Moving to a new office can be just as involved and time-consuming as moving to a new home. Office relocations open up many new possibilities; however, a poorly executed move can cause significant disruption to your business operations. Careful planning is required when moving sophisticated computers and other technology.
When moving to a new office space, a significant complication is disconnecting and reconnecting your tech—computers, scanners, printers, phones, servers, etc. You can’t just unplug and move everything without careful planning.
Your IT Moving Checklist:
Inventory Your Equipment
Moving is an excellent time to update or upgrade equipment and to get rid of anything you don’t need. There is no reason to move something that no longer serves your needs. Many items can be safely donated or recycled. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has detailed information on safely donating and recycling computers and other equipment. Prepare a list of new equipment that is needed and arrange to return any IT or telecommunications you lease but no longer need.
Ensure the New Office Meets Your IT Needs
There is no guarantee that a new space will have the correct cabling and infrastructure installed. A thorough site visit is the best way to ensure your new office meets your requirements, especially regarding cabling, outlets, and other IT needs. Bring your IT provider to help you assess the new location’s needs. Check that the electrical wiring is in good working order and enough power outlets are conveniently located in the new space. Plan the layout of your IT and network infrastructure, including:
- Review the office configuration plan
- Make sure network cabling, power jacks, and outlets are accessible to all workstations
- Decide where printers, routers, and other peripherals will be installed
- Confirm that the server room has appropriate electrical, cooling, dimensions, and security
Choose The Right Internet Service Provider (ISP)
Investigate the ISPs available in your new location and negotiate the best package for your business. Not all systems are created equal, and not all options will be the right fit for your business. Moving is an excellent time to evaluate your current needs and what your business will likely need in the next 3-5 years. Never assume your new office has high-speed internet. It’s important to review your provider options and choose the one that offers what your business needs.
Develop a Timeline
A few key factors to consider include the following:
- When do you need to be out of your old office space?
- When can you move into your new space?
- When will internet and phone services be available?
- When will you break down your current network?
- Who will be responsible for moving your equipment?
Protect Your Data
Back up all critical data on your computers, and use hard drive mirroring software to make a copy of your hard drive. If something happens to your computers while in transit, you can replicate your current hard drive on a new system. Make at least two backup copies of all company data systems, including servers and firewalls. Don’t put the copies in a moving van. Keep them in a safe location, far away from the chaos of movers.
Prepare for Moving Day
Have your IT provider recommend the best way to transport your office technology. Moving sophisticated equipment requires special handling, expertise, and transit protection. Your IT provider should handle this unless you have trusted movers who can guarantee the safety of your equipment. The order you move things is also essential. For example, desks should arrive before the computers. Making a plan for when furniture, computers, and office equipment show up will help the move go smoothly.
Your IT SETUP Should Be the First Priority
The IT department is the most critical factor for any modern business operation. Phones and internet access are crucial. Arrange for the IT setup to be completed first. On the day of the move, too many people present during the transition can delay the relocation process. Have other employees work from home for a day or two if possible. Your IT professionals will be able to complete the setup quicker and ensure that everything is working correctly with fewer people in the new space.
Prioritize Key Departments
Depending on your business, you will want to prioritize which key individuals or departments are up and running first. This could be your customer service, sales, or manufacturing areas. Focus on critical areas first and then move to the supporting functions. The goal is to get your business operations to a functional level as quickly as possible and to minimize downtime. Careful planning will ensure that you stay connected to your customers and that all of your data is safe and secure.
Test the Network
Make sure the internet and phones are working as soon as you move. Arrange to have your IT provider onsite for several days to help troubleshoot technical issues that spring up. Work with your provider to ensure that all cabling, computers, and phones are in the right place and working. You’ll want to:
- Check all telephone numbers
- Test call forwarding to all phone numbers
- Test all phone system features
- Start all servers and test network capabilities
- Check the email system, your website, intranet, and extranet
- Test each network connection
Technology Considerations for an Office Move
There is a lot to prepare and many moving parts with your IT when you move. Often, a business owner moves into a new office only to realize there is no high-speed internet or the cables are outdated. Most problems are avoidable if you consider IT from the beginning. A site visit with your IT specialist before you sign a lease can help ensure that the space meets your company’s IT needs. If you don’t have an IT specialist on staff, it’s essential to work with a managed service provider during your move.
An office relocation is an excellent time to evaluate your technology needs. It allows you to make improvements, especially in your IT strategy and infrastructure. You can coordinate the following with your office move:
- Review Your Network Management
- Invest in Network and WiFi Upgrades
- Use the Cloud to Optimize Your Operations
- Improve Your Company’s Cybersecurity
Contact Fortify IT Solutions Today
Every business has a common factor – the need for technology that works. Look for a partner who can handle all of your IT needs, including cloud computing, cybersecurity, software integration, and network management. If you’re interested in outsourcing your IT services, Fortify IT Solutions can help.
Contact us online or call 856-512-1949 to schedule an appointment with one of our expert project managers. We look forward to connecting with you and showing you how we can bring you the IT services you need and the expertise you deserve.