What You Need to Know When Switching IT Support Providers
You rely on your IT support to help you keep your business running smoothly. Changing providers is not something to be done on a whim, or without the proper preparation. There could be any number of reasons to make the change, but if you do decide to switch providers, there are some crucial steps to keep in mind.
Why Change Providers?
You may be experiencing difficulties with your provider. Perhaps they are not complying with your contract, or the contract is no longer adequate due to changes in your business. Maybe your IT support costs are simply too high for you to keep up with and you have found a more manageable alternative. It may even be the case that your provider does not offer services you need. For example, you want 24-hour support, but they only offer it during regular business hours.
Whatever the reason may be, when making the change, you want to be as prepared as possible to avoid any possible setbacks or disruptions during the process.
Top Steps to Follow
When the time comes to actually make the move, you will want to keep the following steps in mind:
- Stay in Full Control
You want to ensure that you maintain complete control over all your files and assets. While it certainly isn’t an issue with every company, there are certain IT companies that would love to have autonomous control over your assets, and this may result in you being locked out of your own information should they change your passwords, and you would not want to be surprised by finding yourself in this position
- Backups are Essential
It is always a good idea to keep backups, but it becomes even more important when moving data and transferring files. Keeping a duplicate backup protects you in the event of files being lost, or, as mentioned above, simply losing access to your essential files. In fact, having more than one backup is a wise choice any time you are moving information. Knowing that you have secure duplicates will give you peace of mind during this process.
- Acquire Your IT Documentation
It can be very helpful to your new IT company to have your existing network map, as it will give them an idea of how you are presently handling things. It would also help to smooth the transition if you have a list of all your log in accounts, passwords and usernames. Having your documentation available will help facilitate the move to your new support company.
- Arrange for a Transition Period
If possible, see if you can arrange for a transition period to ease your move to the new support company. Not all companies will do this, and you may also find that your current company is unhappy about it, charging you an additional fee.
If you are able to arrange it however, you will likely have fewer issues with your network and new support when you get things up and running.
- Have the New Company Set Up Early
You will have a much easier transition with fewer issues if you can set things up in advance and test them out. This includes testing your backups and networks before you actually shut down the old network. If you can ensure that everything is working correctly, the switch will be much smoother, with less downtime.
You should probably expect some disruption. It is highly unlikely that everything will work out perfectly, but you can certainly increase your chances of a good move with a bit of planning and preparation. In the end, once you have moved to a new and more suitable IT support company, it will have all been worthwhile.
Thinking about switching IT providers? Contact Safe Harbour today!