Switching IT Providers
For whatever reason, you’ve decided that your existing provider is no longer meeting the needs of your business. Maybe they’re failing to meet their SLA’s or perhaps you feel you are getting bad advice.
It’s good to have a rough idea of what the process will look like when you switch providers, so here’s a general overview of the switching process:
- Read your current IT provider contact.
- Research new IT support providers.
- Meet with prospective providers.
- Decide on new provider and meet with them to discuss terms of your new working relationship.
- Inform existing provider that you no longer require their services.
- Agree timelines with both your existing and your new provider.
- Your new provider makes contact with your existing provider to gain access to systems, passwords and any other relevant information.
- Your new provider visits you for a meeting to help them understand your systems, any industry specific software and how you wish to work, policies etc.
- Your new provider takes over the management of your systems. Your old provider no longer has access but is normally still under contract for a period of time in case any information is needed.
- Exit meeting with old provider. This isn’t always required but its purpose is so that all management of your system is formally moved across to the new provider.
- Your team would normally be shown how to log support calls and be provided with all the necessary contact information.
- Review meetings – you would normally have a series of these meetings in the first few weeks/months of the new relationship to discuss any issues that have arisen as well as future plans.
There are also some simple steps you can take to prepare your business for the switch and make the transition easier.
- Check your contact – before switching, check the conditions of your contract with your current IT provider. You’ll most likely have to give a notice period before you can end your contract.
- State clearly your reasons for switching – what needs were your current providers not meeting? What doesn’t work with them? Understanding your problems with your existing providers ensures that you’re not simply moving the same problems to another provider.
- Know all your login details – Before you give your notice period, ask your existing IT support provider for an up-to-date list of usernames and passwords used within your company. Test that they all work and keep them in a safe place. Although most providers are decent people and are happy to help, they’re likely to prioritise the needs of their staying customers over those leaving them. So, if you have to ask for your login details after you’ve given your termination notice, their response may be slow, and this can delay your switching process.
- Back up your data – Backing up all your data is always good business practice. More so when you’re planning to switch IT support providers. This ensures that all your data is protected against accidental error during the switch over. If your existing IT support provider also does your backup, create a backup of your own. Ensure you have the latest backup and that they work. Your backup is useless if it cannot restore your data properly.
The key to switching IT provider is to review and evaluate what has gone wrong with the current relationship. This will help you to be more open with any new providers when you discuss where you need to see improvements. Make sure your new provider keeps you up to date at regular intervals so that you are aware of any issues. If they do arise, do what you can to liaise between the old and new provider as much as possible to help keep the lines of communication open.