To Change or not to Change? That is the question
Most business decisions carry a degree of risk. Whether it’s an investment, an acquisition, hiring new people, a new product introduction or a change of business process.
Whatever the reason, there is inherent risk that needs to be mitigated as much as possible with data, information, experience and ultimately, judgement.
However, there’s also a risk in not making a decision. How many businesses put off making an important decision because it’s perceived as non-urgent? Something that causes them pain, inconvenience and in some cases lost production.
At the time, however, it’s easy for them to tolerate the situation, get the issues resolved and carry on. When they think about the effort and time involved in evaluating and working on the change, they put it off. And this is often the case with switching Managed IT Service Providers.
Recognising the signs
I speak with many companies that outsource to Managed IT Service Providers. One of the most common complaints they have is that they feel ignored by their current MSP. The relationship may have begun three to five years ago, and the early stages of the contract were good.
The MSP knew the customer’s current environment well because they assessed it as part of the onboarding process. The levels of service were also good because they were a new customer, and the MSP were keen to impress. But here’s what happens as time progresses.
Although support requests are dealt with, the customer does not have much, if any, other contact from them.
Any on-site server infrastructure will gradually become closer to End of Support, End of Life and is at risk of a major failure. Security patches and updates have not been kept fully up to date, which further increases infrastructure vulnerability. New software is being released, giving additional functionality that they are not benefiting from.
For example, two customers I spoke to still had Windows 7 on desktop machines. Another resorted to using expletives to describe the performance of their servers.
The one major event that seemed to have caused customers to act was the Coronavirus pandemic. When businesses had to make quick decisions about how they adapted to remote and home working, many felt deserted by their providers. Their sentiments could be categorised in three ways:
- ‘I now see working with my MSP as essential’ In other words, MSPs like Clovertec worked proactively and swiftly to ensure the right technology was in place at the right to allow seamless business continuity.
- ‘I wish I’d have been working with a trusted MSP’ These are companies that were let down by their MSP and experienced a poor service in their hour of need.
- ‘I’m very dissatisfied with my MSP’ These are customers that were severely let down and suffered major business disruption.
Switching to a new provider, risk free
What are the things that organisations look for when thinking about changing technology or Managed IT Service Providers?
Competency, a proven track record and financial stability are table stakes. If you don’t pass on these criteria, there’s little point in going any further.
So, what else?
Trust will develop over time, once the customer has experienced your quality of service and overall performance. Initially, confidence needs to grow.
Clovertec do this by taking the time to really understand the customer’s business. The dynamics of their operations, the profile of the users, key business processes, business goals and priorities all need to be discussed and understood.
It’s through this consultative process that we can design a future state IT environment. A thorough audit of their current environment will allow us to establish any challenges that need to be addressed. It will also present a clear picture of the current status, from which, we can build a roadmap to the future state that will be in line with the business.
Engaging with all the key stakeholders throughout this initial period will demonstrate to the customer’s team that we can deliver something that has meaning and value. A robust on-boarding process will deliver a seamless transition from old to new.
Making any change in suppliers is a risky business
It also has wider implications of personal relationships that may be affected. But when organisations look objectively about the overall health of their company, the productivity of their employees and are looking for peace of mind, then Clovertec can take the risk out of switching Managed IT Service Providers.
The Clovertec Team