10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Switch Your IT Support Provider

Calling IT Support

Companies like yours often stick with their IT support provider for many years, and it can take something quite substantial to prompt them to consider making the switch, even though there may be many small things telling you that it is time.

Making the leap to a new IT provider can feel daunting, risky, and complex; it’s all too common to ask: ‘Will the grass really be greener on the other side?’ The good news is that there are a lot of misconceptions about switching IT support providers, and the things that were stopping you from switching may not be a worry at all.

Here we myth-bust 10 reasons why people think they shouldn’t switch their IT support provider and share insights to help you secure the best support for your business with a new provider.

1. Fear of Downtime

Naturally, your clients, partnerships, and operations come first. Experiencing downtime is like having your car break down on the road when you need to make a delivery or get to a destination. With technology as your vehicle, downtime means losing time and missing opportunities to delight your customers until things are back up and running!

An experienced IT support provider accounts for these risks and works with your current provider to plan the actual switchover ahead of time. They use multiple strategies to smoothly do this for you, like running their IT systems in parallel with your old provider for a short time to ensure there are no coverage gaps in your IT support. They can also make the switch outside of typical working hours to minimize risk for your business.

2. Perceived Cost of Change

There can be costs associated with switching providers, like termination fees, switching systems, and migrating any data, which can be a disincentivizing prospect when other concerns about switching providers are already present!

But you can think of it this way: you’re paying a cost whether you switch IT provider or not, as you are likely to be incurring costs in other ways in the meantime. Since your IT will always play a big role in your business, how fast, reliable, integrated, and secure is it?

If you can’t get what you need from your current provider, there’s a strong chance that a well-made switch will more than pay for itself in efficiencies.

3. Not Knowing What Good Actually Looks Like

Another very important concern is whether the new IT service provider will actually be better—better to work with, give better results, and deliver better response times. Not all IT providers are equal, of course, so you need to use some criteria to find a great match for your business.

Some things to think about:

  • Review potential providers’ testimonials, case studies, and certifications in any technology relevant to your business. Are they up to speed with the latest trends, policies, and protocols?
  • Are they proactive, not just reactive? Terms like break/fix can help indicate a more reactive approach that won’t help move your business forward.
  • Are they culturally aligned with your business? If you ‘click’ with a prospective IT support provider and they meet other criteria, this is a strong sign.
  • Find out if they’re specialists for your sector; have they worked with similar companies, and are they able to get these companies to vouch for them?
  • Do they offer services and solutions for your current and potential future IT needs?
  • How long have they been in business? Longevity tends to be an indicator of success.
  • Finally, look out for some red flags that indicate a provider does not have your best interests at heart, which is the first sure step to sub-par IT support! Look out for hard selling, untransparent pricing, poor reviews, and a lack of interest in your strategic goals.

4. Sticking With the Familiar

Probably one of the hardest parts of changing your IT support provider is familiarity—you know your current provider’s tools and processes, you know their team, and you know switching them up could be jarring and disruptive.

The key is a great onboarding process from your new provider. It’s not just about removing risk and any downtime, but it’s also about making your employees feel both welcome and at home with their new support.

Helping your people get comfortable with their new IT support tools, processes, and helpdesk team will all help to make the transition feel more like a breath of fresh air than a cause for anxiety!

This can look like meeting all of your team and breaking the ice before the engagement, providing simple and clear documentation for getting helpdesk support and using new tools, and installing handy tools on their desktops to simplify IT access and support.

“Transitioning IT firms can feel like a daunting project, but Anderson [Technologies] made it feel seamless. They worked directly with our prior IT firm and provided very organized steps along the way to make sure everything transitioned with no interruption. Our staff was not impacted or even aware that the transition occurred until after it was completed, and they received contact information for the new support team.”

—K. W., CAO/COO, Wealth Advisory Firm

5. Data Security Concerns

A transition can certainly present risks to your data security if it’s not done carefully. Whether its data migrations, data corruption, or backing up your data before any switch over, IT support providers will factor in these critical concerns in a range of ways.

