Whether you’re moving to a bigger workplace or transferring to the other side of the city, an office relocation is equal parts exciting and stressful. However, it isn’t as simple as packing your stuff and moving to another location. You’re essentially bringing an entire IT infrastructure and network configuration with you while trying to do so with as little downtime as possible.
For a low-risk office relocation, your business needs a systematic approach to moving your IT systems. We’ve come up with a technology checklist to help with that.
Key steps to consider during a critical office move
Careful planning and management will ensure a smooth and stress-free office move. Consider the following steps for a successful office relocation.
1. Plan the move
It may seem obvious, but the first — and most important — step in moving offices is planning it. This helps you define the full scope of your relocation, so it’s important to take your time and be as detailed as possible to make sure that all of your bases are covered. Ideally, this should be done three to six months before your moving date.
Here are a few things you need to do when planning the move:
Determine a schedule for the relocation and take note of any projects that may be affected.
Identify business-critical operations and how they will be performed during the move.
Go over your existing workplace and ascertain the facilities, utilities, and equipment that you would need in the new space.
Get in touch with local partners, affiliates, and suppliers that will be affected by your change of address and contact information.
Create a relocation budget and remember to include a contingency fund for unforeseen financial circumstances.
2. Assess your equipment
The next step is to assess your physical hardware and connections. If your equipment is old or prone to breaking down, then this is a good time to consider an upgrade or replacement. Starting with a fresh installation of newly purchased equipment at your new office will make your move smoother while simultaneously improving your infrastructure.
Consider these tips when conducting the assessment:
Take inventory of all of your current IT assets.
Determine any necessary tech upgrades and acquisitions, and decide whether these can be completed prior to or during the move to save time. Don’t forget to create a plan for selling or disposing of any obsolete hardware.
Review the network cabling requirements of your new location, and determine whether you need to expand or update your existing cabling.
Identify placement requirements at the new location for your equipment, peripherals, and connections.
Prepare strategies on how you will handle downtime. This could involve purchasing redundant hardware or software to support your operations during the move.
3. Prepare your telecommunications systems
When preparing your telecommunications systems, make sure to do the following:
Create a list of all your business communications devices, including handsets, smartphones, softphones, and other mobile devices. Then, determine the individual needs of your users and the minimum network strength required to support them all.
Determine how many phone lines you need and arrange to port all phone numbers you want to keep (if you’re moving within the area).
Inform your telecommunications service provider of your relocation and discuss with them how calls will be handled during the move. This could entail setting up call forwarding and rerouting procedures.
One way to ensure continuous communications before, during, and after the move is with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems. These systems typically have inbuilt continuity and disaster recovery capabilities, which allow you to reroute calls if your communications go out during the move.
4. Address network and data security
You will need to strictly implement, manage, and monitor the security of your business network and data during the move. Here are some ways to achieve this:
Take stock of all business-critical and sensitive assets and resources.
List down all users who have access to your network and their current access rights.
Review your company’s existing data security policy, including all access and verification procedures, and update it if needed.
Consider all the tools you need to enact or maintain your procedures and secure your equipment and data.
Back up all critical data and ensure that backup copies are easily retrievable should something happen to your data in transit.
It’s best to enlist the help of a managed IT services provider (MSP) to thoroughly support your data security as you move offices.
There’s a long list of variables to consider when moving offices, but it’s nothing to stress about when you partner with a reliable MSP like Kortek Solutions. We can provide you the IT support you need during an office relocation while saving your business time and money. Call us today to learn more!