The word “change” can be scary for companies and individuals alike. Without diving into the psychology of change and why it stirs such trepidation, most organizations relate “change” to the last positive or negative experience or interaction they had. In many cases, companies become paralyzed in making a change purely out of “fear of the unknown.”
I have been in the IT Industry for over 26 years, in various roles on both the customer and provider side. I have experienced both positive and negative changes within companies. With that knowledge in mind, I have compiled the top five things to consider when making a change to a new IT Company / Managed Services Provider (MSP). This can be a change from one MSP to another or from internal IT to an MSP.
Understand What is Driving the Change
The reason for change can be due to a single incident or combination of several issues. Make sure you quantify the reasons, so you can focus on what you are looking for in a new IT Company and have a way to define success. Without a clear understanding of the issues at hand, many companies can get caught into a continued cycle of dissatisfaction. It is critical to align expectations with your new MSP.
Some Example Reasons:
- Customer Experience
- Technical Skillset
- Expectations Alignment
- Company Alignment
- Business Driver (Mergers & Acquisitions)
Do You Know Your Assets?
It is critical to have a current inventory of all your IT assets and not just when you are considering a change. This can include both logical and physical assets and is important for everything from accounting to security reasons. It is important to be able to identify the type of assets, the owners of the assets and where the assets are located.
Don’t be afraid to ask your current MSP or IT staff to give you a list of assets. Many companies find themselves in a situation where they do not know and are afraid to ask their MSP in fear of what the MSP might think or do. If you have that concern, then it is obvious you have the wrong IT partner!
List of Some Example Assets:
- Hardware (Workstations, Servers, Mobile Devices, Networking Hardware)
- Software (Business Line Applications, Back Office Applications, Collaboration Tools, etc.)
- Data (Employee, Company & Customer Data, Important Passwords)
Do You Know What Is Yours And What Is Theirs?
This question is another reason having a good inventory of all your IT Assets is critical. Many MSPs provide additional devices and services to their customers. If you do not have a good understanding of what hardware and services are being provided by your MSP vs. what you are providing, you may encounter some unpleasant surprises and obstacles when making a change. This could lead to loss in services or unforeseen expenses during a change.
List of Some Example Services – Yours or Theirs?:
- Phone System
- Backups (On-Premise or Cloud)
- Servers (On-Premise or Cloud)
- Email Security (Spam or Encryption Services)
- End-Point Protection / Anti-Virus Software
- Website Hosting
- Enterprise Software
Do Your Due Diligence. Pick The Right MSP.
Once you have made it through the first three things to consider when changing your MSP, you will be armed with the knowledge to make a more educated decision for your company. There are many factors to consider when selecting a new MSP and not one size fits all. Here is a list of key things to consider when selecting any type of technology or services partner.
List of Some Factors to Consider:
- Company Reputation
- Company Core Values
- Industry Experience
- Can clearly explain On-Boarding and On-Going Operational Processes
- Continual Employee Development & Training (Certifications)
- Employee Turnover Rate
- Industry Certifications or Audits (i.e., SOC 1 Type II or SOC 2 Type II)
- Strategic Partnerships & Vendor Management
- Service Level Agreements (SLA) / Guidelines
- Customer References
- Reporting (Examples of Provided Reports)
- Strategic Partner / Trusted Advisor
- Proactive vs Reactive Methodology
- Technology Stack & Tools Utilized
- IT Security & Awareness
- Additional Services Offered
Once the decision or selection has been made to proceed with a new MSP, you will enter the planning stage. In a perfect world everyone is playing nicely during the transition from one MSP to another. Experience has shown that most companies and individuals remain professional and “Do The Right Thing.” Of course, feelings can come into play, and no one likes to be on the losing end of a deal. So, in the small percentage of times in which that happens, you will be more prepared because by following the previous tips.
Some things to consider during the “change”:
- Pre-Planning Meeting
- Be fully engaged with the On-Boarding Process
- Set Clear and Agreed to Expectations
- Effective Communications to Staff
- Schedule On-Going Touch points i.e, Account Management Meetings
- Be Patient
Questions or comments? If you have questions on streamlining your transition to a new MSP, or for more information about working with Revolution Group, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at 614-212-1101 or [email protected].