Managed IT

Service Turbulence: Developing a Managed Services Transition Plan

Read this article to learn about how your organization can develop and use a managed services transition plan to keep things running smoothly

Blog Post

6 minutes

Jun 27, 2023

It’s happened to the best of us. We’re making progress toward a long-term goal, we’ve established the proper support system, garnered internal buy-in, and things are all running smoothly. That is until one of the key contributors rolls for invisibility and essentially vanishes without a trace. If you don’t have a managed services transition plan in place, this can derail any number of projects, kill motivation, and leave you grasping for next steps.  

In other words, it creates glaring organizational gaps when an integral team member steps out of their role or a strategic partnership evaporates into thin air. If these gaps aren’t addressed with some semblance of urgency, you can lose consumer trust, miss out on sales opportunities, and even end up in a position where you’re forced to close your doors.  

To avoid organizational turbulence in a transitional period, consider implementing contingency planning as a requirement for your strategy. In the context of a disappearing strategic partner or key contributor, contingency planning means developing a worst-case scenario managed services transition plan.   

Having a contingency transition plan provides actionable steps to follow and mitigates the amount of time organizational gaps persist. Additionally, transition plans can include pivot strategies as an extra layer of preparation.  

Organizations that continually innovate are cut from a different cloth. Part of that process is paying attention to the low-hanging fruit and taking advantage of easy and evident opportunities for innovation. Learn more about identifying these opportunities in Impact’s webinar, How to Identify High-Value Opportunities for Innovation. 

Situations That Call for a Transition Plan  

Transition plans are fairly broad in nature, and can cover any number of topics or situations. This is partially why taking the time to develop a series of transition plans for various scenarios is becoming a best practice, especially when taking on massive projects.  

Below are just a few situational examples in which a solidified transition plan is a complete and total game-changer. 

Your Managed Service Provider Bails 

It’s been a rough few years for many business owners and organizational leaders. Dating all the way back to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, there has been a lot of turmoil in almost every industry.  

In particular, this led to several MSPs closing down their operations, some permanently. In turn, many small and medium sized business owners were suddenly thrust into a position of uncertainty during which key business operations were no longer being addressed. Not only did these owners and operators wake up blindsided by the sudden gaps in their organization, but they also had to scramble to scrap together some sort of temporary solution.  

While developing a managed services transition plan won’t make it any less surprising when a strategic partner walks away or folds, it will make for an accelerated and much smoother recovery from the exit.

The One Person Department Leaves the Organization 

In a similar fashion to the scenario above, if your organization is guilty of staffing any one-person departments, these are also a source of risk regarding operational gaps.   

More companies than would likely want to admit are relying on a single IT professional who is responsible for the entire network. This may have been a feasible solution 10-15 years ago, but today, it’s not enough firepower to hire a single person IT team.   

Further, if the one person you hire into that department leaves their role for any reason whatsoever, you’ll need to hope they give you enough leeway to hire someone new, or you’ll be in a position where you’re doing your best to cover operational gaps that you might not have expertise over or the time for with your own weekly workload.

New Product Lines and Service Offerings 

As organizations grow, they add product lines, service offerings, and other revenue sources into their business model. However, this isn’t always with the most grace (think Bic trying to break into the perfume industry for an $11 million loss).  

On the other side of the coin, though, are nearly endless examples of successful and strategic pivots made by recognizable brands throughout history. An immediate and rather incredible example of this comes to us from one of the streaming giants of today: Netflix  

Netflix’s original business model worked on renting physical DVDs through the US mail system and led them to the brink of bankruptcy multiple times. In fact, the video rental company only became the leader in streaming services through a series of fundamental pivots to their underlying business model.   

While Netflix might not have planned for these pivots throughout the life of the business, other leaders can learn from this success story and design contingent pivot points into their long-term strategy. Additionally, growing entities can strategically partner with an MSP for operational coverage in an area that isn’t organic to their business model.  

For example, a new-aged bakery might not have any internal employees with the IT and Cloud expertise needed in today’s digital-first economy. Instead of taking the time to interview and hire a full IT team, they could simply partner with an MSP to handle their IT and Cloud needs in order to remain competitive and relevant with modern consumers. 

What to Include in Your Managed Services Transition Plan  

There are clearly several situations that can benefit from a well-designed transition plan. Knowing when it’s a good idea to invest the time in developing a transition plan is half the battle. The other half is actually creating the contingent transition plan.   

The exact specifics of a transition plan will depend on the situation it’s meant to address. When designing a managed services transition plan or a strategic partner transition plan, there are certain aspects you need to include: 

  • A list of the responsibilities and organizational gaps that will emerge if the strategic partnership folds 
  • Internal and external communication strategies 
  • How operational gaps will be covered temporarily (and by who)
  • A potential loss-and-damage-assessment 
  • Research on alternative strategic partners or managed service providers 
  • A timeline of how quickly those organizational gaps can be covered permanently

By including these elements in your managed services transition plan, it won’t feel as devastating or overwhelming if and when you find yourself in a major transitional period. You can also avoid future pain points by researching high quality MSPs who will bring their own onboarding practices to the table for as seamless a transition as possible.   

Choosing the right managed service provider for your needs will result in a symbiotic partnership that elevates your business and advances you toward your goals.

Signing Off on Transition Plans 

Developing the right strategic partnerships can elevate your organization and take your business to the next level. On the other hand, when a strategic partnership or MSP evaporates into the ether, it can cause internal panic and throw a major wrench in your plans, strategies, and goals.   

Consider the partnerships your organization relies on the most and audit your transition plans regarding them (if you already have them). If you find your transition plans are incomplete, or nonexistent altogether, you may want to spend some time developing and designing comprehensive managed service transition plans.  

The ability to transition smoothly helps keep your business (and your spirits) afloat no matter what’s thrown your way.  

Committing to a culture of innovation can create additional efficiencies and inspire creativity among your team. Use Impact’s webinar, How to Identify High-Value Opportunities for Innovation as a spark to get your creative juices going in the realm of innovation. 


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