The Easy Way to Transition your Business to a New MSP

By Luke Smits - Founder & Operations Manager
Illustration of a tangled ball of wire to a smooth coil. Smoothing out issues concept

Is it time for your business to move to a new Managed Service Provider?

It’s a daunting thought. Technology is the backbone of your business. If your MSP isn’t giving you the love you need, then making a move could help you become more efficient and productive.

But making the move could be filled with hassle, downtime and stress you don’t need either.

So how do you make the transition as streamlined and stress-free as possible?

How do I know that it’s time to move to a new MSP?

Moving to a new IT partner is not a decision that should be made in haste. The relationship you’ve build with your IT partner involves trust, a lot of undocumented information as well as familiarity with your systems and people.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you should move, then you should give our article 4 Simple Signs it’s time to change your Managed IT Provider a read. It will walk you through the red flags you should look out for, that signal that it’s time to find a new IT Partner to add value to your business.

If you do decide it’s time to move, then you’ll want to think about how to find a new MSP, the questions you should ask them to make sure they’re right for your business, whether the timing is right to make a change and developing a transition plan to ensure that things go smoothly.

Choose your new MSP carefully.

The main reason people want to move to a new MSP is because they aren’t happy with the one they have. The reasons you aren’t happy will vary. But one thing is for certain – you don’t want to make the move only to find yourself in the same boat 6 or 12 months down the track.

My recommendation of where to start is with your network. Ask colleagues in similar industries, or a trusted business advisor like your accountant, lawyer or business coach. They will probably know one or more MSPs they can introduce you to, and this will help to make sure your new IT partner will do everything they can to deliver good value for money and the very best customer service.

The questions you should ask before you engage a new MSP.

Even if you’re referred to an MSP by someone you know and trust, you’re going to want to ask them all the right questions to make sure that they are the right IT partner for your business.

  • Do they have the tools and knowledge to support your needs?
  • Can they help you meet any compliance obligations for your industry?
  • How do they manage data backups and cybersecurity?
  • Are they familiar with the systems and processes you already use in your business?

In fact, we believe there are 10 important questions you should ask your Managed Service Provider before you decide to engage them.

And you can download your copy of the 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Managed IT Service Provider cheat sheet here.

Choosing the right time to transition

Before embarking on a major change, it’s important to ask yourself if now is actually a good time to make a change.

Before a major change in your technology

Making a change in provider before any major change to your IT systems, means that the new provider will be able to implement the change in their version of the solution. They will be able to document the systems more easily as they will be neck deep in the “nuts and bolts”.

With no major technology changes scheduled

If you make a change of provider with no major technology changes in the works, it can take longer for the new provider to get up to speed with your systems and people. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make a change with no major IT projects on the horizon. It simply means you’ll need to be more patient with your new provider as they get to know your business.

After a major technology change

The last thing you want to do though, is have your existing provider make some major changes, and THEN change providers on the back of this.

Inevitably, your new provider will come in and prefer things to have been done a different way, and it may end up costing you twice for the original project.

Create a transition plan

Is it hard to move managed service providers? Sometimes it is. But one thing that will help is to work with your new managed IT provider to develop a transition plan.

Make sure you include things like –

  • Who will be responsible for what, both in your business and at your new MSP
  • A timeline for the transition
  • When the work should be completed so the move has as little impact on business operations as possible
  • A risk management plan for if things don’t go to plan

Whatever you do, don’t rely on your new MSP to create the entire plan for you. This is something that should definitely work on in collaboration. It’s not reasonable to expect your new provider to know all your business needs (having not worked with you yet) and be able to come up with a plan without your input.

But if you’ve asked the 10 Questions and chosen the right provider, then they should definitely be able to support you in creating a transition plan that eliminates as much of the risk as possible, so your move goes smoothly.

What to do with your old provider BEFORE you move.

Before you tell your current MSP that you’re making a move, make sure you have a copy of all your critical passwords and other IT documentation.

A good IT provider will have this information on hand and will be able to give you a copy of what they have very easily (if not willingly).

Even if you’re not planning a move any time soon, you should request this information from your MSP as a matter of standard business practice.

So twice a year, when your relationship with them is good, ask them for this information as part of your internal compliance and risk mitigation.

How long the move to a new IT Partner will take.

This is a really tough question to answer, as it will be different for every business depending on your size and the complexity of your IT systems.

One thing for sure though, is expecting it to go completely without a hitch is unrealistic.

There will be teething problems and there will be time to get familiar with each other.

But you would hope that within a few weeks, that things will be better than they were before.

If they aren’t, make sure you have a conversation with your new provider ASAP and clearly discuss what the breakdown is. If you let the situation drag on, it could mean you end up in a worse position than you were before.

With the right planning, and the right provider, your transition will be a positive one. 

There’s no doubt that moving to a new MSP can be stressful. But with some careful planning, the right information from your old provider and the right new MSP on your team, it shouldn’t be too traumatic and will be a big step forward for your business.

If you are in the market for a new IT Partner, then we’d love to chat with you.

At P1 Technology we help businesses and their people flourish with the right technology.

We’re specialists across a range of industries including medical services, manufacturing, law, financial advisors, professional services and civil engineering and construction.

We take a people first approach to IT that ensures you get a solution that will make your people happy and your business more profitable.

Get in touch with us today to book your FREE Discovery Audit and find out how your IT could be working harder for your business.

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