When an office moves, especially when IT moves, it may actually be more stressful than moving your home and family. One thing is for sure -- the IT and telephone systems are the lifeblood of any company. If these systems aren’t working and the phones aren’t ringing then you can’t run your business.
Office moves involve more than coordinating the removal of office furniture. What happens to the relocation of IT equipment? The preparation of an inventory, tagging equipment and drawing up a floor plan will help when moving from one location to another.
Plan in advance.
- Conduct complete IT infrastructure assessment of current and proposed locations
- Evaluate power, uninterruptable power supply (UPS) coverage for critical office technologies, HVAC, ventilation, network and equipment positioning requirements
- Evaluate current cabling and network industry best practices
- Inventory all office technology assets including conference rooms & common areas
- Evaluate WIFI network coverage (coverage heatmap)
- Evaluate physical security, alarm and employee access systems
- Think about technology upgrades for potential project consolidation or modernization – i.e. dedicated printers to central multi function devices
- Inventory critical business and support applications
- Evaluate network downtime options
- Evaluate the phone system, specifically phone numbers: order new or transfer existing through carrier
- Data services: order new or transfer existing (POTS, MPLS, Cable, T-1, Satellite, DSL) Check on lead time requested by carrier
- Document detailed server and critical hardware move plan
- Do an IT evaluation
- Update employee contact information – office address, phone, etc.
Review your IT systems
Review all IT and communications equipment. Identify what needs to be replaced, upgraded, added to or changed.
- Has the business outgrown certain systems (phone, storage, backup)?
- Do services continue to meet expectations?
- Will current business phone numbers be ported to the new office?
Update your IT
Moving office spaces is a great time to evaluate and consider upgrading current IT systems. Updating network equipment can save money and improve operating efficiency. For example, consolidate hardware and updating to a virtual solution. This could mean that the server environment won’t change, and there will be less equipment to move.
Connectivity – plan ahead
Typically, Internet services take several months to be fully implemented. Some company processes may be reliant on an internet connection. So make sure to plan this well in advance.
Reconnecting your services
Because IT is an indispensable element of a business and pulling the plug on critical systems – even for a few hours – leaves businesses in the dark. So, to ensure a smooth transition from office to office, make sure that IT systems are up and running again as quickly as possible.
In order to do this, make backups and in the event of hardware failure, keep replacements in a safe location. Also, it’s also a good idea to keep systems running on the old premises during the move. This will help avoid downtime and allow the testing and configuration of any new equipment.
In some cases, downtime is unavoidable. As a result, it all depends on how well planned the office move is, and how it is executed. But, there are several ways to lessen the blow. Organizing an out of hours move insures that important workday processes that rely on critical systems will not be affected. While anticipating unknown issues can be difficult, incorporate some extra time into the plan to compensate for any possible ‘snags’.
Finally, if your team has enough on their plate with regular business operations, when your office moves you can outsource the planning and execution to an IT team with project experience.