Many businesses stay with their current IT support provider even if they feel they are not getting the service they would like to receive. In part, this is because the process can seem daunting and stressful.
However, because technology is the foundation for the competitiveness of a business, making the transition can be a game-changer. If you are reading this piece, chances are you have realised it is now too painful for your business to stay than it is to leave. Don’t despair, we’re here to help!
In this piece, we discuss how to undertake a transition of your IT support to another provider in a more seamless and smooth way. By making a smooth transition, you can get your business back on track to getting the best from what technology has to offer.
The effectiveness of your IT support transition will hinge on how well planned it is. The first step is to create a detailed plan that maps all of the key details:
- Service gaps: If you’re leaving a current provider, it’s likely there are some gaps in their service that you would like to address. Map these out clearly to find a provider that can meet these needs now, as well as any increases in demand in the future.
- Technology: Map out the software and processes involved in the support you are currently receiving so that you can check them with potential providers before making the change. If the provider is familiar with your systems as well as the solutions of your current provider, they will be better placed to facilitate the transition.
- Stakeholders: Outline the stakeholders involved in your IT support services and what role they can play in the transition process. These stakeholders will be valuable voices to include ahead of the transition process as they will bring up some key points to consider before the transition process gets underway.
Once you have chosen your new IT Support Provider carefully, you will need to establish timelines, budgets and contingency plans in case of any unexpected issues. This enables you to be prepared for anything and everything that could happen, thus avoiding disappointment and unnecessary delays.
Communication & Transparency
A smooth transition relies on proactive and quality communication. Without good communication, issues such as implementation gaps, duplicated efforts, and misaligned expectations can occur which will disrupt the transition process.
Once you have outlined your stakeholders and the goals you have for the transition, create a communication plan to engage them regularly. This will guide the transition process and will create ways for dealing with issues quickly as and when they come up. Take care to ensure the necessary information and documentation is created and shared between relevant stakeholders to empower them to play their part in the transition effectively. With agreements and plans formalised, this will align everyone involved for a more seamless transition.
Knowledge Transfer & User Onboarding
The expertise and direct knowledge that your internal team or current provider has over your IT infrastructure, is an invaluable resource that can be leveraged for a smoother and faster transition. If you’re moving from a current provider to a new one, conducting a full transfer and onboarding between them will prove useful for your fresh start.
The first step should be to get your current IT support processes, practices and troubleshooting recommendations documented and handed over. These can be used by the new IT support team as initial guides and help them to understand your IT infrastructure.
For your users, offering a thorough introduction to your new IT support provider via introductions and training with them, will help your team to get accustomed to any new channels, processes and tools that may be involved in this new setup. Ahead of a transition, this also enables participants to raise and discuss ideas and concerns that can create helpful opportunities for improvement.
Test & Validate
It’s important to ensure that your new IT support solutions will work from the get-go once it goes live in your business. By testing beforehand, you can ensure everything works as planned.
By simulating real-life scenarios and involving key stakeholders in the testing process, businesses can identify and address potential issues as part of the transition process. If new IT systems are involved in the transition, a special test environment where the new systems can be deployed is one way to conduct testing.
To produce accurate testing results, this test environment should be an accurate reproduction of the hardware, software, network setups and user processes. By completing testing ahead of the transition, you can detect issues and resolve them before they can cause disruptions.
Post-Transition Review & Feedback
After the transition, having a plan to look back in hindsight on the transition’s success can be helpful for identifying any gaps or teething issues. This review also involves collecting feedback from stakeholders, which can be used to drive improvement rapidly with the new solutions that are in place.
The review could include an evaluation of the transition process, a documentation-transition check to ensure your users and new IT support provider are in-sync regarding any changes or existing practices, as well as gathering user feedback and impressions about the new support so far.
By implementing a post-transition review, you will be able to survey the impact of these initial changes and empower your business and new IT support provider to bridge any remaining gaps in the way of getting excellent IT support.
We hope this guide has proven helpful to you for making that all-important transition to better IT support. With careful planning, communication, knowledge transference, testing, and a post-transition review, you can empower your business to undergo a smoother transition that concludes in IT support that empowers your business to get the best from its IT.
By applying these best practices, you can move forward with clarity towards the greater productivity, security, and efficiency that a new IT support provider can bring, whilst making sure this process is smoother and easier for your business.
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