Changing managed IT services providers (MSPs) can be a daunting task. There’s a lot of coordination involved, and you want to avoid any downtime or disruptions to your business. But if you know what to expect and plan accordingly, you can make the switch with minimal disruption. Here are a few tips for ensuring a seamless transition to your new MSP.
Leaving your current MSP
Before switching MSPs, think about why you want to do it. Do you think that the level of service you’re receiving now is insufficient? Are you looking for a provider with more experience in a certain area? If there are specific reasons you’re looking to leave your current MSP, be sure to communicate this to them. They may be able to make changes or adjustments to address your concerns. Communicating your issues with their service will help them understand why you’re leaving, and it will also help you determine what to look for in a new IT partner.
Once you’ve decided that switching is the right move for your business, give your current MSP a heads-up. Check your contract to see how much notice you need to give, and be sure to fulfill any obligations you have under the contract. Most MSPs require at least a 30-day notice before terminating their services, as this will give them time to wrap up any outstanding projects and ensure a smooth hand-off to the new MSP.
Choosing your new MSP
When you’re looking for a new MSP, it’s important to do your research. Check out online reviews, ask for referrals from trusted business associates, or read about different providers in industry publications. Consider the size of the MSP and their areas of expertise to determine if they’re a fit for your business. If you have specific IT needs, make sure the providers you’re considering have experience meeting those needs.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, reach out to each of the MSPs on your shortlist. Most of them will offer a free initial consultation, during which you can discuss your specific needs and get a feel for their capabilities. This is also a good time to ask about pricing, service levels, and other important details. And if your business is operating in a highly regulated industry, be sure to ask about the MSP’s compliance experience and whether they’re familiar with the specific regulations that apply to your business.
Making the switch
When you’ve finalized your decision and signed with a new MSP, you can start making the switch. Begin by scheduling a transition date with your current and new IT partners. During this time, your current MSP will help transfer any data or applications over to the new provider. Onboarding with your new MSP also typically happens during this time, which involves training your staff on any new systems and processes.
The transition usually takes two to four weeks to complete, and during that time you may experience some disruptions to your service. But if you’ve chosen a reputable MSP and communicated the switch to all relevant stakeholders, you can prepare for and minimize any disruptions. Although IT systems are rarely inaccessible during a switch, it’s always a good idea to have a contingency plan in place. And make sure to communicate with your MSPs and your staff throughout the process to ensure a smooth transition.
After the transition is complete, take some time to review how everything went. If there are any issues, be sure to bring them up with your new MSP. Additionally, monitor your IT systems closely in the weeks and months following the switch, as it’s not uncommon for small problems to arise during this time. But if you’ve done your homework and chosen a reputable MSP, you can be confident that your IT systems are in good hands.
By following these steps, you can make the switch to a new MSP without causing havoc for your business. With a little preparation and a lot of communication, you can ensure a seamless transition that will keep your business up and running.
Are you looking for a new IT partner? Contact us at outsourceIT to see how we can help. We specialize in providing IT solutions for businesses throughout Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, and our team will make sure you get the most value out of your technology.