How to plan the move of your IT infrastructure when relocating to a new office

Don’t miss any of these important steps when you move to a new office

Moving is a lot of work. It doesn’t matter whether it’s across town or down the hall, the number of details that you have to keep track of can be overwhelming. It’s especially challenging when you’re moving your business.

With businesses, you’re not just moving people and stuff from one place to another. You also need to consider the infrastructure that you’re using in the office, such as details like connection points, server rooms, phone systems, and workstations (among others). It’s easy to get bogged down by all the details, since you’re also likely trying to run your business at the same time that you’re trying to move it.

The good news is, it’s possible to do all the things you need to do when you’re moving your office. You just need to make sure that you plan carefully and maybe even partner up with a service that can help you stay on track (and online) during the move.

What you need to do to move your IT infrastructure 

IT needs to be at the center of everything you do when you’re moving your business to a new space. Unlike other things, you can’t just run out and quickly stock up on network connections the same way you could if you forgot to pack paperclips. If you don’t have everything ready, you risk interfering with your ability to actually do business.

Here’s how you can reduce that risk and make sure that you’re all ready to go when you move in.  

Start planning early

This should be an obvious step, but the sooner you can start planning the move, the better. Infrastructure providers, like internet service providers and telephone companies, work best when you let them know months in advance that you’re going to be moving. The earlier you can connect with them about the move, the better. Not only does it increase the likelihood of you getting the services switched on on the day you’re moving, but it gives you time to learn if the new office space needs any upgrades to the on-site infrastructure.

If you have a few months lead time, you can plan to get the network access points installed before the move, for example. Similarly, you also have enough time to assess any server rooms you have access to and, if they don’t meet your needs, you can upgrade them before you get there. So all you have to do is get the equipment in place, set it up, and turn it on.

Take a tech inventory

This is another step you’re going to want to do as early in the process as possible. Take an inventory of everything that you’re using in your business, from copy machines to computers used by staff and everything else you use in your business. The goal here is to first make sure that you don’t forget anything in the move, but also to evaluate the tech that you’re using in your business.

As you take inventory, look for anything that could be upgraded (moving is the perfect time for new servers, for example). You should also take note of anything that you’re not actively using anymore. Odds are, if you’ve been in your office for a while, you’re going to find tech that you stopped using a long time ago but couldn’t throw away (like dictaphones, for example).

This is a great chance to get rid of outdated stuff. The same goes for anything that’s broken or just doesn’t quite work as well as it used to.

Back everything up 

You should be doing this regularly anyway, but when you’re moving it’s critical to have a backup of everything before you unplug it and move to another location. This is especially important if you’re introducing new hardware or software to your business after the move. You want to keep your data as current as possible, just in case anything goes wrong.

You also want to make sure that you’re able to do a full restore when you’ve finished moving. Run a couple of tests in the weeks before your move to ensure that your backups are working the way they should be.

Assess future needs

Moving is a great time to think about the technology that you might need in the future. We mentioned already that you should be looking at any tech that needs to be upgraded, but you should also go beyond that and think about 6 or 12 months down the road.

For example, if you’re still running mostly bare metal servers and you’ve been thinking about switching to either a cloud or a hybrid system, you’ll want to make sure that you factor this into your move. Similarly, if you’ve been thinking about moving to a VoIP system or even upgrading your internet. A new office is a great opportunity to start fresh with new technology, so take some time to assess these needs before you move.

Plan a site visit (or two) 

You’re going to want to check out the new office before you move in, which is likely going to happen anyway. But, one thing you need to consider when you’re at the new site is how your technology is going to fit into the new space.

You’ll want to look for details like whether the new site has enough workstations, whether those workstations have all the connection ports they need (both for networking and telephones). It’s also important to make sure that server rooms have the cooling and electrical capabilities that are needed to keep your servers online.

One thing that can be easy to forget before you’ve moved into a new space is the physical security of the building and the office. You’ll want to change the locks and make sure that access is controlled in a way that suits your business. It’s also a good idea to make sure that you’re able to monitor the office with security cameras and that any cameras that are installed aren’t leaving blindspots.

These early visits are also a good way to plan out the space and make note of where printers and copy machines are going to go, which teams are going to sit where, who gets what offices, and other details like that. The more you have this planned out in advance, the easier it is for your teams to get started again after the move.

You may find during one of these visits that you need to run more cable or install more access points. If that happens, you want to catch it early so you’re not scrambling to run cable on your first day in the office.

Test everything before you move in

This is something that you should also do during your early visits, but since it’s a critical step, it gets a separate call out. Test absolutely everything you can before you move in. This includes phone jacks, locks, electrical outlets, network ports, and more. You need to know before you get there what’s going to need to be fixed (so you can fix it before moving day).

Work with a team of professionals

This is the best way to ensure that you don’t miss any of the critical points. IT companies (like us) can take care of a lot of the details of moving your IT infrastructure from one office to the next. We know the ins and outs of a move, as well as all the little things that are easy to miss when you’re busy making sure that your business doesn’t collapse during the move.

We can help, for example, prepare the office for your arrival by making sure that everything is working and configured for your business, so that when you get there, all you have to do is turn your equipment on and get started.

Want help with your move?

If you want to take some of the pressure off during your move, let’s talk. Our team has 20+ years of experience helping businesses move their infrastructure and making sure that moves go according to plan. Contact us today to learn more.

The post How to plan the move of your IT infrastructure when relocating to a new office appeared first on Manhattan Tech Support.

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