Moving an entire office is stressful. Beyond finding that perfect new space with parking, exposed brick and a city view — not to mention needing to move all your desks, chairs and files — you need to transfer your entire IT setup.
While an IT relocation is no small task, it doesn’t have to be as hard as some businesses make it. Doing it right means minimizing costly downtime and keeping grumpy employees busy and happy.
Here are our tips for executing a smooth IT move:
Plan your IT relocation as far in advance as possible
Your telecommunications carriers will need plenty of notice before your move. We recommend at least two months — that way there won’t be any service delays as you set up shop.
Before you start unplugging anything, take your IT consultant with you for a site visit at the new location. This will give you the opportunity to review important aspects of the building such as the quality and age of the wiring, the cooling system, the power source and internet service at the building.
It will cut down on the actual installation time if your consultants know what they’re walking into.
Take stock of all your equipment
Moving is a perfect opportunity to evaluate your equipment needs. Just like when you move homes and you purge clothing, books and old mugs, an office move pushes you to decide if your hardware needs updating. Maybe your design department needs new monitors. Maybe your sales team needs new laptops. Is your server really old? (Probably).
Making these decisions before the move means you can have the new gear delivered directly to your new office. You can recycle old computers and cords, and cut down on the actual amount of tech gear you need to transport.
Make sure your employees can telecommute temporarily
On the day of the move, some of your employees should be able to work remotely if you want avoid a work stoppage. This is relatively easy to accomplish if your staff have laptops and access to the cloud.
But if the move is done right, there won’t be much actual downtime. Try scheduling the IT relocation for a Friday afternoon, when productivity takes a natural nosedive.
Protect your data
While backups are always important, this is particularly true before a move. You never know what could happen to your hardware. You could easily lose your files due to a damaged hard drive or server. If you haven’t been backing up your data like you should, an upcoming move is the perfect incentive to get that in place.
Involve your IT provider throughout the whole process
Consider bringing along your IT provider while you’re still looking for a new space. They can provide valuable insight on the quality of the wiring, the availability of internet providers and how to cool a server room. These can be expensive afterthoughts. Often, they can be negotiated into your new lease as tenant improvements.
Keep in mind that despite it being the year 2016, many buildings still don’t have good access to internet. This is especially true if your location is near old train infrastructure that makes running cables expensive for internet providers.
Use this easy checklist to simplify your IT relocation.
- Do I need new server equipment?
- Do I need to upgrade my networking equipment?
- Is this a good time to look at a new phone system?
- Does the new location have a good ISP available with Coax or Fiber speeds?
- How will I back up my data before moving?
- Who is going to turn off and disconnect our systems?
- Who is going to actually move the hardware?
- Who is going to hook everything back up and when will they start and finish?
- Who is going to test our systems to make sure they are operational?
Not sure of the answers? We can help.
Topics: To consider
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