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You Decided To Switch IT Service Providers: What You MUST Know!

You Decided To Switch IT Service Providers: What You MUST Know!

When your firm makes the decision to change IT Service Providers, the onboarding process is crucial. It must go smoothly and for that to happen you need to take ownership of asking the new provider the right questions up front. Before you sign that new contract, be certain that they have shared the entire process with you, including the deliverables, communications plan, scheduling, risks and the checklist of information that you will need to gather in advance.

Speaking as someone who has been an IT Service provider for 25 years, I can share many horror stories of onboarding gone bad. Some providers do a great job, however many simply lack the business sense and organizational skills to do it right. A robust and systematic client onboarding process not only sets the stage for a successful relationship, but also ensures that the new client feels heard, understood, and valued. With a proven track record in client onboarding, here are the essential areas we believe hold the key to a smooth and successful transition.

The Importance of Planning:

  • Preparation is Paramount: Every client is unique, and their needs are distinct. Adequate planning allows for a tailored approach, ensuring that the specific requirements are addressed.

  • Resource Allocation: Effective planning ensures that the right resources – both human and technological – are available and deployed at the right time.

Emphasis on Communication:

  • Open Channels: Regular updates  about the onboarding process ensures transparency and builds mutual trust. It also ensures that there is no misalignment or misunderstanding along the way. Communications should be frequent, clear, and follow up should be frequent.

  • Feedback Loop: Actively seeking feedback is essential and must be part of the onboarding project from start to closeout. This helps in understanding any concerns allowing for immediate resolution.

Information Discovery:

  • Deep Dive: This involves a thorough analysis of the existing infrastructure, processes, and tools. It’s the foundation, with bad information the stage is set for a failed relationship.  Ensure the discovery is comprehensive and INCLUDES a Risk Assessment as part of the deliverables.  You are relying on your new provider to guide you, share knowledge, and deliver advice based on what they discover.

  • Documentation: Keeping detailed records avoids ambiguity and ensures that all teams are on the same page. This is a MUST! Have the new provider show you how they do this BEFORE you sign that new agreement.

Understanding the Client’s Business:

  • Current State Analysis: Assessing the present state of the client’s business provides insights into what’s working and what needs change.

  • Future Goals Alignment: Knowing where a client aims to be in the future allows for proactive planning, ensuring that the technology grows with the business.

Active Engagement and Training:

  • Hands-On Workshops: They ensure that the client’s team understands the new systems and tools. It’s not just about implementing technology but ensuring that people can use it effectively.

  • Continuous Learning: Technology evolves, and so should the skills. Make sure you’re your firm is able to receive periodic training sessions.

Feedback and Iteration:

  • Post-Onboarding Review: After the initial setup, it’s essential to sit down and review the onboarding process. What went well? What could be improved?

  • Regular Check-ins: This isn’t a one-and-done deal. Regular check-ins, especially in the early days, help in addressing concerns before they become significant issues.

Adapting to Change:

  • Scalability: As businesses grow, their needs change. The onboarding process should lay the foundation for scalable solutions that can adapt to a company’s evolving needs.

  • Proactive Approach: Staying ahead of technological trends and understanding how they can benefit the client, ensures that they are always at the cutting edge.

A successful onboarding process is not just about technology implementation. It’s a holistic approach that requires understanding the client’s business, aligning with their future goals, and maintaining open and transparent communication. It’s a partnership, one that starts strong with a systematic onboarding process, setting the stage for a fruitful and long-lasting relationship.

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Learn More About Matt

Matt Rosenthal is CEO and President of Mindcore, a full-service tech firm. He is a leader in the field of cyber security, designing and implementing highly secure systems to protect clients from cyber threats and data breaches. He is an expert in cloud solutions, helping businesses to scale and improve efficiency.

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