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Good managed IT service providers are easy to reach and rarely needed if they are doing quality work. Unfortunately, not all IT service providers are reliable, and there could come a time when your business needs to make a switch. We’ve heard way too many horror stories about companies being “held hostage” by their old IT vendor. Here’s how to stop that from happening to you.
Take control of ALL your information
IT is your most strategic asset. Someone in your company should take ownership of all things IT. Your financial records, customer interactions and payroll need to be protected. It’s in the best interest of your company to have an element of checks and balances with your IT provider. It’s easy to sit back and let your IT vendor handle everything. If you’re not plugged into what’s being done and how often it’s being done, you’re putting your company at risk.
How To Change IT Service Providers
If you follow these steps you can work with any vendor you’d like, without the fear of being locked out of your own accounts or having to chase down vital information.
Where is your domain hosted? Who owns it?
In some cases, IT companies will buy the domain name on behalf of the company. While this may seem helpful, the problem with this is that you’re not in control of your domain records. If the IT vendor forgets to pay it or their credit card account is unable to complete the transaction, the domain can be lost and not easily recovered. This can impact your website, the ability to send and receive emails, remote access, use of web based applications, etc.
Someone in your company should be plugged into your domain’s status.
Do you have your vital passwords?
This may seem like an easy one but it’s something that can be overlooked or taken for granted. If/when you switch to a new vendor, you’ll be asked for administrative, firewall and server passwords. If you don’t have them, the new IT service provider can’t get to work.
Where are your servers?
- If hosted in a data center, do you have the address and are you authorized to access the building?
- When was the last time they were checked?
- Are they password protected?
Where’s your email hosted?
Knowing where your email is hosted is another simple detail that can be overlooked. You don’t want to be put in a position where your company’s email goes down for a day. This can put you and your team in a tough situation with each other and with your clients.
Do you have a key to the telecommunications room?
This is on the list for a reason. We’ve worked with clients that couldn’t get into their own telecom room because the previous IT tech never gave them a key.
Who is the authorized user on your internet circuits?
This should be you or someone else in your company. Here’s another case where the IT person can hold too much power over a company. If the technician gets upset, he or she can cancel your internet leaving you wondering what happened.
Conclusion: Making a Smooth Transition
Business administrators need to be careful and gather some basic, strategic information. We’ve seen too many bad IT companies try to hold their clients captive by withholding valuable information. They prey on clients that don’t know any better.
We’re the opposite here at Netsafe. We don’t want to hold any of that valuable information. We want to focus on keeping your IT services running smoothly and not holding your valuable passwords hostage.
Take the time to learn your IT. Know these basics, not only for your knowledge but you need to know if you’re getting the IT services you’re paying for. Learning your IT processes will keep your IT company accountable.