Head office —  75 employees, sensitive data, voice systems, cabling, storage… your ears are ringing as you begin to make a mental list of considerations for next month’s office relocation. While office moves are not an entirely thrilling process, they can also serve as an opportunity to reconsider what you really need, what’s taking up space, time and money, and what needs to be acquired to run your business more smoothly, and efficiently.
You can reduce the pain of your office move, mitigate risks to your physical IT environment and guarantee a smooth transition with a bit of proactive planning. Here’s how.

1) Covering your bases — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Move days are hectic. To ensure that your business’ mission critical data is intact and accessible at its new location, take these precautionary measures:
  • Backup your data — If your equipment/data is lost or damaged during the move, you’ll have it stored somewhere else
  • Test it, too — Can 100% of the data be restored if the above were to happen?

 

2) Cleaning out the closet — are there any skeletons hiding?

Is your new IT closet or server room equipped to handle the same technology as your previous office location? You’ll need to consider electricity voltage and the quantity of power plug-ins, as well as the Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) environment. Ask yourself:
  • Is there adequate space to move server racks in from the building’s elevators to the server room?
  • What are the requirements of my IT equipment, and does the new server room meet those standards?
  • Has the existing HVAC environment been cleaned and tested by a certified inspector?
  • Has an electrician properly tested out all electrical plugs, and are there additional plugs for electrical redundancy?

 

3) And some more cleaning — out with the old, in with the new

What are your bandwidth requirements for your networking needs? Reassessing those needs will allow you to plan ahead for organizational growth, and give you the chance to revisit agreements with your Internet Service Provider.
Do you need to increase the number of workstations, telephony systems, wireless access points, or any other networked equipment? Office moves provide the perfect opportunity to reconsider these equipment requirements — it’s more economical to have cabling completed during a move versus after a move.

 

4) Outsourcing — because you’re too busy with your own job to do someone else’s

The intricacies of moving IT equipment require you to hire the right team. Most moving companies will transport general IT equipment (workstations & printers), but there are liabilities in moving the mission critical equipment that could cause you trouble.
To avoid this issue, hire a specialized mover to ensure your IT system is setup exactly the same way it was prior to the move. It is critical that all rack layouts and cabling are properly documented, labelled, and organized for the movers and your IT staff.
Leverage your internal resources, and outsource judiciously to ensure that your IT move is completed with as little interruption to the business as possible.

 

The Big Day

Moving day can seem chaotic, which is why it’s critical to follow these steps for preparation and to over-communicate with your team. If you’ve done it right, you’ll have schedules, physical maps of the new layout and a means of communication with your staff, so that they know where they need to be and when.