7 Key Questions To Ask When Switching To A Cherwell Managed Service

In this paper Ljay Doherty, our Head of Managed Services identifies some of the key things to consider if you are thinking about switching to a Cherwell managed service. Coauld moving to a managed service improve your performance and reduce your overall costs?

Since Ivanti bought Cherwell in March 2021, it’s left users with some uncertainty as to whether they should stay put with their current system or consider migrating. As Cherwell is going to be more closely integrated with Ivanti’s systems, doing nothing is not a long-term option.

One solution could be to switch to a managed service, using an expert provider – either for the short or long term. At the very least, it can give you some breathing space to assess your options and allow you to tap into the knowledge and expertise of the service provider to help you make the right choices for the future.

Here are some key questions you should have clear answers to before deciding to make the move.

Who has greater Cherwell expertise – your admins or a managed service provider?

If you’ve been a Cherwell user for some time, the chances are your admins are not the people who did the original implementation, while managing Cherwell is unlikely to be their main job. This means they may not ever have been formally trained to admin level, and they will be inheriting aspects of the system they don’t know about.

Alternatively, if you choose a good Cherwell partner to manage your system for you, you’ll be putting it in the hands of people who do nothing but Cherwell all day. “Experts in our CIH team, like our Technical Director Mike Walker, have forgotten more about Cherwell than many Cherwell developers have ever known,” says LJay Doherty, Head of Managed Services of CIH Solutions.

Will paying a managed service provider cost more or less than paying an admin?

As well as allowing you to tap into greater expertise, switching to a managed service can deliver a significant cost saving.
“If you have an admin or developer on your books full time, it’s likely that you’re paying them somewhere between £30,000 plus and £50,000 per year,” says LJay. “Whereas our services start at less than half of the lower figure.”

Does your in-house team document everything?

Fully documenting your system, and the changes you make to it, is vital. If everything is just in the heads of your admin team, when someone new comes in at a later date they won’t be able to see what’s been done or how to replicate it.
“I can guarantee,” says LJay, “that most admins working in house are unlikely to be documenting everything correctly. Whereas a good managed service provider will do it as a matter of course.”

What are your internal SLAs – and can you enforce them?

A good managed service provider will offer formalised SLAs that are agreed up front with the client, so you can be sure that when you make a request, it will be acted on and implemented within an agreed time frame.

But what happens if you send a request to an internal member of staff and they don’t get around to it for two or three months? With a service provider, you can tell them they’re in breach of contract and you’ll be able to act accordingly. But that’s a lot harder to do internally.

If you’re switching to – or upgrading – Cherwell, how much internal experience do you have of scoping and implementation, compared to a managed service provider?

A good service provider will have a tried-and-tested structured methodology for scoping and implementation, as well as documenting any changes. They’ll also be able to advise on what’s realistic, what approaches and methodologies to adopt, and offer a wide range of other useful knowledge.

“I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen companies try to do it themselves, with unfeasible schedules and a lack of sensible internal analysis,” says LJay. “Not to mention the ones that are totally unclear on what position they’re in now and how it meets their business requirements. They’re all liable to come into difficulties at some point.”

Will your in-house team have a structured roadmap for the year(s) ahead?

Whether you’re switching to Cherwell, or just wanting to move forwards with it, having a structured and realistic plan for the road ahead is essential.

“Too many businesses try to do everything at once and end up doing nothing,” says LJay. “Whereas a good managed service provider will be able to advise on a step-by-step approach – what to do when, what order to do it in, and how much time each step will take. Then, of course, they’ll be able to put that plan into action, expertly.”

How much broader industry knowledge can your admin team offer in comparison to a managed service provider?

“A good provider will have a wide range of valuable industry knowledge on tap,” says LJay. “So as well as the managed service, you can tap into an element of consultancy.”

Plus, a platform-neutral provider like CIHS – which has a wide range of expertise in Cherwell as well as many of its competitors – can advise on whether you’re using the optimum platform or not, and when and how to upgrade or switch if it makes sense for your business.

And a final word of advice about finance and costs…

Switching to a managed service enables you to move from capital investment to operational expenditure (capex to opex), where the service is paid for on a monthly ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis and – if you have the right deal in place – you only pay for what you use. This generally allows for a more nimble and agile approach to getting the most out of your ITSM system – so rather than having to wait for annual budgets to be signed off, you’re able to adapt your system to business requirements as they occur.

“However, in this scenario, it’s also essential to ensure you can track what you’re paying for – and that you know exactly what you’re asking your service provider to deliver,” says LJay.

If you’d like to know more about switching your Cherwell system to a managed service – and whether it could be the right option for your business – get in touch now for a no-strings chat with us.

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