They’ll work with your current provider to map out your data, where it is stored, and any impacts a switch over could have. They’ll closely monitor your data in the transition process, keep it encrypted, and get your data backed up to the new IT support provider’s standard.

6. Contractual Obligations

One of the biggest possible barriers is the uncertainty and inflexibility that you might face because of your contract with your current provider. Some key issues include:

  • Termination fees for ending the contract
  • Long notice periods: some contracts may require notice of 3-6 months
  • Ambiguity about data migration and handover costs and processes
  • A sneaky one—renewal clauses that may specify a notice period for avoiding an automatic renewal
  • Exclusive service clauses that may restrict your ability to go to other providers for certain services

If your intentions are set about leaving your IT support provider, here are some tips for navigating the contractual side of transitioning:

  • Review your contract! It all starts with a clear understanding of the agreements there and planning accordingly.
  • If you’re decided, communicate your intention to switch ahead of time; your provider will likely want a smooth transition rather than a contentious one.
  • If you find parts of the contract are too prohibitive, open negotiations. They can cover termination fees, the notice period, or exclusivity clauses.
  • Take care to act prior to automatic renewals and to give any required notice. As the end of your service approaches, ensure everything is in place for your switch.

7. Hassle of Researching and Vetting New IT Support Providers

There’s no way around it; finding the right IT support provider for your business does take some legwork! But you can simplify the process by streamlining your efforts.

Some steps to get you started:

  • Outline your needs: What will you need from a new provider? How can they improve on your current one?
  • Prepare some questions: About response times, service agreements, open hours, on-site support, scope of services, what’s included in their IT support packages, pricing, and experience, etc.
  • Take the time to get to know shortlisted providers: It’s best to take the time to meet with your potential providers multiple times to get to know them and determine the right fit. Winning your business won’t just be based on deliverables, but also a strong rapport—are they someone you can see yourself doing business with and trusting to do right by you?

8. Worries About Employee Adaptation

New software and interfaces provided by a new IT support provider can throw your team off and cause confusion. A great provider will offer training, clear documentation, and support measures to help your employees to smoothly access the IT support they need. If you find the right partner, you shouldn’t feel like you are dealing with this burden alone.

9. Fear of Losing Custom Solutions

If you have custom configurations in your IT environment and custom-made software, you naturally will want to make sure they will keep working. A quality provider can help you by getting to know how they work, planning the ‘hows’ behind a smooth and secure transition, and communicating these ‘hows’ to you.

This can look like meeting all of your team and breaking the ice before the engagement, providing simple and clear documentation for getting helpdesk support and using new tools, and installing handy tools on their desktops to simplify IT access and support.

10. Reluctance to Change Established Relationships

One of the most difficult parts of changing an IT provider is the relationships that have been built up with them over time. Sometimes, for example, the relationship is solid, but the needs of a business can outgrow what the IT support provider can offer. Or you may have a great relationship with one person servicing your business, but the provider as a whole isn’t fulfilling your needs.

It can be difficult to replace the familiar with the new, but a conciliation is that a new relationship with a provider better suited to your business is also an opportunity. Not only an opportunity to tap into improved service and better results, but also an opportunity to build rewarding relationships with a provider that combines great service with that all-important personal touch. A new provider may even bring new ideas you could never have imagined, improving the way your business runs.

Final Thoughts

Switching IT support provider can be daunting for all these reasons and more. However, by knowing how IT support providers mitigate these risks and having the tools to find yourself a great new IT support provider, you should feel empowered to make the move that’s right for you, your business… and even your clients.

You need an IT support partner that has your best interests at heart: that will pre-emptively act on what you may need and safeguard your critical business. Find a partner you like and who will act as a trusted advisor to deliver all these things and more, letting you focus on growing your business strategically.

Thinking of Switching Your IT Support Provider? Let's Talk!

We know switching your provider is easier said than done, so we’re here to help. If you have any questions or need advice for your transition, you can connect with our team. We’ll be glad to help you on your path to IT that delivers better.