In the current climate, many organisations are carefully reviewing their partners so as not to get caught out if those businesses fail.
IT is the lifeblood of many organisations and is needed to keep them running. So what do you do should your IT support and services partner go into administration?
Based on experiences we’ve had with customers in this and similar situations, we’ve created some advice on the steps to take:
It’s a headache that your IT company is failing. But your systems won’t shut down immediately. So use a little time to take stock and talk to a few new potential partners. Don’t feel like you’re on a deadline and have to commit immediately, which can prove more costly in the long run.
Obtain your hosted data and backups
If your IT partner has been managing your cloud services and data backups, you’ll want to get this information off of them, either to host temporarily onsite or more over to a new supplier.
Some less scrupulous IT companies that know they’re winding down may try and charge you over the odds to do this– don’t let them. While there will be some cost to retrieving data, essentially it’s your property that they’re holding, so you have a legal right to it.
If your IT company has already failed, the administrators will be able to assist with this, though again there may be some fees attached.
If possible, try and find out more about how your data has been hosted. We’ve heard various horror stories about supposed cloud hosting that was actually being held on rundown old servers at the IT company’s office. Equally, we’ve heard of organisations who believed their data was in their own private Azure tenant, only to discover it had been pooled with other organisation’s data. Knowing what went wrong the last time will ensure you get it right with your new partner.
Transfer licensing management
A good IT company may look after your licensing for products such as Office 365 and antivirus, but will do so in your name (ie. licences shouldn’t be in the IT companies names). You should work with your new partner to obtain the licence details for future records and management.
Should your licences be in the IT company’s name, the situation becomes more difficult, but not impossible. Thanks to our partner relationship with Microsoft, Akita has been able to transfer licence ownership in the past – it can just take a little time.
Talk to administrators about leased hardware
Some organisations rent hardware and equipment from their IT companies.
Should that company go under, try and speak to the administrators quickly. They will want to recover any funds they can from the failed IT company and, depending on the value of rented equipment, there will likely be a deal to be struck.
This can become more complex should the administrator bring in another company to manage this process, so taking action quickly on this issue is key.
Undertake a full IT review
Once you’ve chosen a new IT partner (or even as part of the audition process) get a review of your existing IT setup and processes.
When Akita performs these reviews, we find its often illuminating for organisations to find out what hasn’t been done correctly by their previous IT company, whether its unprotected devices, unpatched software or poorly configured administration rights.
A full review can also help shield you from future IT nasties. You may discover your server is end-of-life or that your antivirus wouldn’t protect you from a ransomware attack.
If auditioning IT companies, see where their reviews differ and where they are the same. Not only should this indicate if they know their stuff, you should also get a reasonable sense of whether they’re trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
These suggestions cover the most common IT services held, but there will be others that need to be addressed as well. As an experienced IT managed service provider, Akita is happy to assist organisations that find themselves in this predicament.
To discuss IT services with Akita, please get in touch: