27 April 2017
Making the Move? Your IT Checklist to a Successful Relocation
t]Managing your business technology can be challenging at the best of times, but office relocations can add a whole new level of complication. With the right planning, you can make the transition run smoothly – so that your business doesn’t miss a beat. Here’s our checklist to a successful move.
Evaluate the new location before you commit
What cabling is staying, and is it in working order? Are data cabinets and patch panels being removed? Is internet connectivity available? Don’t just take the internet company’s word, check with your IT company and ask neighbours to make sure there are no problems. Test them prior to moving – don’t wait until you have already moved in, as repairs can take time. This is also a good time to evaluate wireless networking needs and plan a solution.
Evaluate the new site
When can you have physical access? Check the power and cabling to make sure it is sufficient, in the right location, the right type, and in full working order. Repairs and updates can add to your moving cost and cause delays, so factor this into your property agreement. While evaluating the property, also check the access to the MDF and IDF (and who has the keys), assess the phone line quality, and get a copy of floor plans to help your preparations. Also check that air conditioning for your server room is up to scratch – trying to keep equipment at a comfortable temperature in recent heatwaves would have been a nightmare without the right provisions.
Find out what type of alarm and security cameras are in place, and review physical security so that you can put strong plans in place for the new layout. Be prepared to upgrade or install new equipment as needed in advance of equipment arriving.
Meet each vendor onsite
This might include IT vendors, removalist, copier, telephone, audio visual, and security contractors. (You may also need to meet at the old office if they need a refresh).
Assess the space
Make sure that your server room has sufficient space for data cabinets, including power supply, and security. You may also need to allow for communication cabinets. Take photos and label all equipment prior to moving.
Update the floor plan
Include information about where each user, printer and copier will be located. Don’t forget to factor in growth plans, and see if your current infrastructure is up to the job – nobody wants to outgrow their new environment in a hurry. Consider newer technology like Cloud PBX and Cloud IT.
Planning (well in advance)
Advise your IT company well in advance of your relocation, so that they can be on standby to help as needed. Work out if the move needs to be outside of business hours. Any work that can be done during normal hours will be a cost saving, but this needs to be balanced with potential disruption. Order internet early, as fibre services can take 3 months or more to install. At the same time, book migration of phone lines, and consider if additional services such as call forwarding are required. If your phone numbers are changing, don’t forget to tell your marketing manager, to minimise the cost of reprinting brochures and advertising with the new details.
Identify any new IT requirements for the new location (new users, computers, phones, and printers). Make sure there is room to expand to meet your future business plans.
Plan DNS changes with your webhosting or IT company. Reduce TTL’s so the changeover is quick and disruption is minimised.
Schedule relocation date
Notify all vendors and request assistance where required. Be clear on who is responsible for each component of the move.
You’ve made it to the move day, and a lot of the hard work is already done, but there are a few things that will make the day easier. Start by doing a complete backup prior to shut down, and test to make sure it worked. Update contact details in all documents and systems, and with all vendors. Properly shutdown all equipment before removing it. On arrival, ensure all devices and services are up and running fully. Double check emails and critical business systems first, so that users can get on with vital tasks. Use check lists so nothing is forgotten or skipped amidst the activity.
Have a contingency plan
People get sick, transport delays happen, and you wouldn’t be the first to have an office move impacted by fire, flood or storms. Be prepared in case a server, desktop or other equipment fails during migration. Know how you will provide essential services to users and customers while you manage unplanned events.
Cancel old services such as phone and internet. Update your disaster recovery plan to take into account your new location and any other changes you have made. And don’t forget to schedule some down time to recharge your batteries before the next big project.