Changing your outsourced IT support service provider shouldn’t be scary

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Businesses outsource their IT support and services for many reasons. This includes cost reduction (71%), business transformation (50%), and improving service quality (50%).1 But who you outsource to is just as important as the outsourced service itself.

If you’ve chosen the wrong provider, or simply outgrown them as your business has grown, it will almost certainly create problems throughout your business. You might be dissatisfied with their response time, technical abilities or lack of specific knowledge, for example around Macs. This means that sooner or later, you’ll need to switch.

But often, after realising they need a new provider, many businesses stop. They don’t make the change. Why? Because of the fear of the “pain” i.e. inconvenience and perceived hassle of switching providers. This is an ongoing fear that, at Dr Logic, we often run into with businesses, and it’s understandable — but the pain and hassle is not inevitable. We aim to remove that pain and deliver a seamless transition from one provider to another.

In our 19 years of business we’ve heard of many horror stories where, in the handover process, companies have lost all connectivity, files, emails and data. This is why we conduct a thorough IT Discovery during onboarding — mapping your current setup to ensure all operations and support services continue uninterrupted — we can remove the pain of switching providers. It’s something we’ve put a lot of work into, and have received glowing feedback from clients on how pain-free it actually was!

In this article, we’ll explore the challenges in switching your IT support and service provider, and some of the solutions to mitigating those challenges.

Why your fears are justified

While changing providers shouldn’t be scary, some fears are justified. You might have already been stung by a bad experience when offboarding one provider and onboarding another, making you reluctant to go through it again.

In our experience, the biggest issue tends to come from a lack of communication between the existing and new providers, and an incomplete understanding of how existing business’ IT systems function.

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Common fears when switching providers

  • Disruption to your business: The main concern when switching. Services can be offline for a protracted period as providers change over. Typical tasks and services are forced to take a back seat while resources are funnelled towards onboarding the new provider. When switching, this might be when your business is most vulnerable, leaving you open to cyberattacks and potentially causing reputational damage. Introductions to the Dr Logic support team.
  • The length of transition: Businesses want to get their new provider up and running quickly to help them run their services smoothly. The longer the process takes, the more resources are targeted towards this and away from other functions. If the switch temporarily affects some services, only for the services to be affected for longer than anticipated, this can have a knock-on effect on customer service.
  • Poor handover to the new provider: The people in your business responsible for overseeing this switch may understand simple things — if you use Gmail and have a backup system, for example — but may not understand the in-depth details going on behind the scenes such as cyber security and user consent. Without clear communication, this can easily cause background disruptions, ranging from smaller issues like email signatures to larger issues like a data breach. It can also cause errors. Research shows that 95% of cyber security breaches are caused by human error2 – hackers tend to infiltrate your company through the weakest links.
  • The new provider will not have the right expertise: You’ve spent time ensuring your current provider knows your business inside and out. With a new provider, not only will you have to do that again, but they might not have the specific expertise you need. If you use Macs, for example, you’ll need to find a provider that has expertise with Macs and doesn’t focus only on PCs
  • An unprepared IT Helpdesk: On the day your new provider goes live, your IT Helpdesk might not be up and running, meaning staff don’t know who to contact for IT support. This may be because the new provider’s sales team hasn’t told their helpdesk support that they need to start supporting a new group of users. Or this issue could sit with the client — they haven’t adequately prepared, or communicated with their staff of the change.

These fears are not unfounded. Without a fully managed, smooth onboarding process for your new provider, you could suffer business disruption, create frustration internally, and damage customer experience and relationships with your partners in both the short and long term.

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How to switch outsourced IT support providers without the fuss

But the pain involved in switching outsourced IT service providers isn’t inevitable. Once you’ve decided that you need a new IT support provider, you should pick one that works in partnership with your business to figure out exactly what you need, and then implement a clear plan to make this happen.

The process here at Dr Logic is designed to ensure your transition is as seamless as possible.

The IT Discovery phase

A smooth onboarding process for new providers hinges on an in-depth IT Discovery phase. At Dr Logic, we undertake a comprehensive Discovery process to understand what your business needs and why.

To do this, we:

  • Analyse your current operations to understand how your IT functions work
  • Understand any special support requirements you have: for example, cloud management, cybersecurity strategies, and hardware provision
  • Speak with your existing provider to create a full map of what they are providing and how
  • Use this information to ensure all existing operations continue unimpeded and uninterrupted.

The Setup phase

Once we have the information we need, we begin the technical setup. At our end, this means migrating data received in the Discovery phase into our ecosystem — in other words, we align our systems with yours so we’re ready to provide support.

At this stage, we also:

  • Enrol your devices: Make sure the devices used across your business, from mobiles to desktops, are onboarded onto our device management system
  • Regularly meet with the client management team(s) to communicate what we’re doing, how long it will take and any temporary impact on day-to-day operations.

Due to the comprehensive Discovery phrase, we don’t need to burden you with unending questions and requests while we work through the Setup Phase. We get on with onboarding and implementing and you get on with running your business.

The Communication Plan

Throughout the Discovery and Setup Phases, we deliver a unique communication programme to your executive team, key stakeholders in your business, and all employees.

This Comms Programme provides:

  • Presentations and user guides to make sure everyone is informed on what is happening and when.
  • Introductions to the Dr Logic support team.
  • Information about raising tickets and accessing the Dr Logic Client Portal.

For a smooth transition, communication is crucial — the right information needs to reach the right people at the right time.

The Go Live phase

After all the steps have been completed, you’re ready to go live. On Go Live day, we provide a company-wide presentation, including a demo of the Dr Logic Client Portal – this is our online HelpDesk.

This phase is important for all users to understand the switch has happened, the onboarding is complete and they can begin to get support from their new managed IT support service. It’s also an opportunity for anyone to ask any questions and familiarise themselves with Dr Logic and the new team who will be supporting them.

This completes the onboarding process. Everything is set up, we’ve got all the information we need and our day-to-day team will be there to provide support.

The responsibility for the transition shouldn’t be entirely on your business. With a fully outsourced IT support service, that transition becomes your new IT provider’s responsibility too, with a focus on removing any hassle or disruption from the transition.

You deserve the right partner… and it doesn’t have to be hard

Sometimes, having to change your IT support service provider isn’t optional — but the pain and hassle of the switch is. More important than changing your provider, however, is changing to the right one. There are lots of factors involved in this decision, such as where your business is based, the level of support you need, and the unique IT requirements of your business.

With the wrong provider, fears of business disruption and misaligned expertise might become real. But the right provider, working in partnership with your business, can:

  • Assist in developing your long-term goals by working in partnership with you and aligning your IT with your business ambitions  
  • Provide your business with a robust IT Roadmap that will deliver all the services you need to perform and grow
  • Align with the expertise you need — e.g. if your business uses Macs, your provider will need expertise in Macs.

If you’ve outgrown your current provider, if they’re not providing the capabilities you need, or for whatever reason you want to change, switching doesn’t need to be hard. The benefits of a fully outsourced IT service provider like Dr Logic help make this change simple. To find out how we can help, get in touch today.

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  1. 2020 UK IT Outsourcing Study | PA Consulting
  2. IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 

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