Look, it's not like we search for reasons to dump someone. Like you, I always got into relationships with the best of hopes but sometimes it just doesn't work out.
“You can't stay in a relationship that isn't working for you.”
Just like in business, when I was a "tween" it was hard to do tough things that would hurt nice people. Girlfriends that were always really nice but I just felt like I shouldn't be dating often got their feelings hurt when I had to breakup with them. But, at the end of the day if the relationship wasn't right I had to breakup with them. Staying together with them would only end as nothing good for me or them. You can't stay in a relationship that isn't working for you.
Has your relationship with your outsourced IT guy run its course and you know it's time to breakup with them now? Have you been with them for a long time but know that you just can't continue staying with them AND you don't know how to break the bad news to them? Are you worried about all the ties to them and how to break them safely without hurting your law firm?
“No one wants to leave their trusted IT guy but sometimes it has to be done.”
You're not alone. No one wants to leave their trusted IT guy but sometimes it has to be done. The burning question on most people’s minds is how can I do it compassionately while at the same time I protect my law firm and not jump into a relationship with another provider who will treat us the same way?
Fortunately, the good news is that all these are possible and not terribly difficult. Here’s a few tips how:
- Make a written list of what you expect from the new IT Provider. This should be easy as it will most likely be the reasons you’re leaving the current guy.
- Have your IT Guy document your systems for you for “cybersecurity compliance” reasons. Of course, this is not the real reason but it’s nevertheless legit and something that needs to be done anyway. They’ll probably drag their feet on this so tell them it’s being requested by your insurance carrier and you need it in a couple of weeks.
- Let your current guy know you’re breaking up with them. Now this will be the toughest and most stressful part but you need to gut it out. Stand your ground. I’d you’re at this point you’ve already given them ample chances and they blew it. Don’t give into” I can fix it”, ”I’m really sorry can you give me another chance” or worst yet “we’ve been together for so long I hate to lose our history together”. Remember they caused this not you.
- Have the new crew make a transition plan. This should start with a transition call between you, the incoming team and the outgoing guy. It should layout what will happen and when. It should also take into account mission critical technology items that you cannot afford to have any gaps: backup, antivirus and firewall protection are a couple of examples.
Some of these sounds difficult and “Damn it Jim, I’m a law professional not a computer guy” so in some cases you’re not gonna know what the heck to do next.
I’ve made it easy and put together a “breaking up is hard to do” kit for you. It’s totally free and you can download it here.
- An IT guy break up letter
- An IT services expectations checklist for the new team
- An IT audit checklist to help with your documentation
- An IT provider transition plan
“This time you can honestly say “it’s them, not you”.
Can you guess the most used line in a boy/girl breakup? “it’s me, not you”. Well, this time you can honestly say “it’s them, not you”. You never wanted this to happen but it did and it’s not your fault. Hopefully with this article and my tools you’ll be well prepared for you next, happily ever after IT marriage.
You can get the “breaking up” kit here. Good luck.