There are times when your IT provider makes you feel more frustrated than the peace of mind they promised. When that happens, walking away is an option that is certainly really tempting. The frequent outages, emails getting amiss, data access issues, firewalls getting breached, and slow response times to technical issues are happening so often they just can’t be ignored anymore.
You start to draft a plan to change your IT provider but the thought of going through another network assessment and meetings with other IT firms may seem more trouble than it’s worth. So is there a way to go about this with the most minimal amount of disruption?
We’ve gathered these simple steps you can consider when you've decided you are ready to make the change. After all, your relationship with your IT provider isn’t for life. While it may seem like a lot of work to make the switch, disrupted business operation due to persistent technical issues costs more.
List your concerns
To ensure that your next IT provider gives you the appropriate support you need and more, list all of the things that you feel are lacking from your current service provider. You can even do a simple network assessment yourself so you know to bring any issues you see with your current infrastructure up to your potential new provider. This way, they can account for this when doing their own routine assessment and draw up a proposal that answers all your previous concerns.
Make sure that the way they operate is the best fit for your company so that the problems you’ve encountered with the old provider are not going to make a comeback. For example, if getting a hold of your old provider in times of crisis has always been an issue, ask the new firm if you get a dedicated account manager as your point of contact for all times. Ask what their guaranteed response time is for every level of severity of an issue. Do they offer remote monitoring and support to ensure fast response time? Do they have SLA's and can they share them with you? Do they have references trhey can provide?
Lay out your future needs
The goal for IT support has always been to add value to your business and aid in your strategic goals. Don’t just list your concerns but look at the big picture of where you want and see your business heading. If you’re looking to expand or relocate in the near future, look for an IT provider that is able to scale up their services and have dealt with relocations. If a flexible working environment is an option you want to roll out in the near future, ensure that your next provider is equipped with remote access support and can maintain a robust security for all mobile devices in your network.
Whatever your future needs may be, make sure to communicate this so the next provider can take that into account and include that in their proposal. This way you have an idea of the budget that you will need to consider for when rolling out your future plans.
Request a consultation
After listing your concerns and future needs, you need to know what you expect from your potential new service provider. Request a consultation with your potentially new IT provider. This should be an easy task as there are countless firms offering free consultations. But even so, make sure to evaluate them accordingly and that their services match up to what you need.
Look for trust indicators to make sure you are in safe hands. As you know what software you use, choose service providers whose team has skills and certifications with that specific software, or has partnership with the brand. This way, you know you will be 100% supported with concerns relating to that.
Pre-qualify IT providers according to these and schedule a consultation with them. They should be able to take your IT system into account and provide a proposal that is tailored to your business needs and help with your goals.
Make the switch
Give the required notice according to your existing IT contact and then let your new provider handle the handover process from your old contract. Just make sure that the whole process aims for a smooth transition, with the most minimal of service interruptions.
There may be some platform changes, or in other cases, little or no back-end changes will be called for. Whatever the case may be, your new IT firm will have this all laid out in the transition plan, including measures that they will do to address any drawbacks that might occur.
Of course, this smooth transition assumes that you’re legally free to walk away from your existing IT partnership. For this reason, it is better to be with an IT company offering a month-to-month contract so you’re not locked in to a long-term contract and can walk away anytime you’ve become unhappy with their support.
Now that you have the details you need, good luck on improving your technology requirements.
Do you want to switch IT providers but are too worrried about security of transition and your data? Schedule your free consultation with us and we can talk about your options.