When it comes to outsourcing your IT support, it is important to consider the onboarding process and make sure that you are comfortable that the organisation you are partnering with has sufficient experience, systems and processes in place to onboard you efficiently and effectively.
You are looking to reduce risk, while also ensuring that your team and all of your technology can be fully supported from day 1.
We have seen all the extremes, from effectively no onboarding at all, all the way through to a multi-month audit and discovery process. We have successfully onboarded a lot of customers in our 20 years of operations and based on that experience, we have developed our own 8 step process that we find helps achieve a successful onboarding:
1 – Data Gathering and IT Audit
We will schedule an initial onboarding meeting to gather all of the information we need to get you up and running. In that meeting, we will gather as much information as we can, including:
- Key contact information.
- Third party vendor information.
- Existing support process and procedures.
- Common issues that cause frustration and down time.
- Key system and application information.
- Change control and report preferences.
From there, our experienced onboarding team will then carry out an IT audit, which is essentially a deep dive into your existing network and infrastructure. As mentioned previously, the time that we will need for this depends on the size and complexity of your systems, as well as your organisational structure.
The audit will cover everything from servers, network hardware, applications, users, groups and access, to licensing and risk identification.
Our analysis will give us an understanding of your requirements, allow us to start developing a risk register and help us begin the process of developing a roadmap for your technology, highlighting potential quick wins and allowing us to offer recommendations for areas of improvement over time.
It will also allow us to develop our secure knowledgebase specific to you. That forms the base of a living document that we continually update as we learn more about you and your needs and as your systems and setup change over time.
2 – Deploying Tools and Automation
Using the information that we gather from our IT audit, we now look to integrate our network monitoring and automation tools to your environment, giving our team the visibility and ability to provide you with the best possible service.
We will look to:
- Create network diagrams.
- Develop an asset register.
- Set you and your team up on our service desk.
- Set up secure communication channels.
- Take snapshots and backup your systems and network configurations where necessary.
- Deploy our monitoring and remote access tools.
- Secure your systems with antivirus, spam filters etc.
- Perform any necessary maintenance tasks.
- Automate alerting and typical tasks.
- Test and review your backup procedures.
- Review your business continuity plans.
With this stage complete, we will have the technical ability to provide you with IT support and will have a team who now know you and your IT platform intimately.
3 – Internal Cardonet Support Training
The third stage of our onboarding process is for our onboarding team to share the knowledge that they have gathered in the first steps of the onboarding process with our wider team.
They will run through our knowledgebase, highlighting key findings or anything unusual, describing issues that you have had in the past and providing our team with a clear picture of what you need from us as your trusted outsourced IT support partner.
Where possible and where practical, we like to invite you to this event. It gives you an opportunity to meet the people who are going to support you and gives us the opportunity to learn more about you and your specific needs directly, which is often very valuable.
4 – End User Communication
We will work with you to understand the communication that you have already had with your team with regards to how their IT Service delivery is changing and then agree how best to let your team know about us, our processes and what they should expect from us going forward.
We recognise that change is often difficult, so we try and retain as many of the processes as we can from the past where it makes sense to do so. Managing this step well with effective communication and then by backing that up with excellent service from the outset will help ensure that your onboarding is a smooth one.
5 – Onboarding Review
Before the official ‘Go Live’ date, we ask a senior member of our team who hasn’t been involved in your onboarding to review all the information that we have gathered and look for any gaps that we need to fill. They typically run through scenarios and make sure that we have the information, access and tools deployed to overcome them.
In most cases we have everything that we need, but we find an IT onboarding review from someone who has not been involved at this stage can be useful.
6 – Interim Support
In an ideal situation, we like to have a relatively short period of transition ahead of your official ‘Go Live’ date where we provide you with support, but you are still engaged and contracted to your incumbent and they remain obligated to help should it be needed. In most cases we never have to call on them during this interim support period, but we find this step helps ensure continuity and reduces risk.
We understand that there are times where your relationship with the incumbent isn’t strong or there are reasons for a quick break. In those cases, we wouldn’t enact this step.
7 – IT Support ‘Go Live’
As mentioned above, we like to have an interim support period where we provide support in the lead up to the agreed ‘Go Live’ date. Where that isn’t possible or practical, the ‘Go Live’ date becomes the date where Cardonet assumes full responsibility for your outsourced IT Support. We officially monitor your systems and handle all support queries.
8 – Post Onboarding Plan
Once live, we will work with you and set milestones in our diary to report and review our performance, ensuring that it is meeting your business needs and that your team are satisfied with the service that they are receiving.
These regular reviews give us the opportunity to:
- Solidify our relationship
- Identifying trends and areas of focus and improvement
- Prioritise support that aligns with your organisation’s goals
- Get feedback and adapt our service delivery as needed.
Call us on +44 203 034 2244 or +1 323 984 8908 or contact us online to discuss how you could benefit from outsourcing your IT to us and how our experienced IT onboarding team will reduce the risk of adopting a new outsourced IT partner while also ensuring that the process is a smooth one.