Is it time to move to a new IT services provider?
Updated: Aug 30, 2022
IT is core to how many businesses operate and moving to a new IT provider can feel like a major task. With planning, you can avoid these issues and make for a smooth transition.
Why would you need to move your IT services providers? Numerous reasons can arise over time and listed below are a few flags you should be looking out for and if you feel you are affected by any of them, then it may be time to change. The list is not exhaustive but merely an idea what you should be looking out for.
#1: Mutually agreed deliverables are not being met
When you begin working with an IT managed services provider, you should receive a service level agreement (SLA) which provides the framework for what you should expect (as a minimum) from your provider. The SLA can be designed to be flexible but should be able to be used to keep your provider accountable.
You should review these terms and regularly measure your provider against them. You should be able to quickly identify any issues with the partnership.
#2: Random billing
One of the key reasons businesses choose an IT managed services provider is to have accurate and reliable budget forecasting available to them for their IT spend. Your provider should be able to work with you on your budget and be able to provide a fixed-fee pricing model that ensures you have control over this budget.
Your provider should not be randomly billing you (unless you have consented to this and know what the billing is for). Communication is key to an efficient and prosperous relationship...which leads us to point #3.
#3: Minimal communication
Dependant upon your SLA, your provider should be communicating with you periodically about new solutions to known issues your business may have. Some arrangements will only require a break/fix solution but if your provider is working as your IT department, you should be expecting regular updates and meetings to ensure you understand how they are working with you and just what you are getting for your money.
#4: Security concerns
Are you finding more issues popping up on your network? More spam being received? Issues with your own emails being delivered? There are numerous areas to review over cyber security and your provider should be regularly testing not only your systems but their own systems to ensure they are as secure as possible. Any issues should be addressed immediately with yourself so that you are completely aware of how any security breaches should be handled.
#5: Slow response
You should have an SLA from your provider detailing items like, how long it will take for a helpdesk call to be answered and how long should you expect before remediation of the issue. If you find the ticket response time is slipping, there may be an issue with the provider.
#6: Skills shortage
You may feel that the provider does not seem to have the necessary skillset to cover your systems anymore. Over time, staff at these providers move on and the provider may well not let you know this has happened. The provider may move to a different IT stack and not provide the same level of service for your technology. This can lead to frustration within your business when they can no longer engage with a product expert.
The art to a smooth transition
If you are experiencing any of the above red flags, you should consider changing your IT managed services provider.
Ask for an audit of your existing IT environment
Your new provider will need this to ensure a smooth transition. The new provider may well be able to determine the physical items at your premises but they will most likely not know about your cloud offerings or additional services. The new provider should review the current setup (hardware, software, patching, cyber security, cloud environments). Along with a discussion with yourself, this should provide the new provider enough information to begin the transition.
Let your current provider know
When you ask for an audit of your current IT environment your current provider may well ask why. This is usually the point where you may find some resistance but so long as the provider stays true to the SLA, you should not have an issue. Ensure you provide enough severance time as documented within your agreement with the current provider.
Transition from the current provider
You need to ensure you have all admin credentials from the current provider before the end of the termination period with the current provider. Your current provider may well have provided you with hardware and they will need to come onsite to remove this.
In with the new
Once you have all of this, your new provider will be able to verify that everything is working as expected. For additional security, they should change the credentials provided by the current provider (once the transition is complete). Your new provider may need to install new hardware (if anything was removed by the current provider) and they may need to spend some time on-site to ensure everything transitions as smoothly as possible.
That should be it...sounds daunting at first, but it isn't quite as bad as some people think it could be.
Ready to change?
Inettek are ready to listen to your needs and we can help with the transition process. Discover more about how Inettek could be your new IT managed services provider here.