Changing IT providers can be a daunting task. It might seem impossible when they are so heavily integrated into business operations. Unfortunately, youâ€™re here for a reason thoughâ€¦ and after one too many computer problems, it might be time to change.
Lucky for you, changing IT providers is nowhere near as complicated as it used to be. Believe it or not, when changing service providers, theyâ€™ll do all the heavy lifting for you, seriously! But it doesnâ€™t hurt to be proactive and 100% guarantee the right fit before pulling the trigger.
Here are 4 steps I highly recommend you take to change IT service providers safely. So you donâ€™t find yourself in the same predicament again.
1. Document All the Problemsâ€¦ and Positives
Itâ€™s essential that if decide to pull the plug, you know the exact reason why. In the lead up make sure you are taking notes of every issue that arises and how itâ€™s negatively affecting your business.
Having these documented will help you ask the right questions when talking to providers. Ultimately these are the key issues you want to raise, if not, you may be met with some nasty surprises after all the effort of changing providers.
Itâ€™s just as important to highlight things that your provider does well. While they might do more bad than good, itâ€™s important you donâ€™t stop receiving the services that you did find helpful. Asking the right questions will ensure a new provider will continue doing the things you like and rectify issues you werenâ€™t fond of.
2. Ensure a Good Fit (Obviously)
With the reliance on technology, IT providers are more integrated into businesses than ever before. When looking for a new company itâ€™s important to consider aspects aside from their technical ability. You must clearly define your business goals, company culture, and values.
These IT experts will be interacting with your business and employees on a daily basis. Itâ€™s important they are willing to integrate seamlessly. This may be the cause for future conflict when both parties butt heads and donâ€™t see eye to eye.
If the new provider isnâ€™t on the same page in terms of your business goals it may cause further confrontation. If an MSP is continuously suggesting ideas that go against your business values, it will cause more frustration than intended.
Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s important to evaluate whether the new provider will be a good fit on all company levels. Make sure they get to know youâ€™re business so you both can properly assess whether it is the right fit.
3. A Transition Plan is Key
Having a plan of transition is a crucial step in ensuring a safe changeover. Make sure your new IT provider outlines how it will take over your systems with minimal interruption.
In the transition plan, your new IT provider needs to outline the different stages. The transition timeline, the tools and systems involved, and how the process will be implemented are all important parts. Itâ€™s important to discuss this because when the time comes you donâ€™t want to be faced with any unexpected downtime.
Delays in switching IT plans can be costly to your business. Your new IT provider must understand the importance of a good transition plan and place a high emphasis on one. If not, it could mean they arenâ€™t taking your business seriously.
4. Be the Bearer of Bad News
Breaking up with your IT service provider can be difficult, but it’s important to be honest and give them enough notice. In this situation, the earlier the better.
It may be a hard pill for them to swallow, but with enough time to sit on the decision, come time to change they should be accepting. To be extra careful, before ending your contract check the notice period or exit clause.
It’s also helpful to introduce your new provider to your current one and conduct a meeting to ensure a smooth transition. Keeping things on good terms is important. Your current provider has key information about your systems that is necessary to pass on to the new provider.
Your current tech limitations and any hang-ups on your infrastructure are important points. Make sure to clarify as this information is crucial to making the transition process seamless.
Keep in mind that your current provider may not cooperate fully, if thatâ€™s the case, make sure your new IT provider has a plan in place so this doesnâ€™t affect the transition timeline.
Youâ€™ve got this!
Hopefully, these critical steps in changing IT service providers have given you an extra boost in confidence. Itâ€™s your business suffering and the quicker something gets done, the quicker youâ€™ll start seeing the benefits.
If you have concerns I assure you itâ€™s nothing new to an IT provider. So be honest, and open, and I assure you theyâ€™ll be able to help in ways that make you wonder why you worried in the first place.
Good luck and happy hunting!