In this article, we outline the key areas to cover when changing IT provider.
This is going on the assumption that the business has either:
1) A fully outsourced IT company is providing 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. What we will describe are the things to ask for which 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:
It’s critical that the IT supplier knows 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 know this information when it comes time to upgrade systems or change systems.
What’s planned for the business will dictate what technology solutions are put in place. If the right investment can be made earlier on this will work to the businesses favour in later stages.
Step 2: Review of current contract:
Depending on the level of service provided by the incumbent supplier there will usually be a formalised contract of service. Within this contract, there will be clauses that dictate the process for termination of the agreement.
There will also be an agreed date with the incumbent supplier when the contract will end. This date has to be carefully managed to provide a seamless end date and start date to 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
• 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 then be held within the business securely communicated to the new supplier.
Step 4: The change over day.
At this stage, the new IT supplier should have a clear understanding of your business and be ready to support your IT and technology’s needs.
Depending on the service agreed and what is to be fulfilled within the contract a formal communication to all staff may be required notifying them of the
• Change in supplier
• Contact details of the supplier
• Preferred methods of communication
It’s entirely possible that a gatekeeper within the business will act as a conduit for reporting issues; this should also be taken into consideration 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 outstanding area’s 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 for the business.
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Published with permission from the IT Company Directory