How Do I Switch My Managed Service Provider?
So, you’re thinking about changing managed IT providers, but what does that entail? Change is scary; we’ve all been there. As an IT provider, we have had countless people come to us looking to switch from their current provider to a new one. There are several reasons people decide to change their managed service providers, such as,
- Your company is growing larger than your provider can support
- The current IT provider can maintain your IT environment, but they are not enhancing it for future success.
- They don’t have a quick enough response time
- They don’t have cybersecurity services
- They don’t have the tools necessary for a remote work environment.
Whatever the reason, here you are, trying to figure out how to make the switch but not knowing what to expect and how to go about it. To help ease this transition, here are some tips to switching managed IT providers recommended by some of our IT experts:
Find an MSP that’s your perfect match:
To make sure that you are partnering with the right service provider, make sure you have met with various managed service providers to see what they would do to enhance your IT infrastructure.
If you are with the right managed service provider, they should be delivering personalized solutions to create a seamless workflow for your environment. Every business is entirely different, and your MSP should treat it that way. You don’t want a managed service provider simply copying and pasting their process to every business model.
You will want to be fully confident that you are taking three steps forward, not four steps back when you switch providers. Here are some questions that you should ask before switching to your new managed service provider: specific
- Do they have fully trained IT technicians and a VCIO?
When MSPs have a vCIO, it allows them to be more efficient and drive certain standards across all clientele. The vCIO can help formulate strategic IT goals for your company.
- What is their typical response time to service requests?
You don’t want an MSP who keeps you waiting when you’re in a crisis. Find an MSP with a large enough team to ensure you aren’t waiting long on service requests and avoid downtime between any incidents.
- Will they provide you with a fixed cost on all their services (with the exception of future projects that arise).
When you are provided with one fixed cost for all the services you receive, you can budget accordingly for the future without worrying about fees that are unaccounted for.
- Do they have a disaster recovery plan and incident response plan?
If a ransomware attack occurs, you want your MSP to have a reaction plan in place. Having an MSP with a disaster recovery and incident response plan will ensure the problem is resolved as quickly as possible.
- Have they serviced a company of your size before? If so, have them provide you with a case study or example of that servicing experience.
You don’t want to be a test run. If you know the MSP has worked with a similar-sized company to yours, they have a reliable process to manage you.
- Have they serviced a client in your industry before?
This is important if your industry has to comply with specific regulations or standards. If they have worked with a company in your industry, they know the requirements that must be met.
- Are they able to scale your company for future growth?
If you are a start-up or growing business, you want to make sure they can continue to give you the support you require for future success.
These are some simple questions that you can ask to make sure you are making the right decision. Don’t make any quick decisions before you are confident that the managed service provider is the right fit for your business.
Don’t switch from your old provider yet!
The best way to put it is don’t give up the keys to your old vehicle before you have the set of keys to your new vehicle in your hand first. When you are leaning towards switching to a different managed service provider, one of the most important things is making sure that you already have a managed service provider fully in place. If you don’t, this can leave your company in an extremely sensitive position.
If there is a delay between your old provider and your new provider, this opens up the possibility that suspicious activity could be occurring without anyone monitoring it. If anything were to happen in that small amount of time, such as a breach, you wouldn’t have anyone to recognize it before it's too late or resolve it. There should be no downtime at all between transitioning providers to ensure someone is always keeping an eye on your IT infrastructure.
Receive a network assessment from your new provider
A network assessment is when your provider takes a deep dive into your IT infrastructure to recognize any vulnerabilities or access points that could pose a threat. When you are switching providers, you must allow this new provider to do a full network assessment. This will enable the provider to locate any access points or information that your old provider has access to.
If your old IT provider still has access to your system after you have switched it can pose risks of your sensitive information getting taken. The more people who have access to your systems, the greater the chance of that information getting breached, whether accidental or intentional.
After the network assessment, they will give you this roadmap of your network, and if you agree with the recommendations they provide, you will continue the onboarding process, and the process of enhancing your IT environment will begin.
Get your employees trained ASAP
Make sure that you get all employees trained by the new managed service provider as soon as possible. The new managed service provider most likely implemented new programs on your network. The managed service provider will send IT specialists into your office and provide full training to all employees to ensure everyone is up and running and can become the expert of their own devices. They will also train on cybersecurity best practices to ensure employees can recognize and avoid any suspicious activity.
Without training your employees they won't have the ability to use their new programs proficiently and follow the guidelines on cybersecurity protocol. Once your employees are fully trained, they can begin working in their new efficient and secure environment.
You are ready to roll!
Now that you have these tips you are ready to begin looking for your new managed service provider. An easy way to get started is to call on some managed service providers by you, and have an initial consultation. This is an easy way to determine how the new managed service provider would move forward with your specific environment and get you started on your journey!
Usherwood provides managed IT support to a broad spectrum of organizations and businesses providing personalized services and support to each one.
If you want to discover more about switching your managed service provider, click here to set up a consultation.