Concerned about transferring your IT equipment and having everything work just as well in your new space? What about downtime and employee productivity? Here at The TNS Group, we provide flexible, reliable service to help manage clients’ moves, while eliminating disruptions to the workplace. A number of companies seek outside expertise to ensure a smooth transition. With our previous experience helping businesses of various sizes and industries, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things that all companies should consider when planning an office move.
1. Flexibility, Efficiency and Reliability Are Key
First things first, stay organized. This is crucial for an efficient move. Inventories, estimated schedules, and time management are all important in IT relocation. We encourage you to give yourself some leeway and room for changes, when scheduling the overall course of the relocation.
With regards to reliability, it is highly recommend that you use a Managed IT Services company that specializes in IT relocation to help with your move, due to the complexity of business technology migration and liability concerns. Partner with a company that has a proven track record of keeping systems intact and ensuring that everything functions properly in the new space. Moving business technology can be the riskiest and most challenging part of relocation. Reliability, therefore, is key: There’s a lot at risk when dealing with systems data and company and employee information.
The most important aspect about having a timeline is that it’s synchronous between your Managed IT Services company and your internal point of contact. This eliminates any “surprises” and further guarantees a successful move. Your IT relocation company will need to work with your internal IT persons(s) so timelines are met. If you don’t have an IT contact on staff, it’s important to assign an internal contact the responsibility of facilitating the relocation from beginning to end. Your IT relocation company will help alleviate the “heavy lifting” as it relates to the tasks associated with planning and communications.
When moving spaces, it is crucial that the integrity of your equipment be maintained. The re-installment period should be painless with limited downtime, if any. The time between dismantling systems in the old location and setting those up in the new space should be handled efficiently. This will ensure that any disruptions to daily business operations are communicated and planned for accordingly.
4. Pre-plan, Pre-plan, Pre-plan
I can’t stress this enough. One can’t arrive at a space expecting everything to work out perfectly without doing due diligence beforehand. But how far in advance should you plan? What if it’s an impromptu move? Well, to the extent that you’re able, the earlier you start, the better. This will limit risk and enable you to work collaboratively with your point of contact to cover all bases and eliminate any unexpected surprises. The biggest disclaimer here: Don’t underestimate the lead time.
Here are some things to keep in mind when pre-planning:
Set a preliminary budget
There are, of course, some monetary constraints to consider when undergoing an IT relocation, so you should be ready for them! It is highly recommended that an approved, preliminary budget be put in place. If you are working with a Managed IT Services company, push for a fixed cost project price to ensure that your budget is not exceeded. Some moves require IT consulting, especially when the space is a new buildout. These types of services, along with timelines, move details, and responsibilities of all parties, should be outlined in a Statement of Work (SOW) at a fixed rate.
Coordinate your timing of de-installation and installation responsibilities
You want your systems up and running as soon as possible once they’re disconnected. It should be a quick and painless process. This way daily business operations are minimally, if at all, affected by the transition.
How much will be handled by an outside company?
This is an important question to ask your IT relocation partner in advance of signing the Statement of Work. Is testing included once systems are set up in the new space? What about assessing the office beforehand and noting what does and doesn’t meet your specifications? Are they willing to speak with all other vendors associated with the project to ensure timelines are met? All work from pre-planning to the completion of the project must be documented so all parties are in agreement as to relates to accountability.
5. Assess your current and new environment
Your IT relocation partner should provide a timeline and checklist for consideration. This is based on an assessment of your equipment, and your current and future needs.
This involves identifying any restrictions in the new space, such as wiring, cabling or any regulations imposed by your new landlord, to name a few. When working with a company that specializes in IT relocation, you gain their expertise. They have already encountered problems and situations that may not even be on your radar and will bring any potential complications to the forefront so they can be addressed and/or eliminated up front. Some of the items include climate control, ventilation in your IT closet, outlets, power requirements, bandwidth, and security concerns, to name a few.
6. Keeping “Business As Usual”: Limit disruptions
It is important to plan for any downtime, so it is limited and occurs according to schedule as needed. The integration of business technologies shouldn’t disrupt the daily functioning of the company. All companies have different needs when it relates to downtime. If you are in an industry that requires your company to be up and running at all times during business hours, i.e., hedge fund, your move can take place after hours or over the weekend. If it is preferred, a move can take place at the start of a business day with scheduled downtime. Everything IT, from servers and network configurations to computer setup are included under this umbrella.
7. Business Continuity Plan
Company data is the bloodline to any organization. Do you have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place? Business Continuity Management is a plan that an organization puts in place to defend against potentials threats, whether they be financial, technical, social, political or environmental. It is important to ensure the safety of your company information before and after the move. Should anything be compromised, having this plan in place will keep everyone apprised of steps that need to be taken to limit downtown and secure operations.
8. Detailed Inventory
It is imperative to keep track of all equipment being moved. Your IT Relocation Company should provide a detailed inventory of all IT equipment in advance of your move. It is just as important to account for all inventory after the move.
9. Testing of equipment
What good is your technology if it doesn’t work properly? If you are working with an outside company or have an internal IT staff person, it’s important that they test all equipment and functionality after installation. This can be accomplished through the creation and utilization of a Business Technology Test Plan. Post-move all equipment must be tested to ensure that everything is running smoothly and “business as usual” can continue.
10. Consistent Communication
Communication throughout the entire moving process is crucial on all fronts. Your IT relocation company may or may not handle work related to telecommunications, cabling, etc., that are required for a buildout. However, they should be part of the planning process to ensure everything is in place from a technology standpoint. For example, an IT relocation company may be ready to install your IT equipment, but if they don’t know that prerequisite items are not yet installed, it will cause delays. All partners involved must keep each other informed and updated.
Prioritizing these 10 components of IT relocation will help to ensure a smooth move and efficient integration into your new space. Contact us today for more information on how we can partner to ensure a successful move.