A 5-Step Guide to Changing your IT Support Provider for your Business

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This article outlines the key areas to cover when changing IT providers.
This is going on the assumption that the business has either:

1) A fully outsourced IT company provides relevant IT services.
2) Internal IT department/staff that require 3rd party support for certain aspects of the technology function in the business.

Step 1

What the new supplier should be asking:
Multiple factors come into this decision in the business, which we will not outline in this article. Instead, we will describe the things to ask for that can sometimes be missed in the whole process.

Audit of current systems:

If the new supplier is experienced, they will ask to do this before providing services. It’s a basic which and should be covered in their proposal.
Without this information, hidden costs may appear which were not budgeted for.

The goals and strategy for the business:

The IT supplier must know this information. Many suppliers will not ask these probing questions and want to get down to the technical detail. However, the new supplier needs to see this information when upgrading or changing systems.
What’s planned for the business will dictate what technology solutions are. If a suitable investment can be made earlier, this will work to the business’s favour in later stages.

Step 2

Review of the current contract.
Depending on the level of service the incumbent supplier provides, there will usually be a formalised contract of service. Within this contract, there will be clauses that dictate the agreement’s termination process.
There will also be an agreed date with the incumbent supplier when the contract ends. This date has to be carefully managed to provide a seamless end date and start date for the new contract.

Step 3

Exchange of information.
Part of the daily tasks of an IT support company is the need to know security details and password for admin-level access to servers, network devices, and cloud services.
The incumbent supplier will have a record of all of these details, usually in the form of:
– username
– passwords
– network addresses
– cloud and offsite service login URLs
This information should be requested at the time of termination by you, the business and not the new IT supplier.
This information should be securely communicated to the new supplier within the business.

Step 4

The change over day.
At this stage, the new IT supplier should clearly understand your business and be ready to support your IT and technology needs.
Depending on the service agreed upon and what is to be fulfilled within the contract, a formal communication to all staff may be required notifying them of the following:
– Change in supplier
– Contact details of the supplier
– Preferred methods of communication
A gatekeeper within the business may act as a conduit for reporting issues; this should also be considered with the correct internal communication.

Step 5

A 3-month review of service:
The 5th and final step is often missed in the change of provider. After the contract start date, a 3-month review of service meeting should be held by key stakeholders and the new IT supplier.
The agenda for this meeting should include feedback on how the new service is taking shape within the organisation and an action plan for great areas that could do with improvement.
While a 3-month review of service is not critical in the changeover process, it will complement the goals and strategy of the business.