Moving IT support company? Our checklist for a seamless move
Moving IT support provider needn’t be a stressful or difficult chore. With a good checklist in place you can be prepared and organised for the least amount of disruption to your business.
Points to consider when changing IT provider
Why are you leaving your existing provider? Perhaps the service went downhill or maybe your business has grown and they can no longer support your requirements?
Listed below is a list of check points for you to go through and from here you should hopefully be able to work out exactly what you’re seeking from a new provider.
Before starting your search for a new IT provider you need to work out whether you’re looking for a company right on your doorstep who can easily visit when problems arise, and if that’s not a necessity for your business then by all means look outside of the area.
Maybe you feel that you’re currently paying too much for your IT and therefore you’re basing your new provider solely on price. If you’re going down this route then you’ll most likely be comparing prices against several different IT companies to obtain the most cost-effective quote. Remember price doesn’t necessarily mean a better service, so take the time to look through their service line agreement (SLA) for your business so you know exactly what the offering is for call-back times etc. If want to avoid your staff waiting hours on end for a call-back on their IT problem then the SLA is a big deal to you.
The service you receive plays an important role. What did / didn’t you like about the service you received from your old IT provider?
As detailed above, check the SLA offering before signing a contract.
If you don’t feel particularly IT savvy then maybe you’re seeking a personable friendly service instead of a company who talks technical and confuses you with jargon.
What working hours did your previous IT company provide and did they suit your business’s working hours? Do you need 24 hour support? These are all questions to ask yourself.
How big is your business? Is your IT provider big enough to deal with the size of your firm? This is a vital checkpoint. You don’t want to be in a situation where one sole IT individual is supporting your entire business. What happens if they are unwell or are on holiday?
Solutions & IT Documentation
Moving IT provider is an excellent time to review your existing setup. We’ve listed key areas you should consider and what we expect IT companies to suggest.
Firstly and most importantly let’s talk about data backups. Whose company data isn’t important to them? It’s a necessity. A business cannot operate if its data has gone. With this in mind having more than one backup system in place is vital. A physical backup is not enough. In the event of fire, theft or drive failure you are not protected.
Having a cloud backup in place offers your business additional protection and security as well as peace of mind. Getting a cloud backup setup is straightforward and hassle free.
Cloud backups in our view are the best option for protecting your data as you do not need to purchase a physical device or push any buttons. Cloud backups often email you if there is a problem.
Acquiring an effective and fully operational business email service is critical for the success of your company. It provides consistent communication capabilities that more readily enable work productivity and successful business expansion. Cloud-based solutions for small and medium-sized businesses reduce the frustration of email management so that companies can focus on important business concerns.
POP3 – Email Inbox is stored on server and often removed when downloaded and saved on computer only.
IMAP – Email inbox and folders are synchronised across all devices.
Exchange / Office 365 – Our recommended solution as it’s the same as IMAP but your contacts and calendars are synced and can be shared across users. Also for added security supported devices can be remotely wiped in the event they are lost or stolen.
Computer Protection / Anti-Virus
Computer viruses can cause immense damage, especially with ransomware attacks increasing. Any computer which is used for going onto the internet needs sufficient protection in place to help keep you safe from nasty viruses and malware. Paid anti-virus offers a high level of defence, however not all anti-virus software brands are adequate.
If you run a business you’ll know that the internet is used on a frequent basis for online banking and ordering from suppliers. Avoid free anti-virus software – you get what you pay for.
What protection you should have on all computers and your server:
- AVG Anti-virus
- Anti-malware (MalwareBytes)
- Cryptolocker prevention software
With more of us having the flexibility to work from home or any location, remote working is becoming a necessity for businesses. If you haven’t already been set up to work remotely then it’s something worthwhile for your business.
Some instances where remote access comes in extremely useful; a member of staff unable to make it into work, you’re abroad and something critical occurs and you need immediate access to the system, your company is growing but don’t want to move to a bigger premises.
Your new IT support provider will probably ask for a specification list of all your machines and IT equipment. It’s worthwhile you keeping a copy of this list too and include serial numbers. By having a list such as this means that you can refer to it at any time and check if any components can be upgraded like the RAM and hard drive.
You may not realise it but IT plays an important role and businesses depend heavily on their IT system.
Store a backup of your own data and once you have changed IT supplier ensure you change all passwords so that the previous IT company can’t gain access to your systems.
List of passwords
Gather a list of passwords for the following:
- Usernames and passwords for logging into all devices
- Router & your internet service provider login details
- Any other network devices
- Email passwords
- Administrator passwords
- Domain control panel
Once you have left your old IT provider and have moved to a new one, you must remember to change all of your passwords. This is something we would definitely expect your new provider to advise you on or action themselves. You wouldn’t want your old provider to have access to your computers or systems. It’s quite unlikely that anything would happen but it’s far better to take the precautions and be safe rather than sorry!