|Before Making A Switch Ensure|
You Know What You're Getting
Start early. We can’t emphasise this enough. Setting up alternative arrangements and ensuring a smooth transition will take longer than you expect and could cost, so start considering the implications before you make the decision to change, rather than afterwards.
Do a complete back-up before the process starts. Then, if anything goes wrong or there are problems restoring the systems, you have a ready-made status quo to return to.
Consider implementing disaster planning and business continuity initiatives in advance. Techniques such as Virtualisation and Mirrored Servers ensure you can carry on in the event of a disaster and they can also get you up and running quicker afterwards. They can also be very useful in helping with a move such as this. These were explored further in What is Disaster Planning & Business Continuity? and How to help your business survive disasters.
|Creating a Checklist Can Help|
The Transition Run Smoothly
Use cloud computing facilities. If visualisation and mirroring techniques are outside your budget, the cloud may provide a viable alternative through tools such as Google Documents, Google Calendar and Gmail or other web-based systems. You will need to ensure you have an alternative means of accessing the internet to use these systems and you may want to tell those with whom you communicate regularly to use a different email address during the period. You can read more about cloud computing in Introduction to Cloud Computing.
Consider email continuity. This system creates, in effect, an ongoing copy of your emails which can be activated automatically in the event of your email system crashing. If set up in advance, and used alongside an alternative internet access method, it can help to ensure that you retain access to emails whilst the changeover is taking place.
Using some or all of these techniques together can help to reduce the inevitable impact of switching providers. As ever, our advice is to take the advice of a competent and experienced IT support company before making the decision to switch, so you can be both knowledgeable and fully prepared beforehand.