Moving offices can be a tricky process. And IT relocation – transferring your computers, servers, networking and so on – can be one of the hardest parts of the operation. You need to get everything shifted, usually overnight or over a weekend, and maintain network and telephone connectivity the whole time.
Many companies underestimate the amount of preparation they need to do to ensure a smooth IT relocation. Leaving IT relocation to chance is likely to cause stress and disruption that could have a dramatic effect on your company's bottom line.
Here are some really common issues that can stymie an IT relocation project, along with tips on how to avoid them. If you’re moving offices soon then good luck!
- Poor network cabling. Don’t assume that the last tenant’s IT requirements will be the same as yours. Their network layout, telephone lines and internet connection will most probably differ from your own. Scope out what’s there ahead of time, and create a plan for the cabling you need.
- Leaving it too late to order phone lines and an internet connection. Telecoms providers often have long lead times for installation. It can take 65 days to get a leased line internet connection, so plan ahead and place your order early. Be especially mindful of this in London, where Olympic Games restrictions may cause further delays this year.
- Not allowing for future growth. Now is the time to think about how you’d deal with taking on extra employees, because you don’t want to outgrow your IT infrastructure too quickly. Make sure your network, internet connection and data points are enough to meet likely future growth.
- Not taking the chance to upgrade. An IT relocation is the perfect time to make a fresh start. You can take advantage of the office move to switch to more modern technology – doing it at this point will be less disruptive than doing it once you’ve settled in to your new home.
- Skimping on your IT relocation test plan. Once your equipment is installed into its new home, you need to test it all, thoroughly. Moving day is stress enough without having equipment that doesn’t work. Create an inventory of all equipment and put together a robust, logical testing plan so you know everything’s working properly before your staff arrive back in the office.
- Missing the small things. It’s easy to remember to move your server and all your computers. But have you remembered your Wi-FI signal booster that’s on the first floor? How about the keycard system on the front door? Oh, and don’t forget the most crucial bit of technology: the coffee machine.
- Not asking for help. Managing an IT relocation successfully requires attention to detail and a plan that runs like clockwork. It’s a hard thing to get right if you’ve not done it before, so it’s a good idea to work with a professional relocation company (and perhaps your IT supplier) to smooth the process.
Have you been through an IT relocation recently? Did it go ok? Leave a comment and let us know.
Clare Moorhouse is from Help Moving Office, an online resource to help companies plan, manage and execute a successful office move. You can read their IT relocation checklist online now.