How to Successfully Move Your Office’s IT Infrastructure
Office relocations in the modern age tend to be much more complex than they were in the past. You’re not just moving your furniture — you’re moving an entire IT infrastructure and network configuration. Plus, you’re trying to do so with as little downtime as possible. With such a daunting task, it can be easy to overlook things, creating the potential for headaches — and unanticipated downtime — when you eventually make the move.
To ease the stress, your business needs a systematic approach to moving your IT system, and we can help with that.
An Office Move Checklist for IT Infrastructure
Carefully planning your office move, especially when it comes to IT, will make it much less stressful. Ask yourself the following questions to help you plan how you’ll relocate your IT infrastructure:
Step 1: How Do I Plan My Move?
Before starting your move, first evaluate your situation. Here are a few things to be doing as you start planning:
- Establish a schedule for the moving process, and take stock of any projects that may be affected by the move.
- Identify how business-critical operations will be performed during the move, and when they will be interrupted.
- Analyze your existing location and its facilities, utilities and other relevant IT factors so you know what you need in the new space.
- Get in contact with any service providers, carriers, and technology vendors, so they know when you’re moving and can manage your equipment accordingly.
- If a new building is involved, contact your architect or contractor to discuss the details of the project.
- Estimate the costs of the move, including a contingency fund, to get a comprehensive budget.
When you’re ready to make a site visit, you may want to assemble another checklist of things to take note of during the trip. Items on this list may include:
- Identifying locations for workstations, printers, routers, network cabling points, power jacks, etc.
- Analyzing the server room for your requirements regarding cooling, ventilation, electrical requirements, and security.
- Making a detailed blueprint of the office with your identified workstations, IT infrastructure, fixtures, and more.
Step 2: How Should I Assess My Equipment?
Assess your physical hardware and connections next, so you have a comprehensive inventory. This is also a good time to consider an upgrade. If your equipment is older or is slowing down, starting with a fresh installation of newly purchased equipment installed at the new office is a great way to make your move smoother, while improving your infrastructure at the same time. Some tips for conducting this assessment:
- Put together an inventory of all of your current IT assets.
- Compare your current IT infrastructure to the infrastructure at the new location.
- Identify placement requirements for your equipment, peripherals, and connections.
- Evaluate your existing cabling and determine whether you need to expand or update it to meet the requirements of your new location and industry standards.
- Review all upcoming IT upgrades and acquisitions, and decide whether you can accomplish them at the same time as the move to save time and simplify procedures.
- Create a plan for selling or disposing of any obsolete equipment.
- Decide how you will handle any network downtime. Strategies may include purchasing redundant software or hardware to support your operations during the move.
Step 3: How Do I Prepare My Telecommunications Systems?
Ensure continuous communications with VoIP telephony system and SIP trunking technology. These phone systems usually come with continuity and disaster recovery capabilities built in, so you can reroute phones if your communications go out during the move. Some other considerations:
- Assess what you need to do to handle voice data in your network during the move and setup process.
- Take an inventory of your communications devices across your personnel and business divisions. This includes handsets, computer system softphones, smartphones, and other mobile devices to determine users’ individual needs, as well as what kind of network strength your business needs to support it all.
- Determine how many phone lines you need, and arrange the transfer of all phone numbers you want to keep.
- Notify your telecom solutions provider of your move, and discuss with them how calls will be handled during the moving process. Set up call forwarding and rerouting procedures as necessary.
Now would also be a good time to review your telecommunications service providers and evaluate how happy you are with their performance. If you find you are not satisfied, an office move is a great time to consider another provider. If you’re not already using private cloud services, now might be a great time to switch — a decision that could further simplify your move. Private cloud services can help you protect your data, while adding wider network access and voice features.
Step 4: How Do I Address Network and Data Security?
Administrative details are often overlooked in a move, but this is an excellent chance to improve your network security and control measures. Be sure to put steps in place that enhance security and protect your data during the move itself. Here are some steps to achieve this goal:
- Take inventory of all existing and expected protected assets and resources.
- Develop a plan for protecting your data in transit. Use movers who are experienced in electronics transit, and involve IT and your telecom provider in the process.
- Create a detailed list of employees, business groups, and administrators and their current network access rights.
- Detail your company’s existing security policy, and update it if needed, to include all access and verification procedures.
- Determine all the tools needed to enact or maintain your procedures and protect your hardware and data.
- Assess contracts with security vendors and renew, negotiate, or cancel plans as needed.
- Enlist the help of a managed IT provider to support your data security as you move offices.
Additional Items to Consider
Beyond these items, you should also consider the following to support your move from start to finish.
- Develop multiple contingency plans to cover any delays, equipment breakages, and security breaches.
- Make physical copies of all your data, and store backups in a safe location for the duration of the move. Make sure you are capable of performing disaster recovery, should something happen in transit.
- Back up your systems to a public or private cloud and notify your provider of the relocation to discuss security protocols, potential changes, and any special conditions that may apply to the new environment.
- Label your equipment clearly and keep cables located with the correct hardware.
- Enlist the help of a company that has prior experience in overseeing IT infrastructure relocations.
- Test all of your equipment and systems after the move to ensure everything is working and your business procedures can continue without issue. This testing should include each phone number, call forwarding, server functioning, incoming and outgoing emails, network connections, and more.
Explore the Possibilities With Us Today
Moving your office can be a stressful experience, but the IT component doesn’t have to be. With careful planning and the right resources, you can ensure your office relocation is as smooth as possible.
Consolidated Technologies, Inc. has helped many businesses relocate and improve their IT infrastructures, and we can do the same for you. Join more than 2,000 companies who have trusted us to help them navigate the ever-changing technological world — and let us help you explore the possibilities for your business! Contact us today to learn more.