It is common for business owners to have certain fears when changing their IT company. It may be loss of control, uncertainty if they will deliver on their promises or concerns about whether your previous IT provider will play ball during handover. It is important to know that these are normal fears, but the way to overcome them is to think about what your business needs and what you want from your IT company.

As your business grows, you find certain providers would not have joined the growth path with you. The path may differ because of these reasons:

Skill set: As you grow, you demand different services and security implemented in the business. Your vendor would need to keep their finger on that pulse, ensuring that your business is always top of mind.


Workforce: As your workforce grows, it is expected for your vendors to grow simultaneously as this will allow them to support you effectively and timeously.

Reach: Growth brings diversification nationally. So make sure you have that important or even large vendor with a presence nationally. The jump is always scarier than the plunge. Today, we address the fears most business owners have when switching IT Solution Companies and how to mitigate those concerns.

 

Fear 1 – Control

The real fear is knowing your IT company has access to your entire business; they look after so many facets that it is tough to know what they do or don’t look after.

As time goes by, we continuously add on more and more services until we get to this weird unknown point, and we forget what sits where. We look to our vendors to keep things together, but they should have control at this stage.

Tip – Have an Audit completed by an external company or even a tech-savvy person within the business.

These are the key points you would need to look out for:

Microsoft Licensing and other software you run.
Passwords for routers, switches, and servers.
Mail server administrator passwords for your business account.
Internet service provider information.
Backups – an understanding of how this runs and to where.

 

Fear 2 – Delivery

We know that the sales process makes you feel warm and fuzzy sometimes, but once that’s all done, you may find yourself asking, “Will these people deliver what they have promised?” or “How do I know they are better than what I currently have?”

It feels like taking a massive leap of faith.

Tips:

References – These can come in handy; however, we all know people share their best references. Therefore, it is essential to ask the right questions as the answers can affect your final decision. There are a few key questions to ask, which will give you the answers you are looking for:
How did they help you grow your business?
How many engineers do they have? This answer will give insight into the businesses’ journey together and whether their workforce can adapt to your business growth needs. Give one instance where they assisted your business. The scale of this answer will define the magnitude to which their team is involved. A trial period – service level agreement businesses tend to sign up contracts upfront, we suggest two clauses to add to the agreement:
A trial period should be in place before the agreement kicks in, with monthly reviews.
If this does not work out, they are obligated to migrate to the next vendor at no cost (under reasonable doubt).
Deliverable guarantees – these need to be put in upfront to keep all parties liable, as the trial period gives anyone the option to opt out with no recourse.

Fear 3 – Switching Providers

It isn’t always easy when you move providers, as companies make the switch unnecessarily challenging.

Know your rights; they will come in handy.

Always give ample notice time to run the two providers concurrently to ensure there is no downtime.
You indirectly own all communication services rendered by a provider:
Emails
Domains

Under the equity ownership regulations of ICASA, if your domain’s paid up to date, it belongs to you, no matter which vendor registered it and which platform they have it on.

Leaving any relationship amicably is in the best interest. However, we have found a slow and steady migration is more manageable, where a complete takeover could be messy, and one could be miss things.
During this time, you migrate services over piece by piece, potentially in the below order:
Emails & Hosting
Backup solutions
Fibre connectivity
IT support services

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