In today’s rapidly changing market, all organizations want to be assured of a seamless experience when they select a new IT Solutions partner. The transition needs to be completed smoothly along with the implementation of cutting-edge technology solutions that can take the business to the next level. A successful transition is a bridge that allows an organization to cross over from traditional IT into the digital age. Achieving this requires the utilization of resilient methodologies that minimize the business impact during the transition process.
Five key factors are crucial for organizations to be successful in transitioning to a new IT Solutions partner irrespective of whether it is an incumbent provider or in-house IT department.
Smooth onboarding of the organization’s IT estate is one of the most important aspects of transition since it sets the tone of the partnership with the solution provider. In today’s complex business environment, onboarding does not merely end with the day-to-day IT operations being transferred to the provider. Onboarding is successful when the organization starts to see the actual value of the new partnership post the handover of services. The degree of success depends on the level of planning that is undertaken by the IT Solutions provider to ensure operational readiness within the agreed timelines. A tight alignment is required between the organization and the provider with respect to people, technology, and processes.
Knowledge transfer is one of the first activities undertaken during transition. Knowledge transfer from either the incumbent provider or the internal IT department to the new IT Solutions partner needs to be completed smoothly to help them get a clear understanding of the IT environment. Knowledge transfer involves documentation review, shadowing, and creation of SOPs/documents.
Retention of employees working in critical areas of the IT estate is a key success factor because these employees would possess knowledge of the IT estate gained through years of experience. The use of standardized templates and checklists needs to be encouraged to ensure information consistency, which can facilitate the use of various tools to successfully complete knowledge acquisition.
IT transition requires tight alignment between various teams and stakeholders. Achieving and maintaining high service levels during and after transition requires a robust governance mechanism to provide the necessary oversight for all activities.
The organization and solution provider should jointly define KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and SLAs (Service Level Agreements) to establish accountability and ownership. The governance team will also help in proactive identification of risks and track the action plans to mitigate them. A robust governance framework will also enable the transition process to maintain adherence to scope of work while also efficiently adapting to shifting business priorities.
Process management is essential, especially for multinational organizations that operate on a vast scale across multiple geographies. It is common for many of these organizations to have variations in their IT support processes based on regional requirements. When transition is undertaken in an organization, it is essential for them to work with their IT Solutions partner and chart out a process standardization plan. Implementation of standardized processes will enable organizations to deliver a better end-user experience because of simplified operations.
All transitions will inevitably face situations that require implementation of various changes. Hence, process management will also need to include change management to handle all changes to the IT estate.
It is imperative to ensure effective collaboration between the organization and the new solutions provider to achieve success in transition.
It is vital to keep all relevant stakeholders in the loop during the transition through an effective communication strategy. This is done by first initiating a stakeholder analysis to assess the impact of the transition within the organization. Once the assessment is completed, a communication plan can be built with the messaging crafted as per the organization’s requirements. Implementing the plan with clear timelines will provide the stakeholders with a clear picture of the transition progress and help them prepare their teams accordingly.
A well-crafted communication strategy will go a long way in building a strong relationship between the organization and the new solutions provider.
Transition is a critical activity that requires a disciplined approach. It is imperative to ensure effective collaboration between the organization and the new solutions provider to achieve success in this activity. The five factors listed above will enable organizations to implement a long-term plan to ensure that their IT estate remains state-of-the-art.