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How to Break up with Your Managed IT Provider

By Rick Martinez, Austin Lane Technologies

Choosing the right Managed IT Service Provider (MSP) is crucial for the success and efficiency of any business. However, circumstances change, and sometimes, a company may find itself in a situation where parting ways with its current MSP is the best course of action. Not all MSPs are the same. Some cannot grow with you or supply the same level of support for your business as you grow. Others may struggle to adapt to changing conditions within your business or industry.

Breaking up with a Managed IT Service Provider requires careful consideration and planning to ensure a smooth transition. This guide will explore the essential steps when ending a business relationship with your MSP.


1. Evaluate the Reasons: Before initiating a breakup, it is essential to evaluate the reasons behind the decision. Common issues include unsatisfactory service quality, lack of responsiveness, or a misalignment of business goals. Showing these reasons will help you communicate effectively with the MSP and potentially find a resolution.

2. Review Contractual Agreements: Carefully review the terms and conditions outlined in your contract with the MSP. Look for any termination clauses, notice periods, or penalties for early termination. Understanding these details will give you a clear roadmap for the breakup process and help you avoid legal complications.

3. Coordinate with Your New Provider: Before breaking up with your current provider, you should have selected a new Managed IT Service Provider. This is the time for the new Managed IT Service Provider to show their plan to make the transition seamless. Coordinate with them during the transition. Provide them with the necessary information and access to ensure a seamless handover of responsibilities. Clear communication between both parties is crucial at this stage.

4. Notify the MSP: Open communication is vital. Once you’ve decided to part ways, notify your MSP immediately. Provide details about the issues that led to this decision and express your desire for a smooth transition. Remember to adhere to any notice periods stipulated in your contract.


5. Plan the Transition: Collaborate with your MSP to plan the transition process. Discuss the transfer of responsibilities, access to systems and data, and the timeline for the handover. A well-thought-out transition plan will minimize disruptions to your business operations during the switch.
Be sure to obtain a detailed record of:
• Passwords: domain(s), website(s), firewall(s), server(s), shared drives, etc.
• Licenses: Accounting Software, Intune, Office 365, Windows, etc.
• Network Schematic: Inventory of all devices
• Retainer: Initial retainer refund


6. Secure Your Data: Ensure your MSP securely transfers all critical data and information to your control. Work with the MSP to create backups and verify that you can access all necessary resources. Data security is paramount during this phase to prevent loss or unauthorized access.


7. Update Stakeholders: Keep your internal stakeholders informed about the transition process. Communicate with employees, clients, and relevant parties to manage expectations and address concerns. Transparency will help keep trust and mitigate any potential disruptions.


8. Perform a Post-Mortem Analysis: Conduct a post-mortem analysis with your team to evaluate the process after completing the transition. Find what went well and areas that could be improved upon. Use this feedback to inform future decisions when selecting IT service providers.

Breaking up with a Managed IT Service Provider can be a challenging process. Still, with careful planning and communication, it can also be a positive step toward aligning your IT services with the needs of your business. By following these steps, you can navigate the transition smoothly, ensuring minimal disruption to your operations and setting the stage for a successful partnership with a new MSP.

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