Tuesday, 3 August 2021

How Long Does It Take to Switch IT Support Companies?

Switching IT support companies needn’t be a headache – provided your new IT support partner takes a programmatic and practical approach to making the switch.

Switching IT support companies needn’t be a headache – provided your new IT support partner takes a programmatic and practical approach to making the switch. We explain why.

Here at Grant McGregor, we understand that the thought of switching IT support partners fills most people with dread.

How will everything transition over successfully? Will everything continue to work? What if there’s a problem? What if the new support company are no better – so we go through all that pain for nothing?

Unsurprisingly, we hear these fears a lot. However, in our experience, it is possible to transition swiftly and smoothly. In fact, our answer to the question in the title of our blog post might surprise you!

How long does it take to switch IT support companies?

It’s possible for a switch to a new IT support partner to be completed in as little as a month.

The alert amongst you will have noted the use of the caveat “possible” here. And it’s true that transitioning in a month can’t always be guaranteed.

The achievable timescale will depend on a couple of things specific to your organisation’s operations:

• The length left to run on your existing IT support contact,

• And what penalties might be incurred should you end the arrangement early,

• And your willingness to shoulder that cost (if any cost applies),

• The size and complexity of your existing IT estate,

• Your willingness to make changes to the existing infrastructure where unacceptable risks have been identified that the new IT partner is unwilling to take on – and the schedule for this remedial work,

• The natural rhythm of your business and important internal or external events that make major change undesirable, e.g. seasonal sales or promotions, year-end financial accounting, etc.

However, the main body of work – discovery, planning and transition – can usually be achieved in a month.

Scheduling the transition to a new IT support partner

Leaving aside the specifics of your organisation for one moment, let’s consider how the process would work.

Here at Grant McGregor, we adopt a systematic seven-stage process.

These seven stages are:

• IT Appraisal: our team runs through a checklist of around 20 items to gain a full understanding of the hardware and cyber security you have. At this point, we’ll raise any priority actions that need to be undertaken.

• Agree the onboarding plan: We’ll work with you to agree a set of actions and a timescale that fits with your business priorities. Once we’ve got the go ahead from you, we’ll move on to care and manage.

• Care: this is the important step of onboarding your people.

• Manage: this is the step where we onboard all your devices, including adding our security stack. We have a 65+ item schedule for this, which we continually update and add to with learnings after every migration we complete.

• Triage: our team will action the most important fixes and upgrades. Although this isn’t technically part of the onboarding process (by this stage, your previous supplier will have handed over operations to us), it tends to get blurred into the project because this is when we address all the high-priority cyber-security and upgrade issues that represent high risk to your business. Hopefully, there won’t be too many of these – but this will depend on the quality of your previous supplier. Either way, this will all be agreed upfront as part of the onboarding plan.

• Ongoing support: we deliver the highest quality IT support with a people-centric approach.

• Rolling schedule: once you’ve migrated your IT support to us, we’ll work with you to ensure that you stay ahead of the curve. This means developing a rolling IT plan that we review together on a quarterly basis. We will take this opportunity to share the latest thinking on security risks and business opportunities and you can keep us informed of your organisational imperatives (acquisitions, outsourcing decisions, recruitment, etc.).

This final stage is part of our ethos as an IT support partner. We believe that IT is a business enabler – not a business cost. So it makes sense to take a proactive approach to IT across the business, so you can best achieve your organisational objectives. This is why working with Grant McGregor is very much a partnership – not just an outsourcing process.

Taking a systematic approach to making the change

As you can see from this seven-step process, our team takes a practical and standardised approach to every new onboarding.

And we’re happy to share more details about this process with anyone considering a switch to us – because we know that by explaining this systematic approach, we can remove a great deal of fear from the idea of switching.

Ready to find out more? Speak with one of the Grant McGregor team today: 

Book a 15-minute chat  >>>

Interested in more tips from our team about switching IT suppliers? Read our blog about six common pitfalls when switching IT supplier – and how to avoid them.