If this isn’t how you feel about your managed IT provider, is it time to switch?
Before you go running for the hills, shouting “switching is sooo much hassle, though”, take stock! It’s not. We promise!
E2E Technologies is a managed IT provider. We have helped many businesses to seamlessly manage their transition from an existing provider. On no such occasion was anybody, or anything (including animals) harmed in the process!
Here we’ll explain why switching IT provider is not as complex as you may think. Firstly, though, let’s take a look at the signs that tell you it’s time to switch.
Why switch IT provider?
Your current IT provider isn’t proactive
Your managed IT provider should always have your back, even when you don’t know your back is in need of attention. They should be on top of your IT infrastructure, anticipating problems before they happen, troubleshooting your systems and detecting problems quickly. If they’re not proactive, you might as well pay for IT services only as and when you need them (which we wouldn’t recommend!).
Inadequate response times
An IT provider that isn’t responsive will potentially cost your business both in terms of productivity and income. You need to know that you can rely on your IT provider to respond quickly in the event of a problem to avoid downtime and protect your bottom line.
Communication is hard work and time consuming
If your IT provider doesn’t communicate well, it not only costs you time in chasing them for assistance, but you are also on the back foot when it comes to growing your business. If they don’t keep in touch with you regularly with reviews, innovations and industry updates, you are left in the dark when you could be using your systems more effectively or finding cost-effective alternatives to your current setup.
Lack of scalability
Your IT provider should be able to adapt their services to the growth of your business. You need to know that if you double your headcount, your IT provider will be able to keep up and carefully guide you through upscaling your IT infrastructure. If they can’t, you risk problems with onboarding, training and fulfilling the needs of your growing customer base.
Inadequate cyber security
Robust cyber security is paramount for businesses of all sizes. Whether you are an SME or a large corporation, your cyber security should be a priority. If the cyber security implemented by your IT provider is giving you cause for concern, but they’re unable to offer an alternative, your data and the entire operation of your business are at risk.
How do you switch IT provider?
Assuming you’re unable to make any headway to resolve any of the above or other issues, it’s time to switch IT provider. But once you’ve decided on a new IT provider how do you go about implementing the switch?
Check your existing contract
Your first step in switching IT provider is to check your existing contract, looking for a notice period or curtailment penalties. If there are penalties you need to weigh up the potential cost to your business of not switching compared to what those penalties would be. You may also be able to claim a breach of contract that removes the penalties. Always check the fine print and keep the relationship amicable where possible.
Be clear about your motivation for switching IT providers
Before approaching an alternative IT provider, you should fully understand your reasons for switching yourself. What has brought you to this stage? What were the failings of your previous provider? What needs to change? What kind of relationship are you looking for in a new IT provider?
Once you fully understand your motivation for switching you should clearly communicate this to your new provider so that they can come up with a satisfactory agreement around schedules, equipment, software, communication and cost.
Explain your expectations
Tell your new IT provider how you have worked with their predecessors, what services they provided, what access they had to your IT infrastructure, any schedules that have been in place and what you are expecting from your new arrangement. This may involve a transfer of documentation and records from your current provider (which is the main reason for keeping things amicable if possible).
Be transparent with your new IT provider
If you are experiencing problems with your existing IT infrastructure you should share these with your new IT provider to establish how easy it is for them to be resolved. This helps your new provider to understand your business and manage your expectations.
Ask for an audit of your IT infrastructure
An audit of your IT infrastructure will be a valuable exercise for both you and your new IT provider. It allows the IT provider to offer informed recommendations.