Whether you’re downsizing, upgrading or just shifting spaces, an office move can be brutal for IT practitioners. To help ease the burden, we’ve put together this list to help you plan your next office move.
1. Allow for ample planning time
An office move, expansion, or downsize can take significant time when it comes to moving IT equipment. Allow for at least three months to plan and move from facility to facility for minimal disruption in IT service. Schedule movers well in advance that specialize in IT equipment to ensure everything is handled with care.
At this time, also plan to get rid of what you don’t need and plan for the future. Consider things like growth within the organization, new markets, mergers and/or acquisition. Establishing a budget is a good benchmark for proper planning.
Ready to plan your move, downsize or expansion? We can help! Contact us to learn more about leveraging our experience to ensure a smooth transition to your new space.
2. Understand any limitations or restrictions in the new space
More room doesn’t necessarily mean more space for IT equipment. Limitations in terms of room setup and size of network closets or storage capabilities can threaten any well-baked IT moving plan, so get a lay of the land—and if it’ll work with your IT requirements—before you sign on the line to lease or buy. Don’t forget to check for phone and Ethernet ports at desks, in printing areas and in meeting rooms, too.
3. Know your equipment
The equipment you have may not be enough for what you need to do in the new space—or it could be too much. Evaluate your network infrastructure well in advance to ensure you have everything you need to seamlessly run IT without any glitches. If you don’t, allowing enough time to do so will ensure that come the big day, everything is set to go without a hitch. During this process, you may also consider upgrading or migrating your current solutions.
Power is an important factor for your business, which impacts the power facilities that need to be considered for your new location. Items such as UPS specifications and facilities for redundant power will need to be considered. In the instance of extended power outages or interruptions, the solutions need to be easy, efficient and effective to power your site.
4. Assess your security
Whether it’s physical or cyber, knowing the security requirements for your space and network is crucial to ensuring data is kept safe. Things like firewalls or even something as simple as knowing where the key is for a filing cabinet should all be taken into consideration as you plan for your new digs.
During the move, it’s imperative you keep a list of what is being transported, by whom and when. If something goes missing, you’ll know right away what it is and will be able to quickly address any breach issues.
Mother Nature, virus, or human error can all cause a business to lose data. Have you thought about the impact on your business if you lost all your data? Have a plan to minimize your risk. It might be time to consider moving processes and data to the cloud.
Make backups of all company data systems, including firewalls and servers prior to move.
Make a contact list of all persons involved in the move, including the weekend contact numbers of all IT and telecoms technicians. Provide them with all your contact information and address details of the new location. Finally, have spare keys cut and give out security code numbers or badges.
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5. Address telecom and UC&C requirements
If you’re planning on upgrading or changing your phone system, you also should evaluate the cabling and A/V requirements needed to support these platforms. Be sure that you also establish an internet connection well in advance of installing and deploying these solutions so you have the proper bandwidth to support.
Scope out meeting and other collaboration spaces to account for future collaboration tools, especially any spaces that may be used for video conferencing, presenting or hosting guests.
Most office relocations require additional data and phone cabling at the new location. Perhaps you need to move the existing phone cables that are already on site, or order additional phones. Be aware that some telecom carriers have long, stringent lead times for ordering new phone lines so make sure you don’t leave this to the last minute! Also check with your telecom company whether you can take your existing telephone number with you when you move offices. If you must change your phone numbers, you will need to place diversions or call forwarding on the existing phone numbers.
6. Maintain connections, or establish new ones
Phone, Internet: Maintaining your connection will involve several moving parts. Evaluate the infrastructure at the new location to ensure it can support your communication platform—this could involve structural changes, updated cable installation, and confirming the availability of carrier services—most of which is address driven. Coordinate the installation of phone and internet service and required equipment at the new location. You should also coordinate the redirection of the services with your carrier (e.g. number portability) to ensure the carrier can complete it in advance to avoid downtime. Consider canceling services you wish to leave behind to eliminate any unnecessary costs.
The best way to ensure a successful move is to engage with a telecom solutions provider as early as possible in the process. Even if you decide to only move your existing services and equipment, proper preparation will ensure a smooth transition.
Measure Twice, Cut Once: Before buying, building or renting new office spaces, make sure you have fully researched what providers you’ll have access to. Connectivity of any size that matters needs to be carefully considered or you’ll be buying it again if you don’t measure twice.
Use Data Centers and the Cloud as Much as Possible
If you keep your servers in a data center and your software running over the cloud to the maximum extent possible, you have that much less to move. More importantly than moving, however, is that you can reduce staff focus on these tasks and decrease maintenance costs when you do this. If you haven’t already considered data centers and cloud software, now is the time to explore.
For the equipment you do choose to move to your new location, make sure you have adequate physical space. Also, once you’re there, this is your opportunity to get your cabling perfectly organized. If you use IP phones, separate cabling for the phone and PC is ideal.
Diagram Your Network
Know the setup of your current network and use it to plan how your network will fit in the new structure. This may also be the time to upgrade to new equipment, if it works within your budget.
Make Sure Fire Suppression and Cooling Systems are in Place
If you are going to move your server to the new space, make sure the location has these systems ready and available; adequate cooling may not be in place. If you have many servers, you could possibly overwhelm the building’s cooling system, so you may need to add in your own cooling options.
Any financial numbers you get back from providers to “bid” on your project will indeed provide for a low bid price. Since we are increasingly becoming more dependent on reliable internet connectivity, it is wise for IT leaders to plan on implementing connectivity from two providers. Remember, your clients and your employees may be completely dependent on internet connectivity.
Stay tuned for part 2 of the series where we highlight more tips for a successful office move, as well as a handy checklist to make the process as smooth as possible.
Considering help from an IT provider during your office move, downsize or expansion? Reach out to learn how we can help.