Top Things to Consider when Relocating your Business to a New Office Space

Moving a business to a new location is a massive endeavour. Owners will need to find the ideal location, schedule a moving company, notify staff and customers, and once all of that is done, there is moving the IT department with it.

Out of the previous tasks, moving IT departments is a massive undertaking – even for small businesses. In some cases, an MSP or the single IT member will be able to help with the majority of the work; however, it is still essential that owners plan office moves with precision and well in advance.

With that in mind, here are some things to be keeping in mind before making the big move. Doing these will save businesses a lot of time and money as well as keep staff and customers happy.

Plan Well In Advance

First on the list is to ensure that plans to move are months in advance. Depending on the location, there are certain things that need to be considered. For example, new buildings will need long lead times for installation of equipment. Other things to ensure are:

  • Owners schedule a site visit to the new location to review network cabling
  • Contact all carriers, ISPs, and technology vendors two months in advance to inform them of the move date.

Evaluate The Equipment

If the equipment being used is aging, then it might be worth considering upgrading. When planned accordingly, even a network can be fully functional and updated before the big move. Some things to ensure that the move goes smoothly:

  • Keep an inventory of all equipment and determine whether it still satisfies the company or if it needs an upgrade
  • List any equipment that either needs an upgrade or replacing and place an order for those things immediately
  • Return any leased IT and phone equipment that isn’t needed
  • Properly dispose of any old or damaged equipment
  • Evaluate server room requirements

Assess Communication Requirements

Another thing to check when visiting the new site is the cabling. Every new office space is going to have changes in cabling and it’s important to ensure that it isn’t an issue. To ensure that, ask three key questions:

  • How many phone lines is the business using? Is there enough space for it?
  • For cabling, how many Cat 5 – and even Cat 6 – cables are being used?
  • Are there enough power outlets available to have everything plugged in? How many are required?

Prepare A Visit Site Checklist

Once everything is assessed, owners will then have formed a checklist that will keep track of everything while visiting. As mentioned above, visiting the location before the move date is crucial to ensure everything goes smoothly and plans go accordingly. It’s also important for this visit to have an IT provider so they can verify everything is in good condition or if other things need to be added or changed. During the site visit, cover the following as well:

  • Review the configuration plan with the IT provider
  • Ensure ideal locations for everything from workstations to the sockets, power jacks and cables
  • Decide prime locations for bigger equipment like scanners printers, servers, and routers
  • Confirm whether the minimum requirements for the server room is met in all regards. This means not just checking electrical, but cooling, dimensions, and security.

Consider Telecommunication Options

New forms of telecommunication are expanding and so it’s important to consider whether something new is in order or necessary. Some things to consider are what kind of growth is to be expected in the next 3 to 5 years. That consideration can help in determining a new phone system for the new office. Consider the following too:

  • Review the line capacity to decide whether a new phone line is needed
  • Set up call forwarding as well if there is a plan to change the phone number
  • Establish and order the kind of internet access that the new location will need
  • Consider what kind of phone system will be ideal

Protect The Data

Even though during a move, there isn’t going to be any hackers attacking the system, there is still other potential threats that can happen between the moving process. For example, if the truck gets in an accident and equipment ends up damaged as a result. This could compromise data that’s been collected and is now lost. To prevent this from happening, do the following:

  • Ensure that there are several backup copies of all company data systems. This includes firewalls and servers. Ensure their storage is safe and isn’t going to be affected at all during the move.
  • Guarantee that a full recovery is possible so that if something does go wrong, data can still be accessed.

Prepare For The Move

Moving technology equipment isn’t as easy as a typical move. Some of the equipment is bulky and it can’t just be thrown in a truck or stacked on top of one another like boxes. It requires special handling, expertise and above all transit protection. It’s for this reason why an IT specialist or provider should be entrusted for this task. If the plan is to use the same moving company for the entire move, ensure they are able to move electronics appropriately. Beyond that, make sure to do the following to prepare for move day:

  • Transport copies of the data backup to the new location. Keep them separate from the main system and from each other.
  • Verify again that all wiring and data cables are labeled correctly and to which piece of tech it belongs to.
  • Have a contact list of everyone involved in the move.
  • If it’s needed, help with disconnecting old office equipment, and instruct staff on how to shut down other pieces of equipment appropriately before leaving on the last day.

Test The New Office Network

From day one, it’s important to have both the IT and telecom provider in the office to help staff with answering questions or solving any connection issues. Once those stages are done, the IT provider should do a walkthrough of the following:

  • Ensuring that cabling, equipment, and phones are where they should be
  • Checking each individual telephone number and their location
  • Test to see whether call forwarding from the old number is working and is being forwarded properly – if applicable.
  • Test all features of the phone system
  • Start all the servers and test network capability and data migration
  • Check any incoming and outgoing emails
  • Check websites and intranet
  • Test every network connection

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