Formerly, switching IT service providers was a nightmare. We're talking about a painful, time-consuming, expensive, labor-intensive process.
But not any longer. Modern technology allows for practically the entire transfer to be completed remotely. Your transfer can be easy and painless with a little advance planning.
Before you sign any contracts with your new Managed Service Provider (MSP) or terminate any contracts with your current one, it's important to have a well-documented transition plan.
Here are the four steps to a smooth IT service provider transition:
Document Your Assets
Build a Transition Team
Pick Dates for Each Handover
Anticipate Some Security Hardening
Step 1: Document Your Assets
All of your IT assets, whether they are on-premises or in the cloud, should be inventoried, including hardware, software, networking components, operating systems, and data storage.
Then, build a list of your account passwords, application support information, and important company contacts, including their email addresses and most accessible phone numbers. Organizing your assets in advance offers you time to find any missing information. Once you do discover a new IT firm, the transition won't be delayed because you're rushing to provide your new provider credentials or let them know who the point of contact for each aspect of your IT operation is at the last minute.
Step 2: Build a Transition Team
Assign one person or one team to be in charge of managing your change in IT service providers. This person will monitor all communication between your two businesses to ensure that no opportunities for missed communication arise. They will also serve as your main point of contact with the new IT vendor. This individual should never be excluded from a transition conversation since they are your source of truth.
Your transition manager will also collaborate with your company's leadership team and IT management to reduce risks, spot and fix switch-related problems, monitor the timetable and the vendor's progress toward completing milestones, and do a lot more.
Step 3: Pick Dates for Each Handover
The majority of the time, businesses do not switch IT service providers at the same time. It's not the same as turning a switch to switch vendors. The majority of firms nowadays are too complicated for all IT systems to be transferred to a new MSP at once.
You must choose dates for each handover because of this.
Think about your backups, for instance. You must work with both MSPs to manage the removal of your backup solution and the installation of a new one by your new MSP. You must choose a date for the eventual switchover to the new backup solution.
Antivirus software is a good example. When will the old antivirus program be eliminated and the new one installed? What day, what hour, and what time zone is it? Once more, cooperation between the two IT service providers is necessary. (Typically, we're discussing a straightforward procedure of regular and open contact between the two MSPs. Most people in our industry are excellent communicators.)
Keep in mind that the dates you choose are subject to the terms of your contract with your new IT firm. You must be supported by your new provider as of a specific day and time—not earlier. Therefore, be sure to temporarily overlap your two MSPs. During the transfer, you require access to each team's assets.
Step 4: Anticipate Some Cybersecurity Hardening
When taking over your account, your new MSP will change the locks as one of the first things they do. They will block your former MSP's access to your networks, applications, control panels, and more in every manner they can.
This could need some work and time from you, depending on the size of your business and your IT footprint. As a result, once your new MSP assumes control, prepare to set aside some personnel and time to strengthen your security.
How RCS Makes Your MSP Switch Easier
If a person is satisfied with their existing IT company, they rarely look to switch. Perhaps yours is difficult to deal with, not involved enough, or too busy to take care of you.
In either case, the following items should be added to your checklist if you want a strategic IT partner who is simple to work with, including when switching providers.
Documented onboarding process
At RCS, we have a formal onboarding procedure that is divided into two phases. First, we meet your team in a non-technical onboarding session. We talk about things like how to contact us and how you want communication to work.
The relationship is established on the basis of this. Following that, we introduce devoted staff to onboard you.
We designate a project manager for you who creates a statement of work and oversees the project. Throughout this process, we examine your environment, document it, and update any documentation.
Your transfer will go well if you have a tested and documented onboarding procedure.
The majority of the work required to switch IT companies is completed online. To deploy things quickly, we use a range of automation tools at RCS. This facilitates a smoother transition for you with fewer obstacles.
For instance, we deploy automation solutions to remotely distribute updates to the devices of your staff. Our automation solutions allow us to manage detection and response remotely and automatically without having to touch a single workstation or bother a single person, as well as push additional products like security patches and antivirus updates.
A beautiful relationship should begin when you switch IT companies. And that relationship requires a technical plan in order to function successfully. RCS works with your team to create a technology roadmap that outlines your short-, medium-, and long-term objectives as well as the approach, financial budget, and timetable for achieving each one.
Switching IT Service Providers Can Be Easier Than Ever
That is not to argue that switching service providers is always a piece of cake. Changing IT service providers will be more difficult and take longer if you:
Have obsolete infrastructure that software suppliers no longer maintain, necessitating a more hands-on approach.
You want to migrate your on-premises databases and physical infrastructure to the cloud.
Are pressed for time and must switch in a matter of days rather than the customary 30-90 days.
Are unable to invest the effort in organizing your team, inventorying your assets, and preparing your transfer.
Even if your business is one of those that is having some difficulties, switching IT providers is no longer the nightmare it once was. We have highly developed onboarding procedures, automation technologies, and substantial experience assisting businesses of all sizes—as well as IT environments—in switching from one MSP to another. The easiest approach to leaving your present IT service provider is with the aid of our team members.