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How to switch IT providers.

In today’s episode of Design Under Influence, we’re going to talk about the process of switching IT providers.  

We’re taking you through:  

  • The reasons why you might want to switch  
  • The barriers you might encounter when making a change  
  • What commitments you need to make to implement a successful shift  

Here’s the deal — if you don’t believe that technology is your competitive advantage for your architecture, engineering, or design firm, then you’re not pushing your business forward. With the reimagined remote workforce on the horizon, it’s going to be very difficult to grow and thrive without attention to IT processes.  

All the outcomes you are looking for during the switching process will connect with your evaluation of your current IT provider — so you want to make sure to get it right.

So — why should you consider switching IT providers to make technology your competitive advantage, anyway?  

The overarching theme that we see here at ArchIT from people looking to switch is that they don’t feel like they are getting enough value from their IT provider. This can show up with: 

  • Slow response times for critical issues.  
  • The inability of your provider to answer key questions that you have pertaining to your business.  
  • The same issues showing up over & over without long-term solutions to the root of the problem.  

In order words, your IT provider isn’t acting as a partner in growing your business. You want an IT provider that is proactive rather than reactive so that problems are taken care of before they arise with a strategic roadmap.  

If you should encounter an IT emergency, you should be able to get someone on the phone right away. Period. You can’t afford for your server to be done for days at a time — your business will lose too much productivity.  

We get it — it’s disruptive to change IT, providers. Sometimes it can feel easier to ‘put up’ with your current IT provider to save headaches.  

But if you are truly looking to grow, not that bad isn’t going to cut it with your IT provider. Growth means better employees and better opportunities, which in turn accelerates the potential of your business.  

Switching to a dedicated IT provider outweighs the disruption with productive outcomes. The disruption ultimately leads to positive momentum, empowering your employees to do more with their valuable time — which they will deeply appreciate.  

We know what you’re thinking. As CEO or leader of your company, the process of switching IT providers is going to fall all on your shoulders, and you’re already extremely busy.  

You also might have a fear that you’re going to switch from one mediocre provider to another, meaning that you expended energy, time, and resources for no real gain. You know that startup costs have to pay off down the road.  

And these are valid concerns. But let’s investigate them a little bit.  

First off, with a great evaluation process, you’ll be able to distinguish between providers and what services they can offer you. That way, you can be sure that you are making the right investment decision in switching.  

And if / when you do decide to switch, there is only so much you can take on as the head of your organization. But if you’re switching to an active IT provider that seeks to work as a partner for your business, your own involvement and labor will be slim to none.  

A great IT provider makes the transfer process an internal project. That means that they take on all the work with onboarding through the allocation of their resources, while you continue with your other operations.  

Included with onboarding, your IT provider should work with you to understand the processes of your business and what technologies you use for a smooth transition. And further, they should conduct a full technology assessment on your behalf to suggest improvements that could make technology your competitive advantage.  

It’s all about building a relationship and streamlining communications to your employees and customers to make it as easy as possible for you.  

Contrary to popular belief, you will not be the main contact in setting up a new IT system. Instead, it will mostly fall to your office manager, who should budget 4-10 hours to collect and provide information to your new provider. As for the rest of the labor, it falls exclusively on your new IT provider.  

And as a quick note: try to keep a healthy relationship with the IT provider you are moving away from. This is a good business practice in general, but it will also make the transition much smoother.  

If you’re unsure about your current IT provider and considering a switch, give us a call here at ArchIT.  

We empower architecture & design firms to make the switch as easy as possible so that you can make technology your competitive advantage and grow your business.  

We’d love to hear from you!