An office relocation is a chance to reorganize your business layout, plan for new growth and refresh your office decor. Unfortunately, it’s also interruptive, time-consuming and just plain nerve-wracking.
This is particularly true in terms of moving your IT assets. Moves typically mean at least some downtime, making it difficult for team members to go about their day as usual. And if you run an online store or database, you may lose revenue, too.
However, it is possible to minimize interruptions if you plan your IT relocation carefully. In fact, an office move may be an opportunity in disguise, presenting you with the chance to replace aging and ineffective systems. That said, things will only go smoothly if you plan ahead. Here’s what to consider as you schedule your IT move.
Engage your IT services provider for planning assistance
Moving will be a lot less hair-raising if you ask for help from professionals. IT services providers can help you create a schedule for systematically relocating IT assets with minimal downtime—and, perhaps just as critically, they can also assist with the following:
- Plan wired and wireless internet connections, including cabling, switches and routers
- Ensure there are enough outlets and ports to create necessary connections
- Move and reinstall phone systems
- Set up servers at your new location
- Relocate and configure firewalls
- Reinstall and connect other IT equipment
- Plan for upgrades and future buildouts in your new space
Inventory your IT assets and identify areas for upgrades
Moving to a new office space is a great time to assess your existing IT assets and decide whether you want to upgrade equipment and services. After all, you can kill two birds with one stone by making infrastructure upgrades before the buildout is finished and the furniture is moved in.
In some cases, it may be wiser to opt for new equipment rather than move aging hardware. If you’re running an ancient server, you might want to consider purchasing a new one or even doing away with on-premise servers altogether in favor of a virtual machine hosted in a data center. IT consultants can provide recommendations here, as well.
Your move is also an excellent opportunity to improve your internet service. If your bandwidth usage or speed requirements have changed, you might want to look into upgraded fiber cable connections to better meet those specifications and future-proof your new office site. Keep in mind that it often takes several months to install fiber upgrades, so initiate the process as early as possible to avoid delays.
At this time, you should take final stock of your IT hardware. Return leased equipment that you no longer need or want, and replace aging phones, PC, monitors and other devices
Back up your data
A move is no time to play fast and loose with your data, as relocation comes with a lot of uncertainty. Be mindful that your server hardware might be accidentally damaged during the move, so back up your data before you switch offices to avoid lost work and information.
To that end, make several copies of your servers, firewalls, databases and any other critical data. These backups should be transported to your new facilities separately to minimize risk (if transported together, your original and copied data could be lost in one fell swoop in the event of a traffic accident, for instance). Multiple backups stored on-site ahead of time will go a long way toward easing those moving day jitters.
Prepare for issues ahead of time
Even the best-laid plans can go awry, and your IT is no exception in this regard. Equipment malfunctions and damage are common during relocation, which lead to downtime and lost productivity.
This is one case where preparation makes perfect—or at least less painful. Ensure a smooth transition by notifying IT vendors and equipment providers about your move in advance. That way, they can be at the ready with new devices and repair technicians to quickly get you back up and running.
You might also consider equipment insurance, which can protect your assets in case you’re beset by some moving misfortune. Certain policies cover you for relocation losses and accidental damage, which should offer a little peace of mind in the midst of uncertainty.
Given the risks and complications involved with an office move, it’s wise to get your IT services provider involved as early as possible. Of course, that’s difficult to do if you’ve never used IT consultant services before. If you’re ready to take your first plunge into managed IT services, contact us today for a free consultation and the confidence that at least one part of your move will go smoothly!