Anyone that has ever had to move home will know exactly how stressful and at times frustrating it can be. Sadly the same is true of office moves. Because an operational office is crucial to the smooth running of any business, any disruption during an office move – no matter how small – can end up snowballing into something monumentally catastrophic if there hasn’t been enough care and planning put into it!
The importance of minimising downtime
Most businesses rely on IT equipment such as desktop computers, laptops, file servers and NAS (network accessible storage) devices in order to help them perform their daily operational tasks. If your office move brings up some issues such as lack of Internet connectivity or a lack of structured cabling for all of your computers and desk phones, then this can lead to big problems.
If you are in charge of the IT relocation side of things, the good news is that you are in the position of being able to take charge of the situation to your advantage by following this expert guide to IT relocation!
Give plenty of notice to service providers
The first thing you should do is ensure that you give plenty of notice to any service providers, (for example, telephone line providers, ISPs for your Internet connections, and so on. Many people believe that giving just 30 days notice is sufficient – this is a bad idea! You should ideally aim to give at least 90 days notice to all service providers. Here are the reasons why:
It gives you time to sort any problems out – if you have new telephone lines installed and they are unreachable, then your telecoms provider will have enough time to resolve the issue before your lines are switched over;
It gives you time to plan your IT relocation – sadly, moving IT equipment isn’t just a case of turning everything off, transporting all of the equipment to the new office and then connecting and turning them all back on again. You will need to perform backups of all business-critical servers and devices and check that all cabling in the new office is working and connected up correctly, which can be quite a task if you are moving several hundred users over to a new office;
Perform a site survey
You will need to visit your new offices so that you can determine where all the IT equipment will go. And as strange as it may sound, you should check what carpet is installed because if the existing office carpets store lots of static electricity, this can cause huge problems for your computers and IT equipment – and so they may need to be changed for something more IT-friendly before you move in.
Create a list of contacts
Come moving day, you might need to contact your service providers if you have any queries or you discover something isn’t working as it should. Keep this list of contacts on paper or as a note in your smartphone, along with details of account numbers and other account-specific information you may be asked for.
Draw up a checklist
It is important that you have an IT relocation checklist handy so that you know what you need to check before and after your office move, and what tasks you will need to perform during the move.
By following this simple yet expert guide to moving your IT equipment, you will be able to minimise the amount of downtime and problems that may occur during your move.