CEO Corner July 2021

CEO Corner: You Chose the Wrong IT Service Provider? It’s OK. Don’t Panic!

It happens more than you might think.  A medical practice or law firm calls us in a panic.  They’re not happy with their IT service provider and want to know what (if anything) they can do to break free and begin anew.

Maybe they didn’t read their contract carefully enough.  Some providers love to sneak in hidden costs and vague verbiage – particularly where Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are concerned.  Perhaps they weren’t thinking ahead about the possibility of opening or relocating to a new office – or the need to periodically upgrade their network to keep up with the threats of tomorrow.

In most cases though – and this will come as no surprise – they simply went with the cheapest option. 

It’s an honest error in judgement.  Firms are scrutinizing every dollar spent these days.  But when hiring a managed IT service provider, you are making an investment to protect your company’s security, livelihood, and future.  Unfortunately, and there are always exceptions here, choosing the cheapest option usually means compromising the safety of your network and settling for a lower quality of customer service.

So, you chose a provider that’s not the right fit – and you’re ready to part ways.  What do you do next?

Step #1:  Make a plan to minimize your risk.  What risks does the firing pose to your business specifically? Is there anything you are particularly worried about? Make a list and develop a plan that includes all concerns.

Step #2:  Make sure you have administrative access to all files.  This should be a no-brainer, but it’s an easy thing to forget when someone else is managing your system. Verify that you have access before you give any indication you are changing your IT provider.

>Step #3: Make sure you have a good backup. Asking for a backup is perfectly normal, so don’t hesitate to request one. Verify that the backup is adequate for your needs before you change IT providers.

>Step #4: Identify your new provider.  Do your homework this time.  You’ve already learned the hard way that distinguishing one provider from the next can be a challenge.  Make a list of your specific needs and the features you desire in a provider – beyond obvious factors like cost – to fine-tune your search.

>Step #5: Engage them.  Share your situation with them before you fire your current IT company. Let them explain how they will improve upon the service you are currently receiving – as well as the things they will need access to when they take over.  Take note and ensure everything is in order before you terminate your arrangement.

Last, but not least, once you’ve verified you have everything you need, move quickly. The longer you take, the more damage an unwanted IT company might do if they choose.

This month’s case study featuring Lakeside North Medical Clinic in Alabama delves deeper into this common dilemma.  I encourage you to give it a read and learn how we helped them out. And of course, you are always welcome to contact me if I can assist you in any way.


Todd Gooden

CEO & Founder

The Solutions Team