5 things to consider when switching IT service providers
Wanting to switch IT service providers? Here's five things you should think about.
Digital transformation is a challenging topic for most organisations, especially in the areas of security and IT management. It makes sense, then, that many companies are considering outsourcing their IT responsibilities, or have already opted for a managed environment. However, if working with your current IT service provider is turning out to be more of a headache than a remedy, perhaps it’s time to consider switching to an IT partner who better understands your IT challenges. Here are five practical tips that will make switching easier.
Tip 1: Keep the end goal in mind
It’s important that you focus on your end goal. For example, you may be outsourcing some of your IT to raise the security level of your organisation because there is insufficient knowledge or capacity internally. The reverse can also be the case: you may have an internal Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) who is responsible for your information security policy, and your IT service provider looks after other aspects of your company’s IT management, such as network solutions and managing backup. When looking to find a new IT service provider, a primary consideration should be finding a partner, rather than just a provider. You want someone who understands your business and is a good cultural fit within your organisation. Being on the same wavelength can be key to the success of your partnership.
Tip 2: Decide on the process
Before making the switch, it’s key that the relevant individuals in your company decide on what the process of the new IT partner search will look like and who will be responsible for what. For example, who will research the potential partners: will it be the Board, the IT Manager, the IT Department, or a combination of these roles? You’ll also need to decide on how you want to conduct this research. Will it involve desktop research, chatting to business peers, or conducting surveys? And what process will you adopt to narrow down your final list of potential partners?
Tip 3: Look for certifications
If you want to outsource IT for the first time or are looking for another IT partner, it’s important to investigate whether the partner has the relevant qualifications to provide services that follow international best practice. ISO certifications are a good example here. In addition, when audit time comes around, these certifications make supplier assessment much simpler.
Tip 4: Know where you’re at
After a few months of appointing a new IT partner, you’ll want to evaluate how successful the transition has been. It’s crucial, then, that you identify where you’re starting from before you switch. Look at the terms of your contract with your current IT service provider and assess precisely how they are measuring against it, and what you’d like to change with a new partner. Also look for hidden costs with your current provider: go through all paid IT-related invoices to get an overall picture. And don’t forget to take stock of whether there is sufficient capacity within your company to manage the transition. If not, temporary employees from external parties may be needed, which would mean additional cost.
Tip 5: Know what comes next
Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you know what the next steps are. Is there a professional onboarding programme, for example, and what will be required from your team? What agreements can be made regarding progress meetings and what advice will you receive in the interim regarding the digital transformation? These are all questions to delve into well in advance; collaboration should not only begin after a contract is signed. Also ask how much information you will have access to. IT partners like Ekco give you insight into the daily IT requirements of your business, but there are also parties that provide you with little to no information on purchased licenses, billing statements and support requests, for example.
Customer Success Management at Ekco
We asked Hein Smit, Customer Success Manager at Ekco, about Ekco’s approach with potential new clients: “At Ekco, we believe that a significant element of customer success is based on personal contact and cooperation. Our first meeting with potential new clients is usually an online session between the customer and one of our account or project managers. The next meeting is almost always at the client’s premises so we can get a sense of the organisational culture, explain our approach, and divide responsibilities. This provides peace of mind, stability and clarity up front for the customer. We also record exceptions or any customisation in a DAP, which stands for Document Agreements & Procedures. It is a clear way to enable joint assurance of specific aspects of IT.”
Do you want to discuss switching your IT service provider to Ekco? We have the people and the technology to meet all your company’s IT needs, including cybersecurity, managed cloud services, business continuity management services, cloud consultancy and workspace services.
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