Moving office - IT transition checklist
Switching from one office location to another offers huge opportunities to push your business forward and to build towards the future with renewed confidence and purpose.
However, the process will rarely be entirely straightforward and can be fraught with complications, particularly if you have a sizable workforce who all need to be relocated.
Among the most important considerations for any business in this context are the issues around IT and telecoms. No company can be without its full communication capacities and the IT it relies on for very long so any errors in this context can quickly become hugely disruptive and potentially very costly to correct and overcome.
Even relatively short periods of downtime can lead to phone calls going missed, emails unread, customer needs being unmet and, ultimately, competitors having a chance to gain an advantage over you in any number of ways.
So the stakes are high and the challenges are significant but by taking a diligent approach and focussing on maintaining good communications there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get your IT and telecoms up and running at your new offices without too many causes for alarm.
What follows is a checklist of key considerations to take into account if you’re aiming to successfully and seamlessly transition your IT during an office relocation.
Building an IT transition team
- Assign someone internally to oversee the process of transitioning your IT
- Assign responsibility for specific elements of the process
- Determine if there are any areas in which you lack the skills needed to carry out the transition
- Map out the timeframes and transition schedules you will need to work through
- Establish a clear end date and deadlines for specific phases of the process
- Visit your new office and assess the feasibility of your existing plans
- Schedule meetings between all individuals to whom relevant responsibilities have been assigned
Evaluating your new site
- Study the floor plans of your new offices
- Assess the IT infrastructure that is currently in place
- Visit the site with all members of your IT transition team
- Evaluate the extent of the power supplies and network cabling at your new site
- Decide where new power points or telecoms cabling points will need to be added
- Plan for the best positioning of IT units such as printers, fax machines etc
- Make sure that your server rooms can be sufficiently well cooled and supplied with power
Assessing your telecoms set up
- Decide whether your existing phone systems are fit for purpose or should be replaced/upgraded
- Assess whether your phone systems will continue to be fit for purpose in 2, 3 or 5 years’ time
- Liaise with business telecoms experts to see what might be possible/affordable at your new offices
- Find out whether you can move your current phone numbers across to your new offices
- Setup call forwarding if your numbers need to be changed
Making your move
It could be that physical elements of your IT infrastructure will need to be moved to your new offices by specialist handlers and it is important to get the help of experts when you reach this point in your transition process. These kinds of issues should be discussed between all teams involved in the transition and also with your office removals company.
Considerations on the day of your move from an IT perspective:
- Clearly label all your equipment and any associated data cables or wiring
- Have marketing teams ready to update contact information simultaneously
- Make sure all equipment, including computers, are shut off properly prior to the move
- Be aware of any logistical issues that might hinder the move, including lifts or locked doors at your new site
Testing out your new office
- Check all phone lines and individual phones once they’re set up
- Test your call forwarding setup if applied
- Switch on servers
- Test your network capability
- Discern whether all data has been migrated as intended
- Make sure all equipment, cables and power points are in their correct positions
- Double check all phones
- Check your websites and the quality of your internet connections
Working with IT relocation specialists
External IT relocation experts are exceptionally well placed to support and guide businesses and their management teams through the process of switching tech setups from one office to another.
Their specialist skills and experience can be invaluable and go a long way towards ensuring that your organisation will be fully operational from the very first day at your new location.
They can help by:
- Auditing all your IT equipment before your move
- Assessing your potential future IT and telecoms needs
- Setting up your equipment and ensuring its readiness at your new office
- Advising on all relevant safety and security issues
- Establishing viable business continuity plans
It’s crucial to ensure your company can continue functioning or be quickly back up and running even in the face of unforeseen extreme events or scenarios and IT has a fundamental role to play in that process.
Here are some key IT-related business continuity starting points:
- Back up all of your data in multiple locations
- Store data off site at a secure data centre
- Plan how you would get your IT up and running in extreme situations
- Test your plans and determine how quickly you could recover all your data if it were suddenly lost for any reason
- List your priority data sets and systems.
In the context of an office move it is vital to ensure that your business continuity plans can be maintained throughout the transition process and that the length of any IT downtime that can’tbe avoided is kept to an absolute minimum.
TIP - As with all aspects of an office move, communications between the individuals and teams of professionals involved (whether internal or external) is imperative if your IT and telecoms transition is to run smoothly and reach successful completion on time and on budget.