What's Your Budget?
Have you outgrown your office space? Scaling your business often means having to move your office and relocate to a bigger one. If you have an IT network, moving can be a bit more complicated. Now it’s not just office equipment and furniture you need to move, it’s all your computers and IT infrastructure.
No matter how much you must move, it’s imperative to carefully plan every step of your move far in advance to allow for any contingencies. Many vendors for installing phone and internet systems need to be booked several weeks prior to your move to ensure you don’t have any downtime with loss of service.
With so much to consider, using professional IT relocation services can take the worry and concern out of your move. Here’s everything you need to know about relocating your IT network.
1. Schedule your move
Your move and IT relocation should be planned weeks – if not months – in advance. The more lead time you have for planning, the less likely things are to go wrong at the last minute.
Inform venders and providers
At least 6 weeks before the move, inform vendors of your move. This includes internet providers, phone services, and any other providers.
Review new site requirements
Plan on making at least two or three visits to your new office site to establish your IT requirements, such as network cabling and server space.
2. Determine what’s coming with you
Weeks before your scheduled move, evaluate all of your equipment. This is the perfect time to update your system and equipment. With enough advanced prep time, your goal is to have your new IT network set up a day or two before your scheduled move. When the rest of your office is set up, your infrastructure is already in place and business can carry on without delay.
Review your computer devices and equipment
Take a complete inventory of all devices and equipment – will you still be using this equipment in your new office?
Replace or upgrade?
Compile a detailed list of any office or IT equipment that needs to be replaced or upgraded. Consult with vendors to order new equipment and schedule upgrades before your move.
Return leased equipment
If there’s any equipment you’ve been leasing from vendors, schedule a return on the day of your move and order new equipment so you don’t experience downtime.
3. Determine new infrastructure requirements
Determine what type of infrastructure and network cabling your new office has – then make a list of requirements that need to be addressed before you move your computer system. Some of the system requirements to check for include:
- Power outlets – are there enough outlets to accommodate all your computer devices?
- Network cables – will you need to upgrade network cables before the move?
- Phone lines – how many phone lines will you require? Talk to your new phone carrier about any necessary upgrades.
4. Communication requirements
Communication is key to your business – make sure your new systems are up and running before your move. This is a good time to consider new available options. Take the time to talk to different vendors about the services they provide.
Take into consideration the future growth of your business within the next 3 to 5 years. Your business plan should include goals for expansion. Your new phone system should be designed with scaling in mind.
Will you keep the same internet provider or use a new one? Arrange ahead of time for internet services to be up and fully running on the day of your move.
5. New site visits
Be prepared for new site visits before your move – these visits are essential for making sure all your IT and communications system requirements can be met at your new location. Your IT service provider should be Included on site visits, as well. They can help you verify everything is ready for the move or to plan for any modifications or upgrades which need to happen.
Pinpoint system locations
Come up with a detailed plan for your network system. Your plan should include exact locations for network cable points, computer stations, and phone connections.
Determine where other essential office equipment is going to be located, such as printers, fax machines and scanners, and routers.
Understand minimum requirements
Is your new server room going to meet the minimum requirements of your computer system? This includes server security, room dimensions, and cooling and electrical requirements.
6. Data protection
Perhaps the most important consideration with an IT relocation is the protection of your business data. Anything that goes wrong with your data can put your business at serious risk.
Back up all of your business information and data systems so they won’t be affected during the move. This includes server backups and copies of all client or customer information.
If you don’t already have one, prepare a recovery plan – if anything should go wrong, you can quickly access your backup and mitigate the risk of downtime. Businesses that don’t have a backup plan can lead to serious cost of recovery.
7. Hire professionals for the move
Moving office equipment and your IT infrastructure is no easy task – hiring professionals ensures nothing goes wrong with the handling and transport of your office.
Label cables and wiring
Before the move, carefully label all cables and wiring, aligning it with the corresponding equipment. When everything has been moved to the new location, it’s a simple matter of matching up cables with equipment.
Separate data transfer
Your data should be moved separately from your main computing system and network. This is to allow for any contingencies during the move that could put your data at risk.
After your IT system has been relocated, it’s time to test that everything is running smoothly. Work with your IT provider to connect your system and deal with any connectivity problems if they occur. Some of the things to test and check include:
- Test phone system and all its features
- Test internet connections
- Check that servers and network are fully functioning
- Verify all equipment is in the planned for location
- Check if incoming and outgoing email is working
Wrapping it up
A successful move is all about communication and being prepared. Your IT system is the most important part of your business, so do what you can to protect your data and company information. Hiring a team of professionals is the recommended practice for IT relocations to ensure you don’t experience any downtime or delays in the running of your business.