Before you disengage with your IT provider, make sure you have sorted these 8 things

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Disengagement from your managed IT service provider doesn’t have to be painful, but it’s not something you can do on a whim.

If you’re not a technical stakeholder, here are the 8 things you need to consider when you’ve made the decision to move on.

1. What you’re going to do about your other managed services bills

The first thing you need to sort out is what to do with any managed services/software support contracts that will be coming up for renewal before, during or after the handover.

If these managed service contracts are managed by the IT company providing the managed IT service, ensure you have a clear strategy in place and suspend any new services conducted by the incumbent until the management of these contracts is handed over.

2. How you’re going to handle unplanned incidents and requests for help

Your new managed IT provider should also help manage unplanned situations and requests for assistance that arise from your staff and other users. Ensure that there’s a well-documented process in place so once you’ve left your prior contract your new managed IT provider takes over and is able to handle these requests without delay or notice.

3. What will happen with your managed services equipment and assets?

Managed service providers typically charge for services based on usage, so if you’re not leaving all your managed services immediately, it’s likely that your prior service provider will continue to collect few more usage payments. Make sure you understand this future liability before making a final decision about what you’re going to do with any managed network equipment and managed office equipment such as PCs and servers.

Also confirm whether your new managed service provider is taking over support of any of the old managed services assets until they are redeployed in new environment (most managed IT providers won’t do this by default because they aren’t part of their preferred computing environment and they anticipate the impost of supporting unfamiliar technology will outweigh the fee levied).

4. How you will migrate to the new managed IT service

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for migrating from managed services, and different companies choose different strategies depending on their circumstances.

Here’s how some of the most common managed IT migration scenarios play out:

a) Concierge experience.  If your managed provider has a relationship with another managed provider, they may be willing to recommend one or assist with transferring you. The key here is making sure the managed service providers agree on an “as is” basis as well as on future liability sharing arrangements so your handover isn’t put at risk.

b) Consolidation.  If you have multiple managed service providers, it may be possible to transfer them between providers so all users are under the same managed service umbrella. Again, ensure that the managed service providers have a clear understanding of their future liability sharing arrangements.

c) Payout and cut ties.  If your managed IT provider is taking over support of managed services assets, it may be possible to transfer them over as-is with all existing licenses and agreements intact. In this case you’ll need an “as is” agreement from both providers to not hold each other liable for any problems that arise from the assets after a handover date has been set. This can be a tricky situation if one managed IT provider suddenly decides they want to start charging for these assets once they’ve taken them over or if they suddenly decide to discontinue supporting these assets altogether.

5. How will you handle managed IT assets and managed services equipment loaned or financed by your managed service provider?

Remember that managed data centre equipment, managed office equipment and managed network equipment may still be under a loan or finance agreement with your prior managed service provider. If you’re not leaving all your contracts simultaneously, then it’s important that both the old and new provider understand who owns the assets and how they will be removed or supported.

Most managed service providers will have a managed desktop environment for PCs and laptops which you can move to your own managed environment.  If this isn’t an option, then you’ll need to decide if you purchase these managed services assets outright before disengagement from your prior provider or let go of them.

It’s important to know what options are available before making any decisions about how best to manage technology post-disengagement from managed IT providers.

6. How will users be notified of changes?

Ensure uninterrupted communication channels and make sure any communication pertaining to migration is clear and transparent as well as accessible to the migration working group. If the communications aren’t clear or open about what’s going on, they result in confusion among users, which in turn can result in costly downtime with no managed service provider to manage the inevitable problem that will occur right when you need support the most.

7. How will your new business model impact existing contracts?

Make sure you understand all existing contracts before migrating away from managed IT service providers to make sure managed support and managed services agreements don’t suddenly start costing more money.

Keep in touch with the provider you’re leaving to make sure they still uphold services until the moment of handover and that no charges or price increases come into effect unexpectedly.

8: How do you manage the transition process?

If your new managed IT provider is taking over managed services assets when you leave, make sure all communication is clear about what’s happening when. If the communication isn’t clear or open about what’s going on, they result in confusion among users, which in turn can result in costly downtime with no managed service provider to manage a problem.

These managed IT service considerations will help you understand what to do when leaving a managed services provider. They also show how important it is to have a plan for the future, so there are no surprises with your technology management post-disengagement.