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There can be no doubt that the trend of moving in-house IT infrastructure over to managed IT and cloud services, has provided massive benefits for many enterprises. Simplified compliance, less administration overhead, streamlined application deployment and lowered cost of ownership to name but a few.
However, what happens when an IT provider begins to fail in providing an adequate service standard and the client needs to move to a better provider? In this post, we examine the issue of switching IT service provider and discuss how you can easily overcome it.
Moving to a new IT service provider is never a completely effortless task. It takes careful consideration and planning to pull off successfully, without a break in services. So, it is important to decide if you can possibly salvage your relationship with your current provider.
In most cases, we have found that it is mutual dissatisfaction – if you are not happy with your provider, the chances are they are not very happy to work for you either. So if the fear of switching is preventing you from moving on, remember it is usually to the benefit of both parties that you transition.
As with any type of relationship, it is generally the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back which triggers the desire to shift to a new provider. However, a more educated way to make such a decision, would be to monitor any potential trigger events, that could indicate your current provider may need to be replaced. Events such as:
These are just a few of the signs that your current IT services provider may need to be replaced. Of course, problems do happen from time to time, and a single isolated incident such as those mentioned above, is not a strong indication on its own. However, when issues like these become regular occurrences, its time to start thinking about switching to a more capable provider.
This is the million-dollar question. And the answer is going to depend entirely on how much you rely on managed IT services as part of your enterprise technology stack. If you are only relying on cloud storage, and the provision of desktop apps such as Office365, then migrating will be very simple indeed.
However, if you have integrated managed IT services into your DevOps cycle, and depend on cloud services as the service platform for business-critical applications, then migration becomes slightly more complex.
A recommended way of confronting the task, is to choose the right time to make the shift – when the effort of doing so is diminished in some way. More on this below.
The trick to minimising the impact of switching providers, is timing the switch to coincide with an event that, in itself, requires some effort to action.
For example, if you are replacing a current enterprise application with a new one or are beginning a large project to develop a new one. Performing network or infrastructure upgrades would also make a good pivot point for a migration. Even process changes, such as reworking how compliance is handled internally could be a good time to change.
Due to the changes being made, it makes sense to offload an old provider. So rather than performing an upgrade, rollout or deployment, you can simply set up the new infrastructure, application or processes on new managed IT platform, before switching off the old services.
Getting ready to move providers is probably the most arduous task as it will require careful planning. First in establishing the penetration of the current services, and how they need to be replaced. And secondly, in coming up with a testing plan to ensure the migration was successful. Here at Spector, we help to ease this transition with our tried and trusted on-boarding process which migrates any risks and ensures minimal disruption to your business and staff.
It makes good sense to perform a transition from one service provider to another, and leave both in place for a period of time, before cancelling the old services. This gives the enterprise the ability to fall back on the old services, if part of the migration has been handled badly, or something simply doesn’t work.
Moving from one IT services provider to another may take a little time and effort but if your current provider has been letting you down, it is far better to expend a little manpower and resources to move to a more reliable company, than struggle on with one you no longer trust.
We hope this post was helpful. Read more on our blog for more on business technology, or contact us if you have any specific concern regarding a switch of providers. We have a lot of experience in that, so we may have useful advice to offer.