A Guide to Help You Solve The Problems Associated With Relocating Your IT
It's something no business can bear the thought of when relocating premises. Just how are you going to manage to move everything?
Planning an office move can be a logistical nightmare. Uprooting all of your staff, assets and infrastructure and moving them across the country without interrupting business functions is a task fraught with hazards. One of the biggest challenges is moving your IT and making sure it’s ready to go at the new site.
Good IT relocation requires specialist skills to ensure all business-critical equipment is moved quickly and safely, while ensuring downtime is kept to a minimum. At LeadingEdge we’re specialists in providing a comprehensive IT relocation service. Over the years, we’ve picked up a thing or two.
Hazards of IT relocation
When considering an office relocation, you should be mindful of how this will affect your employees’ commute to work. Will your new site be prohibitively out of the way for your staff to get there? Will the new site have the space to accommodate all of your staff and their needs?
Relocating your business is a lot like moving house – you have to redirect your mail. Before the move, make sure that any incoming deliveries are postponed or ordered early so that they don’t get lost in the relocation or worse, delivered to your old site after you’ve moved.
Depending on the size and scale of the relocation, regular business functions and services can be disrupted. Every man hour spent moving instead of spent running the business is a loss of revenue. A relocation is like a clock – every second draining away money you could have made.
Loss of customers
Business disruption + lost deliveries + displaced employees = a loss of customers. If the service offering is disrupted during a relocation, the lower quality service could cost a business both reputation in the market and valuable customers.
Tips for IT relocation
Pick a dedicated project manager to organise and be responsible for the relocation. This manager will be responsible for the project and make sure that the task doesn’t drag on and on.
Plan everything. From the new site layout to packing schedules and vehicle logistics, plan for everything. Include room for delays in the plan and the detailed schedule. Unforeseen situations always come up.
Taking a thorough inventory in advance can prevent many problems during execution. You don’t want anything being left behind.
Install your IT infrastructure before you move your people. A flawless office move is when your staff can come into work and start working, with no interruptions. Which is why the next tip is…
…testing. When planning a relocation, schedule time to thoroughly test your new infrastructure to make sure that all business-critical systems and processes are online and functional.
How to move an office in a weekend
1. Make sure the essentials are up and running
Step one is to make sure all services and utilities have been hooked up at the new office. This should be done well ahead of time so you can go to the new office and test everything before the move. You want to have power, water, internet with wifi capabilities, cooling for any servers and sanitation. If any of this is missing, the move will take longer and cost you more money.
2. Plan, plan, plan
Once all the services are in place, it is time for step two; Making your plan. Plan how each and every part of your office and IT will be moved right down to the cables. This plan should include what you will use to move equipment, (moving vans, packing material, etc.), where you will park moving vehicles at each location, and how many people will be needed:
When scheduling the move, remember to take possible delays into account, and have a detailed plan of where each item needs to go. Giving each team member a copy of the new layout allows each person to distribute things quickly to the right location rather than piling everything in a heap.
3. Pack in advance
Step three is packing in advance. If you are moving on a weekend, pack everything you can by Friday night. By packing early you will be able to start the move as soon as you get in on a Saturday. When you pack, try to place duplicate or related items in the same boxes.
Think of it as packing from the floor up. If you are moving a desk with a computer, monitors, a printer and a desk chair, you need the desk in place first so you can set up the computer and everything else. This is why packing similar items in the same box is best.
If you have a box full of phones, you can move it when the desks are already set up and the phones just need to be distributed one per desk. It is also important to clearly label all boxes. Make sure to do this on several sides so you can tell what is in each even if they are stacked.
4. Get outside help
Step four is to use professionals to move your IT. This includes moving and setting up servers, testing installed IT equipment and ensuring all vital systems are working at 100%. You might be saying to yourself, “but I have an IT department who can handle all that.”
The problem is that your IT professionals are not professional IT movers. For the best results, hire fully insured IT relocation professionals who are well versed in IT logistics.
5. Testing 1,2,3
The final step is to test everything. Test every computer, phone, printer and any other crucial systems. You can have professional IT movers do this or, if you are capable, you can do it yourself. You want to make sure that everything is ready for your employees when they come in on Monday.
Remember, when it comes to IT relocation, preparation is everything. If you go in blind, your move will drag out and it is unlikely you will finish in time. If you put in the prep time, you should be able to get everything done reasonably quickly.
Shaun McKay is managing director at LeadingEdge