When you're looking for new office space, there are definitely some considerations to keep in mind for your technology. After all, you don't want to move in and not be ready to do business your first day in the new space - and your technology is a critical piece of that. Here are our top tips to create your IT relocation plan when you're looking, moving, and settling in to a new office space.
It's all about ensuring technology aspect of your move is planned properly, and you have a backup technology plan in place - as they say, plan for the best, but expect the worst. With backups in place, you'll be able to access everything you need to.
When looking at new space
When looking at new space, make sure you're considering your technology requirements. You'll need to make sure there is a secure spot for all of your networking equipment (servers, switches, etc.). It should be big enough to hold all of your equipment, and have room for any expansion you might need during the time you'll be at the new office space. You'll want to make sure you see a floor plan with this included as well, so you know the layout. It should be ventilated, kept at a reasonable temperature, and secured.
You also want to make sure that the network wiring in the new facility is up to date before signing the lease. Make sure that it's not old, and that there is enough wiring for your network needs. Also check the lease - re-wiring can be expensive, so check to see if you or the landlord will be responsible, and under what circumstances.
After signing the lease
After signing the lease for your new office space, it's time to finish all the details of your IT relocation plan. You'll need to make sure on the floor plan that there are accessible internet and phone jacks where each employee is sitting.
When it's time to pack, make sure each employee has their things clearly labeled, and the labels clearly correspond to the new desk locations. This saves valuable time setting up each desk, so when staff arrives on Monday morning they're ready to go. Typically these moves are made during the weekend, so if there's confusion it likely won't be able to be resolved until Monday, and a lot of confusion will cut into productivity.
Your new internet circuit should be lined up and ready to cut over, and this should be tested before you move in. This is important - tests need to be done to make sure everything is working correctly, so build this into your timing plan for you move. Also consider if there are things that can be moved earlier, if possible.
The actual move
On the day of the move (typically over the weekend), all equipment will be shut down. Ideally, you've made sure that everything is backed up by this stage, and all that's left to do is to un-rack the equipment, move it, and set up all the servers and switches in the new space. You can choose to move your own PC's, or have an outsourced IT company or your own IT department move PC's and phones and set it up on the new desks. Complete a final test over the weekend to ensure everything is ready to go for Monday.
Once you're in, it's time for a final test. Monday, when business is open, plan on having as much IT support there as possible - you'll need the coverage to help answer any questions or deal with any last minute issues that may arise or weren't caught in the testing environment. Invariably, employees will have questions about new equipment or accessing new networks.
For anyone with multiple sites, there's a bit more in addition to the above - you'll need to plan for co-ordination in your IT relocation plan. When you move, you'll have to change all the IP addresses at once, and make sure all of the above is done at the same time.
Have you ever needed to move your technology? What are you glad you did, or wish you had included in your IT relocation plan? Tell us in the comments!