Switching to a new Managed IT and Cybersecurity Managed Services Provider (MSP) is a strategic move for investment management firms, as it can significantly impact your organization’s operational efficiency, cybersecurity, and bottom line.  

The prevailing trend in the coming years, as disclosed in Agio’s Managed IT Hedge Fund Report, indicates a significant shift toward transitioning to new MSPs. Nearly every Chief Technology Officer (CTO) surveyed expressed their intention to switch MSPs within the next two years. This move is primarily driven by the desire to consolidate managed IT and cyber detection and response services under a single provider. 

Nevertheless, the transition to a new MSP is no walk in the park. As the technical leader of your firm, you understandably want to navigate this shift with caution, avoiding a repeat in selecting an MSP that falls short of meeting all your requirements. In light of this, tuck away this checklist as a valuable resource to guide you through a successful transition to a new MSP with confidence. 

Planning for the Transition 

Find your ‘why’ for switching MSPs and define specific objectives. 

Undoubtedly, the decision to switch MSPs often stems from a clear need for superior service. Your current MSP may have faltered in handling evolving needs, or offered inadequate responsiveness to a time sensitive outage, leaving you shouldering tasks that should be their responsibility. Whatever prompted this change, it’s crucial to precisely outline your expectations from the new MSP to ensure a marked improvement. By articulating your requirements, you can sidestep a recurrence of the same issues and set the stage for a more fruitful partnership.

Some examples of objectives to switch MSPs may include faster more transparent support, enhanced security, or improved services. What do all these objectives have in common? The notion that they serve as a roadmap for the entire process. Plus, they are evidence to ensure you undergo a seamless transition.   

Develop a well-defined strategy outlining the transition process. 

A well-defined strategy is the foundation of a successful transition. As a leader in technology, you can establish a clear path forward by assigning roles and responsibilities for the transition, most especially determining timelines and milestones in the process. Therefore, all stakeholders, IT teams, and end-users understand their roles. Simultaneously, they can provide a timeline for reaching milestones. This strategic approach minimizes confusion, delays, and technical risks. 

Involve relevant stakeholders early in the planning process to gather insights and address concerns. 

Involving stakeholders early in the planning phase fosters collaboration and allows for the transition process to be aligned with their expectations. Engaging IT teams and end-users from the start promotes a sense of ownership and minimizes resistance to change once the ball starts rolling. 

Additionally, it is imperative to establish communication with the technical experts at the new MSP under consideration for a seamless transition. This proactive approach ensures that you gather the necessary information required for a smooth implementation process. Effectively understanding the specifics that the new MSP needs to rectify the shortcomings of the current provider will empower you in your discussions with the existing MSP, signaling your intention to transition.  

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Technical Considerations 

Craft a notification message to the existing provider to emphasize clear communication of the transition plan and expectations. 

Transparent communication with your existing provider is essential in maintaining a positive relationship and sets the tone for a smooth transition. A proper notification guarantees your current provider is prepared to cooperate, reducing potential difficulties during the switch. Keep in mind, the timing of the message is equally as important as the message itself.  

Below is a sample notification message to send to your current provider after expressing your intention to transition during a verbal discussion:

“Subject: Transitioning to a New MSP – Request for Details & Plan Ahead 

Dear [Existing MSP Team], 

I trust this message finds you well. We want to express our gratitude for the service you have provided us with during our partnership. Over time, our organizational needs have evolved, and regrettably, our current requirements do not align with the services provided. 

After careful consideration, we have decided to transition to a new Managed IT and Cybersecurity Service Provider. This decision is based on our strategic goals and the imperative need to ensure our IT infrastructure aligns seamlessly with our evolving business demands. 

To facilitate a smooth transition, we kindly request your cooperation in communicating and coordinating the transfer of services. Clear and open communication is crucial during this process, and we appreciate your assistance in ensuring a seamless handover. 

