so-so IT provider weakens your competitive edge.
Making the switch to another provider may seem scary at first, but gathering the right information up front lessens the burden. Doing so also positions you to solve current user issues and build a better roadmap for the future of your company.There’s No Reason To Fear The Unknown
The initial concerns about shopping around for a new managed IT services partner are common:
- Is the new provider going to make me purchase other software and applications in addition to what I already have?
- Is my previous provider taking functionality out of my IT infrastructure?
- How much time will I spend preparing for the switch to another provider, and what exactly must be done to ensure a smooth transition?
It’s true that researching new providers costs time and money, but the risk is worth the reward. And identifying the answers to these questions early in your research makes the whole process easier.
“It’s Not You, It’s Me”
In the past, switching providers was like getting a divorce – messy and complicated. If you’ve had a conversation about your current IT provider’s shortcomings, as well as provided them with the resources and opportunities to live up to their commitments, and they still have not improved, change is necessary.
Consider the following tips for a headache-free switch:
- Ask your previous provider for a document detailing what your current IT infrastructure looks like so you don’t spend a lot of time gathering information or making someone else in your organization do it.
- Consult with your previous provider on other deliverables to ensure a smooth transition, and ask for their assistance with follow through.
- There may be some upfront costs to ensure that a new IT team is fully ready to support you, but the remediation phase is crucial for making your IT systems last longer and be more reliable.
- As a business leader, before you begin researching new providers, ask yourself: What services do I need, and who within my organization is best suited to determine and advise on new partner candidates?
What Information Do You Need For An Easy Transition?
After you’ve identified a new IT provider, compile and deliver the following information to help your new partner get up to speed on your system requirements:
- Administrator usernames and passwords
- Internal systems (network, core business systems, etc.), domain register names for all domains your organization uses and third-party systems (EDI Value-Added Network [VAN], cloud providers, etc.)
- High-level architecture of your IT infrastructure and its applications, as well as supplier contacts (phone system, voice and data services, ERP system, etc.)
Having this information handy helps jumpstart the transition between IT providers. You should also request information from your new provider to ensure success.
For example, ask your new partner for a list of deliverables, a timeline of when they need this information and what the impact will be if you are unable to provide certain details. Go line by line with your new provider so you know what will be lost in the transition if the information cannot be provided.
If the prospective provider is unable to vividly detail how a lack of knowledge or information may impact future day-to-day business activities, you should continue searching for a more experienced partner.
Need some guidelines for asking the right questions of a prospective IT services provider? Download our free whitepaper, 12 Questions To Ask A Potential Managed IT Services Partner, to help narrow your search and partner with the right firm.