There are many factors that may lead to a business looking to change their IT provider – whether you're not happy with the service level, are growing too fast for your current provider to keep up, or you are exploring new opportunities. This article will not go in to depth about what may cause you to change IT providers, but will outline the important topics to cover with your new provider for a successful transition, based on the assumption that your business has either:
1) A fully outsourced IT company providing relevant IT services.
2) An internal IT department/staff, who require third party support for certain technology function in the business.
Step 1: What the new provider should be asking
There are a couple of key questions to expect from any new IT provider worth their salt:
Audit of current systems:
If the new supplier is experienced, they will ask to do this before providing services. It is standard best practice and should be covered in their proposal.
Without this information, hidden costs may appear which were unknown to your new provider and have thus have not been budgeted for.
The goals and strategy for the business:
It’s critical that the IT provider knows this information about your business in order to implement technology that will will grow with your business. Some IT companies will not ask these probing questions and want to get straight to the technical detail, however an experienced provider needs to know this information when it comes time to upgrade or change systems.
What’s planned for the business will dictate what technology strategy that is put in place by your IT provider. If the right investment can be made earlier on this will work to the businesses favour in later stages. You can read more about this in our article: Why ad hoc IT support is a bad idea.
Step 2: Review of current contract
Depending on the level of service is being provided by the incumbent supplier, there will usually be a formalised contract written up somewhere. Within this contract, there will be clauses that dictate the process for termination of the agreement. There will also be an agreed date with the incumbent supplier when the contract will end.
This date is important and must be carefully managed to provide a seamless end date and start date to the new contract. Your business shouldn't suffer when you change IT provider.
Step 3: Exchange of information
An integral part of an IT support company's responsibility is knowing the security details and password for admin level access to all servers, network devices and cloud services within your business.
The incumbent supplier will have a record of all of these details, such as
- network addresses
- cloud and offsite service login URLs
This information needs to be requested at the time of termination by you, and not the new IT supplier. Once you have this information, you should hold it within your business before securely communicating it your new IT company.
Step 4: Change over day
Your new IT provider should now have a clear understanding of your business, and be ready to support your IT and technology requirements.
Depending on the details of your new service level agreement, a formal communication should be sent out to all staff notifying them of the change in IT company, the contact details of the new provider and their preferred method of communication.
It is not uncommon for there to be a gatekeeper within your business who will act as a conduit for reporting IT issues to your new supplier, which should be taken into consideration with the correct internal communication strategy.
Step 5: A three month review
This final step is extremely important, but often overlooked when changing IT suppliers.
As part of your new contract, a 3-month review of service meeting should be scheduled between key stakeholders and the new IT company. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss how the new service is taking shape within the organisation, and create an action plan to address any areas that could do with improvement.
While a 3-month review is not critical in the changeover process, it will definitely complement your IT strategy and business goals.
To learn more about changing IT companies, or to enquire about NetCare as an IT service provider in Sydney, contact us by filling out our enquiry form.