Moving IT Infrastructure to Your New Office Location
When a business is moving to a new location, getting the IT systems up and running is likely at the top of the priority list. And for good reason, too — your IT solution ultimately affects every touchpoint of your business. Communication relies on company servers, products can’t be managed without a constant internet connection, and that new social campaign the marketing department has been working on needs to be passed during a manager video call. Suffice it to say, getting the current system functionally transferred to the new location is important.
What’s the best way to go about getting the system moved over? Is it really possible to transfer an entire company’s IT structure without causing business operations to cease? Before we get started, we need to do a bit of strategic thinking.
Scouting the New Location
If Benjamin Franklin were in IT, his famous adage may have been, “If you fail to plan, your plan to have your entire company’s IT infrastructure is gonna go kaput.” And he wouldn’t be wrong.
Before we even think about the physical move, we need to get a lay of the land. Assuming we’re moving into a larger space, we need to figure out the similarities between both locations. Typically, this would be done before agreeing to purchase or lease — either way, we need to know exactly what we’re working with. This is the time to bring a few of your most senior IT technicians to scout the new location. You’ll want to give them as much time as needed to fully assess how easy of a transition it’ll be when bringing the IT system over.
Some questions to ask would be:
- What type of cabling is in place and what will need to be added?
- Is there adequate space for a server room and is it climate controlled?
- How many workstations will be gained/lost during the move?
- What equipment can be brought over now and what needs to be transitioned at a later time?
In the end, you should have an in-depth understanding of what it’ll take to make the move along with an acceptable timeline to completion. This will be the blueprint for your move — make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Counting Inventory and Cleaning House
Now that we know what we’re getting ourselves into, we’ll start the transition process by getting a total count of all currently utilized IT assets. This will include servers, removable cable runs, networking equipment, and anything else that your IT team deems necessary for day-to-day operations that are moving with your business.
Next, look at staff equipment. We want them working at the new location sooner rather than later. Mobile phones, laptops, and wifi hotspots should be tallied and considered for a mid-move transitory solution should the need arise.
Once all of the inventory is accounted for, it’s time to start planning for purchases. With supply chain shortages still running amuck into 2022, it’s best to begin any needed hardware acquisitions as early as possible. Check whether any equipment that needs to be purchased or upgraded can be installed prior to the move date. This could greatly impact how fast the transition will take. Ideally, the system could be fully operational from the new location on day one to minimize business impact.
While some hardware is being installed at the new location, consider getting rid of any outdated equipment that doesn’t need to be moved. This will help lighten the load come moving day and make setting up permanent equipment faster.
We know you already know, but make sure to back up your data prior to the move.
While the wishful thinker in us said, “This will be easy. We’ll just get the new location, move a couple of cables, plug ’em up, and boom. IT infrastructure moved,” the reality is that we’re likely to have a few connectivity issues. There’s a lot involved in even smaller-scale IP solutions — DNS servers, static IPs, phones systems — not to mention physical building aspects like IoT devices and security systems. With that in mind, we highly advise deploying a temporary cloud-based solution that can handle at least 80%-90% of the business’s daily tasks. We should start with critical functions first and then work down a list of need-to-haves and nice-to-haves in that order.
For example, if standard telecommunications are currently being utilized, a cloud-based VoIP solution should be considered as a permanent upgrade. This can help to relieve the setup crews while allowing employees to work from the new location earlier without business disruptions.
The IT staff can also offload the most critical company files to a cloud server and issue temporary login access assuming you’ll return to your standard system upon arrival at the new location. This way, employees can either work from the second location or remotely from home if their presence at the new location could cause safety concerns due to ongoing construction.
Hire IT Consultants for An Easier Move
We really hope that this article provides some useful information about IT relocation. Unfortunately, our well-intentioned words only can’t assist in the relocation of IT infrastructure — but we can. Our team of relocation specialists can help make your move to a new location as painless as possible. From full network redesigns to uptime strategies, our consultants are standing by to help with any IT-related needs. Get in touch with us today to help ensure your office relocation goes off without a hitch.