What to Consider When Switching IT Service Providers
When you first hired an IT service provider, you probably thought the worst days were over. You finally have someone to monitor your IT environment 24/7 and ensure that critical business data are secure. And you are confident that whatever issue comes up, you can quickly call for help and fix what needs fixing before it could cause damage.
But for some reason, everything suddenly went south. Issues were recurring without resolution, costs jumped up, and your network defense started failing–all of which forced you to decide to move on with a new provider.
However, suppose you’ve been with your provider for a long time and didn’t want to burn bridges; you’re most likely contemplating if you are doing the right thing for the given situation.
We get where you’re coming from, and we’re here to help.
As a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) who’s been in the business for nearly two decades, our mission at Intelligent Technical Solutions (ITS) is to provide excellent service and ensure client satisfaction. Based on our experience with clients, a proper offboarding process is essential to maintain business relationships, but first, you must be a hundred percent certain of your decision.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this article:
- 4 considerations when switching IT service providers
- What you need to prepare before the big switch
After reading, you will know the considerations and steps you need to take to transition to a new provider as smoothly as possible.
4 Considerations When Switching IT Service Providers
Before going through the switch, ask yourself these important questions:
1. “Have I communicated the issues with my current provider?”
Before looking elsewhere and committing to the difficult task of switching IT service providers, it’s a good idea to reach out to your current provider and tell them about the issues first.
Evaluate the significance of these issues. Have you given them ample time to know and respond to the problem? If yes, do the same issues arise despite them telling you it has been resolved?
These questions will help you decide whether a change is really needed. There are times when just hashing it out is the best option. We all make mistakes. That’s true for your current IT provider too. However, if they are not receptive to your feedback, then it’s time to look for someone who is.
2. “How committed am I to making the switch?”
Switching providers is a massive undertaking. It will require a lot of time and effort for all parties concerned if you want to do it right. Make sure you are committed to the switch before going through it to prevent any costly missteps.
Remember, once you’ve committed to it, there’s no looking back.
3. “Does my provider offer advanced cybersecurity services?”
If your current provider doesn’t provide advanced cybersecurity services, you should go for someone who will.
Make sure that you know your IT environment and are aware of the potential risks to your network. It’s best to discuss these early in the switching process. This way, you can ensure that your new provider has the relevant skills needed to help maintain your infrastructure.
4. “Can my new provider help me achieve my business goals?”
The right provider shouldn’t just meet your standards now; they should be able to meet your goals in the immediate future. You wouldn’t want to sign on with a new provider and go through the arduous transition process only to outgrow them in a few years.
It helps to list and discuss what went wrong with your previous provider and clearly communicate your expectations to the new one.
Watch this video for a quick rundown of everything you need to know before you make the switch:
What You Need to Prepare Before the Big Switch
Just as you did when you first hired an IT service provider, there are also a lot of preparations involved when you decide to switch providers. Here are the things you need to do to guarantee a successful switching process:
1. Inform your current provider.
Notifying your current provider as soon as you decide will make offboarding faster.
You may have to draft a Termination Notice for this step. This means emailing your provider a specific term, usually a 30- to 60-day notice, before ending the contract. Doing this will help avoid any legal implications and give your old provider enough time to make the necessary changes, such as:
- Uninstalling their monitoring and backup software
- Procuring their equipment
- Securely sending all data to your new provider
2. Plan your timeline.
Moving all your IT to another company will take a lot of time. So, you must plan your timeline appropriately and coordinate the transition with all the parties involved. Agree on a time when your old and new IT service providers can offboard and onboard you, and make sure that it’s outside working hours so it doesn’t cause major disruption to your operations.
3. Prepare your team.
Inform your team of what’s happening. The goal is to involve all the key players in the transition process. Since they would be the most affected by the switch, explain to them the agreed-upon response times and ensure that they can test the new equipment to manage their expectations toward the new provider.
This will allow them to prepare for the move, like backing up critical data before the switch.
Are You Ready to Move to a New IT Service Provider?
Switching providers is a long and exhausting process that can easily go wrong without proper preparation. Fortunately, you’re now aware of all the considerations and groundwork to achieve a successful transition.
To recap, here are the questions you need to consider during the switching process:
- Have you communicated the issues with your current provider?
- How committed are you to make the switch?
- Does your new IT service provider offer advanced cybersecurity services?
- Can your new provider help you achieve your business goals?
And here are the things you need to prepare before and during the transition:
- Informing your current provider of your decision
- Planning your timeline
- Training your team for the transition
At ITS, we help hundreds of businesses achieve their goals by effectively managing their technology. Once you’re firm with your decision to switch providers, the next step is to find a suitable replacement. Our blog, How to Choose the Best IT Service Provider, can serve as your guide. Alternatively, you can also check out the following resources:
- 5 Problems When Changing Managed IT Providers (& How to Avoid Them)
- Shift Happens: IT Is Changing the Landscape, and Businesses Must Change Along with It