Switching IT Companies? Here’s Our List of Key Considerations For A Smooth Transition.
When you need better IT support, it’s obvious. But are you worried about making a change or think it’s going to be a hassle?
We’ve met many clients over the years that think that even though their current IT company may not be ideal, it’s not worth the potential risk to switch to another. You’re right to be cautious – the IT company you’re trying to leave has the “keys to your kingdom,” and they could make the process difficult for you.
At Core Vision IT Solutions, we help companies just like yours move from their current provider every year. And the good news is that in all of our years of transitioning clients, we’ve yet to experience a major issue caused by the outgoing vendor.
What we have found, however, is that the transition only goes smoothly if there’s a good process to follow, as even seemingly small items can become major issues if not managed properly. So our goal for this article is to share some of the key considerations you should be aware of and how best to approach this change.
Please note: while it’s certainly beneficial to us if you decide to switch to our services, this article’s point is to share some best practices for managing the change. Whether you switch to Core Vision IT Solutions or some other IT company, we want to help ensure it’s done right.
What Can Go Wrong When Switching IT Companies?
Let’s start with potential issues that could happen when switching IT companies. Note that these are potential issues only if you and your new IT company fail to manage the process carefully.
- Service Gaps: If your services with your current IT provider end before the services from your new provider begin, you may find that some services might end before new ones take their place. Services like email, software subscriptions, anti-virus, and data backup are just some of the monthly services that might not coincide with your transition date.
- Support Gaps: Like the services above, you may also be left without help desk and system support for the period of time in between. What will you do when you need help? What happens when a server goes down? What happens when you’re hit with ransomware?
- Missing Information: An outgoing IT company may not be happy about being fired – and in retaliation, they may hold onto configuration records or critical login info, to make the process more difficult for you and your next IT company.
- System Access: Admin access to your systems may have been necessary for your previous IT company to do their job. But once you’ve moved on, you obviously don’t want them to have access to your systems and data still. Even worse, they might inadvertently create a backdoor into your systems that get forgotten and becomes an issue down the road. So finding these holes and blocking access can be difficult without the right tools and plans in place.
How Should You Approach Switching IT Companies?
To avoid unnecessary downtime, configuration issues, and other problems that can stem from a poorly planned transition, make sure to follow these five key steps:
- Don’t cancel your service from your current IT provider until you have everything in place with your new IT provider. Once your new IT company is ready for the transition process, notify your previous provider of your termination plans as required by your contract. Putting your new IT provider in direct contact with your existing provider usually will diffuse any situation or rash reactions and keep things professional.
- Consider paying for a month of overlapping services for both service providers. Often this will be a small cost vs. headaches involved in service and support gaps. It can also be a show of good faith to the outgoing service company so that they’re more open to assisting in the transition.
- Ensure you have admin access to all accounts, data, and applications, along with a master list of passwords and other login info. Your new IT company should verify this information before final payments to the old company … who should also quickly change passwords to restrict access.
- Make sure your new IT company performs a cybersecurity assessment to confirm that no obvious risks exist for system or data access, including cloud-hosted services. Once the transition starts, have them install a new firewall and force password changes on all user accounts, as that should eliminate most of the direct access risks.
- Ensure your staff knows about the change in IT support and how to make use of the new service. But make sure your new provider is ready to go before you announce the change, so the information doesn’t get shared before you’re ready for it.
In reality, almost every IT company knows that any subversive actions they take can almost always be identified and traced back to them. So it is rare that any attempt to disrupt your business is made given the potential risk and damage to the company’s reputation and business. This is especially true when they know a professional IT firm is managing the transition on your behalf.
Having a Plan and Process for Switching is the Key
Making a change in IT providers shouldn’t be a risky process if you work with an experienced team with a solid process in place. Each of the major risks can be mitigated by following the plan, and taking a methodical approach will also catch the small details needed to ensure a successful transition.
And when you do make the switch, keep in mind that the success of that partnership will, in part, depend on how you manage it. You can make your partnership with the IT company you switch to successful by avoiding common mistakes, as explored in this article.
If you’re interested in learning more about Core Vision’s process and how we can assist you, just let us know. We work with small and mid-sized businesses looking to upgrade their IT services and help them transition to a better experience. This applies to companies changing Managed Service Providers and those looking to replace internal IT staff as the same process applies.
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