To ensure all aspects are addressed comprehensively, we would appreciate your insights on the following critical questions: 

  • License Confirmation: Can you confirm the licenses we currently hold with your services that need to be transferred to the new MSP? This includes any software, applications, or subscriptions critical to our operations. 
  • Data Ownership: How can we initiate the process of transferring ownership of our data, applications, and systems to the new MSP? Are there specific protocols or steps we need to follow? 
  • Service Documentation: Could you provide us with any relevant documentation or records pertaining to our current services that will assist in a smooth onboarding process with the new MSP? 
  • Outstanding Commitments: Are there any outstanding commitments, contractual or otherwise, that need resolution before the transition? This includes any pending updates, patches, or system configurations. 
  • Security Protocols: What security protocols should we be aware of during the transition to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of our data? 

Your cooperation in providing clear and comprehensive answers to these questions will significantly contribute to a successful transition. We value the support you have provided us with and aim for a collaborative and efficient transition. 

We anticipate your prompt response and thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation during this transitional phase. 

Best Regards, 

[Your Name]  

[Your Position]  

[Your Company Name]  

[Contact Information]” 

Train internal teams on the new MSP’s processes, tools, and service level agreements (SLAs). 

Preparing your internal teams with the necessary knowledge and skills is a critical step. A well-prepared team can swiftly adapt to the new MSP’s processes and technology, reducing downtime and maintaining productivity. 

Determine the level of collaboration required from the old provider during the transition. 

The level of collaboration needed from the old provider can significantly affect the transition’s success, including data transfer and system handovers. Well-defined expectations and cooperation agreements allow for an effortless handover of assets and information. 

Assess your current infrastructure, documenting configurations, dependencies, and critical assets. 

Clearly defined technical requirements and confirmations from the new provider help you mitigate risks during the transition. At Agio, we highly recommend that those looking to switch MSPs opt for an IT assessment to furnish new providers with an overview of your current state, aiding them in pinpointing the appropriate solutions and remedies. 

Agio’s IT infrastructure assessment is a crucial element in our methodology. This assessment serves as a litmus test, providing clients with an asset inventory and revealing potential shortcomings in their current MSP’s service. This dual perspective not only emphasizes positive aspects but also identifies areas for improvement.  

By employing this strategic approach, you can gauge your new providers’ expertise and gain insight into their deep understanding of flawless IT service execution, instilling confidence in the prospect of a successful partnership. If you don’t employ this strategy, make sure you’re prepared to provide your new MSP with information about your infrastructure. This includes how many assets, licenses, users, devices, etc. 

Plan and execute the migration of data, applications, and systems to the new MSP. 

Migrating data, applications and systems is a complex and high-stakes aspect of the transition. Making sure it is done securely and with minimal disruption to operations is vital to maintaining business continuity and data integrity.

Here are some critical aspects to consider: 

  • Transferring ownership of platforms: This involves addressing potential vendor lock-in scenarios, particularly concerning licensing agreements. For instance, if the current MSP holds licenses for services such as Microsoft, transitioning those licenses to the new provider requires a thorough examination of existing agreements.  
  • Financial implications: Check for any financial implications, such as paying the remaining term if the agreement is still in force.  
  • Data retention within hosted platforms: Your previous MSP may have designed the environment in a way that makes it difficult to extract and migrate your data seamlessly. This calls for meticulous planning and an awareness of potential hurdles, akin to the challenge of transitioning from one streaming service to another while dealing with the intricacies of vendor lock-in. 

Moral of the story? Set the record straight with your current MSP to make the transition less of a hassle. 

Define technical requirements for maintaining business continuity during the transition. 

Upkeeping the continuity during the transition is a top priority. Technical requirements for redundancy, backup, and failover allow your organization to be resilient to unexpected disruptions, protecting critical operations. 

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Risk Mitigation 

Identify potential technical risks that could arise during the transition.  

Identifying and addressing technical risks using contingency plans will help you anticipate and target potential disruptions. This proactive approach minimizes downtimes and unexpected setbacks.  

When assessing a potential new MSP, inquire about their expertise in risk mitigation and service migration. Request a demonstration or inquire about specific instances where they successfully managed situations similar to yours. Similarly, engage with your current provider to understand their approach, gaining a clearer and more confident perspective on the assurance that you are in capable hands. 

Prioritize data security and regular backups of critical data. 

