Dealing with an IT Outsourcing company

mallony used Ask the Experts™

I am a new IT Specialist for a Financial company, and I use to be in charge of everything in my previous job. From IT Administrator, IT Technician, IT Support, and Network engineer plus any other big project we had. Now, I am in the same role, and an IT-Outsourcing company hosts our server and services. I had the same in my previous job, and I was employed to reduce the IT costs, which I did.

On my last job I had an agreement with the IT Outsourcing about have access to our server "Windows Server 2008 and Exchange 2010 plus all the passwords so I could give proper support in house. When I was on holidays, the IT Outsourcing company used to take over. Now, with this new job also and have an IT Outsourcing they are refusing to give me the passwords and settings we use to provide the necessary support. I want to find a way to deal with the IT company so I can use the support in the house.

That might seem to be a silly question, but I would like to hear from the IT Managers that had this experience.

Could you tell me where I could get the best advice in regards on how to deal with this situation?

I hope to hear from you soon.

Best regards,
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This is really a question for your company management. If they wish you to be able to provide support, then they will assure you have the passwords

I can see both sides of this and it really depends on the SLA and contract.  To me you should have all the passwords to your assets.  The outsourced IT resources might feel that they are responsible for everything and carry that a little too far and deny your request for all the passwords.  Fundamentally you might need to look for a new outsourced vendor that agrees with your management style.
mallonyIT Specialist


Jon has made a good point but MLV CM explained with a bit more detail.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Thanks and happy to help

With these strict policies in place from the outsourced IT company, I'd expect:

- you probably pay extreme premium price
- issues are solved almost real-time or extremely fast

If you wish to pay less, or issues aren't solved that fast, you should talk to your own management to change IT company, or force current company to adjust to your needs (lower premium, share passwords).
Obviously, the agreement will definitely have a overhaul in the "accountability" section.
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

First, you must implement the policies of the people paying you.

1) If your management determines only your outsourcing company should have full access to your data... well... that's it, this task is complete...

2) If your management determines you or someone internal should have all passwords, then you will likely have to migrate all your data out of your current outsourced system.

Then retire the system.

This is not a matter of right or wrong. It's a matter of policy you set.

If you policy changes from #1 to #2, then best to get rid of your current outsourcing company, as working with them will always be a struggle.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

In my mind all passwords and access belongs to the company therefore _someone_ in the company should have them in a password vault of some sort.

If that is not the case, then who owns the equipment? If the outsourcing company owns the equipment and the licensing then that would explain the no-go for access.

Perhaps a discussion with management, as already mentioned, is on order to clarify exactly what needs to be done and how.

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