In many cases, choosing a partner to help with network management, design and optimization, outsourced security monitoring and management, or with your organization’s journey to the cloud can be complicated and time-consuming. And, for various organizations, having the right staff, expertise and in-house infrastructure make it challenging to fulfill their IT goals.
So, many choose to partner with IT service providers to guide them along the way.
Relying on an experienced, qualified and dedicated IT service provider can be beneficial. It helps a company drive innovation and improve the end-user experience. But, these trusted partnerships typically require some effort by both the IT service provider and the organization deciding to use its services.
Here are best practices for onboarding an IT service provider, creating the foundation for a long-lasting and valuable partnership. And, it proves onboarding an IT service provider doesn’t have to be complicated, costly or risky, so long as meaningful steps are taken benefitting both parties.
Come Up with a Plan
The best way to kick off the onboarding process is with a face-to-face, comprehensive strategic IT planning session. At this stage, a contract has been signed. It’s now time to move beyond discussing goals, expectations and requirements. You must work hand-in-hand with your IT service provider to create a clear roadmap with a definite timeline. Having a roadmap is an essential step in understanding how your technology impacts your overall business plans.
If a technology system has been integrated on an ad hoc basis, it might not be scalable enough to meet your growing demands. Similarly, putting the hardware and software in place piecemeal can lead to situations where the entire system doesn’t efficiently operate.
With your IT roadmap, you and your IT service provider can schedule proactive onsites to keep your organization in alignment with rigorous IT standards. Proactively planning out your infrastructure to take growth and service issues into account will pay dividends as you put in place a system operating at high optimization. Now, not only will you have peak ability for your technology to serve your business needs, you also save costs and resources.
To make it smoothly proceed, communication is everything. It’s crucial to establish reliable points-of-contact who will help you execute all aspects of your plan. You must be upfront with the provider. Especially when it comes to your budget and capacity for growth.
A doctor can’t cure a patient unless the doctor has all the information needed to accurately diagnose. After you and your IT service provider communicate your goals, expectations and requirements, it’s time to discover what it takes to fulfill them, such as a comprehensive analysis of your current IT environment.
The IT service provider assesses all areas where technology services are being deployed, back-end infrastructure, applications and software, appliances and other hardware, and everything in between. All points are taken into consideration, from end user peripherals to data storage, and more.
These technology assessments are designed as a collaborative effort between your IT service provider and you. The intended result is a better understanding of your IT infrastructure and how it can be improved to provide the best security, succinct workflows and cost savings. Your IT service provider will seek a deeper understanding of your business objectives, so it can recommend what will best serve your organization for hitting business goals and future success.
Organizations neglecting this step often find themselves wasting both time and money on an IT service provider. The provider doesn’t have a proper understanding of the organization’s inefficiencies, risk factors and opportunities for development. Typically, it’s impossible for the provider to overcome them.
With a plan finalized and comprehensive analysis of your current IT environment finished, it’s time to deploy the solution or execute the plan of action. So long as you don’t skip the two previous steps, everything will go effortlessly, without any issues.
Leading up to and during the deployment of any business technology system changes, your IT service provider and you should:
- Document the implementation steps and changes throughout the process
- Pay attention to detail, preparing a checklist of logistics, dependencies and ownership of each deployment step
- Analyze the risks in each implementation phase
- Test the system and processes in a project environment
- Create, document and test a backup and disaster recovery plan
- Engage help desk support and training
Working with an IT service provider following good project management processes will help allow your transition to easily flow.
Of course, the onboarding process is just the start. It’s important you continuously work on the partnership with your IT service provider. Good partnerships are built on trust. Having someone on your side who you trust as much as your own employees is valuable.
If you’re ready to start the onboarding process and connect with an IT service provider, consider Vology to provide you with the technology solutions, systems integration, expert service and support your business needs to succeed. With 2,200 fully-vetted technicians located across the country, Vology makes onboarding stress-free.