There are many benefits to switching your IT service provider. From reducing costs to introducing efficiencies and accessing expertise and cutting edge solutions and ideas, any business can benefit enormously. What is off-putting for many companies is the switch itself – but this isn’t as intimidating as you might think. Preparing your company for an IT provider switch is simple when you know how.
Have you checked your current service thoroughly?
There are two reasons to have a good look at the service you currently have before starting the process of switching. The first is that you need to make sure you comply with any existing contract when it comes to bringing it to an end. If you don’t then you may end up with a contract you can’t get out of when you’ve already signed a new one, which could be costly. Secondly, look at the services you currently have and asses what works and what doesn’t work – why are you moving on? This will help to ensure you get a better deal next time.
Do you have all your information in one place?
Make sure that you have a list of everything that relates to your IT systems before the switch takes place so that the process will be as smooth as possible. This includes:
- Passwords and logins – ask your existing provider for an up to date list and test them all to ensure that they work.
- Software licences – where are they stored and how can you access instructions for installation/maintenance.
- Security policies – you’ll need to have a copy of these to give to the new provider.
- IT assets lists – this should give you a comprehensive overview of all the IT software and hardware that you have.
Have you backed everything up?
It’s always a good idea to ensure regular data backups in business, given the potential for system failures and security breaches such as ransomware. This is especially crucial when you’re about to switch IT provider.
Have you planned the transition?
Make one person within your team a point of contact for the entire process so that there is a clear chain of command and responsibility. Work out how much time you need to complete the transition and how to communicate any process changes across the business. Ensure you allow for any training in new systems and adapting to any new models. A handover checklist can help to ensure that every necessary step in switching from one IT provider to another has been taken.