Prioritizing data security and redundancy protects your organization against data loss and security breaches. Redundancy guarantees that even in the event of technical failures, your systems remain operational. 

Develop strategies to minimize technical disruptions during the transition. 

Minimizing technical disruptions during the transition is essential to keep your firm’s operations running smoothly. Rigorous testing and validation processes help you ensure data integrity and operational consistency.  

Vendor Selection and Evaluation 

Define specific criteria for evaluating and choosing a new MSP. 

Choosing the right MSP is a critical decision. Factors like technical capabilities, expertise, and compatibility of the new provider with your firm’s goals have a direct impact on your organization’s technical performance and future success. 

Conduct thorough due diligence on potential MSPs and assess their technical capabilities and security measures. 

Thorough due diligence on potential MSPs helps you avoid costly mistakes and select a provider that recognizes your technical needs and security requirements. Take time to check references, both references provided by the new MSP and references of firms you know people at that use the MSP. Prepare detailed questions to probe areas of potential concerns, as you are entrusting your technology to a reliable partner.  

Read common due diligence questions here.  

Confirm the new MSP’s technical capabilities correlated with your firm’s long-term goals and technology roadmap. 

Matching your new MSP with your firm’s long-term goals and technology roadmap is foundational to achieving a successful transition. It guarantees that your technology investments support your strategic objectives.  

Emphasizing the importance, it is crucial to request discussions with technical experts from the prospective MSP. At Agio, we boast a team of software engineers and technical specialists prepared to engage with you, providing insights into our implementation strategies. 

Technical Execution and Monitoring 

Implement the migration plan, including data transfer and system integration. 

The execution phase represents the culmination of your planning efforts. Proper execution of the migration plan, including data transfer and system integration, is imperative to minimize disruption and maintain operational efficiency. After doing so, you may monitor progress and address issues promptly 

Continuously monitor technical performance during and after the transition. 

Continuous monitoring of technical performance is essential to catch and address issues promptly. This ongoing vigilance through regular assessments forces your new MSP to consistently meet your firm’s technical expectations. 

Appoint technical leaders to oversee and manage the technical aspects of the transition. 

Appointing technical leaders to oversee the transition is essential for maintaining control and steering the process effectively. Their role is to make quick but necessary decisions that guarantee the transition stays on course.  

Post-Transition Technical Evaluation 

Conduct a comprehensive technical evaluation post-transition. 

A thorough post-transition assessment helps you measure the success of the switch and gather feedback from stakeholders. Gather feedback from stakeholders to identify areas for improvement, in hopes of gaining valuable insights for refining technical processes and ensuring long-term success. 

Use feedback to fine-tune processes, configurations, and security measures. 

Using feedback to fine-tune processes, configurations, and security measures is vital for continuous improvement. It helps you adapt to changing needs and keeps your technology environment both resilient and efficient. Eventually, you can confirm the new MSP is delivering on its promises. 

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Confidence, Knowing Agio Has You Covered 

A well-executed MSP switch is a strategic move that can have a profound impact on your investment management firm. While not without its challenges, the right MSP can make the transition less of a hassle. Agio’s tailored solutions and expertise shine through, assuring clients that the migration of data, applications, and systems is handled with precision. With our wealth of experience in data migration, we assure you that your data is in capable hands. The critical aspect of transferring ownership of platforms is expertly handled by our professional services team, addressing concerns such as vendor lock-in and licensing intricacies.   

Agio also holds an unparalleled commitment to risk mitigation. Our team of experts can guide you through the process, engineering solutions that consider the pitfalls others may have inadvertently introduced.   

At Agio, transparency is not just a promise but a practice. Through our AgioNow portal, you gain a comprehensive and real-time view of each step in the implementation process, ensuring you are never left in the dark. Our dedication to customer success extends beyond the transition, offering Agio Insights to keep you informed and in control.

Choose Agio for Managed IT and Cybersecurity services, where precision meets transparency. Our meticulous approach, coupled with the AgioNow portal, guarantees a seamless experience and a full understanding of the journey. Trust Agio to not only meet but exceed your expectations in the dynamic landscape of MSP transitions. Contact Agio to find out more about our services and expertise.