Any office move is an opportunity to appraise every aspect of your business, including IT. As you plan the move, these five tips should help ensure your IT set-up is better than ever:
Backup, Backup, Backup
It is impossible to overstate the importance of taking a second copy of your data before moving. Data is the lifeblood of your organisation and if it goes missing, or is damaged, you face a real business problem.
Taking at least one additional backup gives you a chance of getting back up-and-running in the event your computers are damaged in transit.
“40 percent of businesses that suffer a critical IT failure go out of business within a year.” Financial Services Technology Magazine
Check with your IT Support Services provider
If your business already uses contracted IT support services, you can ask for their input prior to the move:
- Do they have any advice to make the transition smoother?
- How will they assist with the move? Will they send engineers to assist?
- Will they be able to continue servicing your company at its new location?
If moving a considerable distance, you may find that your current IT support services provider is unable to fulfil their obligations. Which means identifying a new support partner.
This may seem like yet another problem to overcome, but could actually be a blessing in disguise if you have been dissatisfied with your current IT support service. Often an office move provides the momentum required to upset the status quo for the good of the business.
Dump the junk
Over the years, your business will have acquired all manner of computer hardware and software. Rather than take it along to the new office you should take the opportunity to dump it. (Of course, make sure that you’ve wiped all of your data before safely disposing of your equipment.)
Many of these systems will have been sources of frustration for years, either by not performing as expected, or through being too slow and inefficient.
Again, moving office is the perfect opportunity to dump and replace junk. Speak to your IT support services for advice on suitable replacements, or for help identifying other alternatives like hosted computing,
“Computer systems usually retain some value when they are retired. They may no longer meet the needs of their current owners, but they are likely to still be of value to an organization with different needs. However, this value erodes while systems are sitting in storage. After a certain point, they are of no value to anybody.” - TechTurn
When you take your PCs to the new office, you should already have the cables needed to keep everything connected. But is your new office cabled ready for networking?
- Does the new office have data cabling around the walls ready to plug computers in?
- Are there enough data points for all of your computers?
- Will you need to arrange further installations before moving in?
A quick chat with an IT support services provider will help you decide what is needed and avoid embarrassing mistakes when you get to the new building.
“During the planning stage, identify all necessary technological systems (e.g., voice/cable/data systems such as audio/visual systems, speaker systems, Internet access, and Local Area Networks [LAN] / Wide-Area Networks [WAN] / Wireless Fidelity [WI-FI]), and provide adequate equipment rooms and conduit runs for them.” – WBDG
Finally, you need to consider how to get your computer equipment from the old office to the new. Computer hardware is composed of many delicate parts, so care needs to be taken when handling and moving it.
You need to decide:
- Whether to box computer hardware prior to the move.
- Who will move your computers, your employees, your removal company or your IT support services provider.
- Whether you have adequate levels of insurance to cover against loss or damage whilst in transit.
These five tip should help ease the IT transition between offices. The rest however, is up to you.
- Your data is priceless – make sure it is protected before moving.
- A smooth office move is a team effort.
- Use the office move as an opportunity to evaluate current and future IT needs.
- Dump what you don’t need.