8 steps for a successful office IT relocation
Moving to better office premises is a positive step that can quickly become a nightmare. The problem isn’t getting people or furniture into a new location – it’s making sure your IT equipment arrives safely and on time.
Comtec’s specialist IT relocations team has handled major moves for Lonely Planet, Transport for London, Newham NHS Primary Care Trust and many others. Here are our 8 steps on how to pull off a perfect IT relocation, garnered from 20+ years’ experience.
1) Start Early
The truth is there are so many things to sort out with a major office move that remembering to arrange your IT relocation often gets bumped down the list. Try not to leave it until the last minute as there is lots to plan and the process is more complicated than with standard office equipment.
2) Identify Your Assets
From the racks in your comms/server room to the workstations and phones on every desk, you need a comprehensive asset plan or list detailing what you have and where it is. This makes the process of getting it all from one location to another far simpler. Use a clear labelling system and keep photographic records. For racks, you’ll need well produced reference diagrams. Make sure all this is fully up-to-date.
3) Map the New Premises
Draw up a floor/desk plan to show the position of all existing and new equipment in the new office. Is the environment suitable for the equipment in each position e.g. if a server/comms room then is it sufficiently clean and served with applicable power and cooling? Is there power and comms cabling running to the appropriate areas in the office? Are there any wireless signal issues such as very thick walls or interference? Do you have the requisite voice and data connectivity running to the premises?
4) Use the Correct Specialist Moving Equipment
Think ahead for the kind of moving kit necessary to reduce the risk of damage to IT equipment during the move. As a minimum this should include: specialist IT crates, antistatic packaging materials, stair walkers and robot lifters. General office relocation providers typically don’t have them, or will hire them without necessarily knowing how to use them expertly.
5) Use Storage to Your Advantage
For complex moves, or relocations that rationalise multiple sites into a single site, it may be prudent to use temporary, secure storage facilities. For example, for those organisations using their relocation as the opportunity to replace old IT equipment with new hardware, having those new solutions ready to move immediately on moving day is essential. Look into your secure storage options and ask your relocations provider what facilities they have to warehouse equipment, or even to host and monitor a live, 24/7 environment should there be time-lags between leaving one premises and moving to the next.
6) Check Insurance Coverage
Consider the impact of potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds of IT equipment being lost or damaged, and the resulting effect on your business operations. Any relocation provider should be able to demonstrate comprehensive insurance coverage for all eventualities.
7) Plan the Moving Route
It’s the small details that make a successful IT relocation, so don’t leave something as critically important as a traffic jam compromise your business continuity. Map out your preferred, fastest route for IT equipment transportation, with at least two alternative routes just in case.
8) Ensure Enough Qualified Technical Resources
The chances are that your internal IT team is not scaled to de-install all your IT equipment, re-install it miles away, test it all and reconfigure it all if necessary. The IT relocation itself is always time-critical and intensive, but rushing through it invariably makes matters worse. Look for a qualified specialist with IT, network and voice expertise, practiced at the art of relocating desktops, servers, printers, network equipment and security infrastructure. They will provide everything from test login procedures for workstations, to dedicated project management expertise providing documentation control and change management, plus access to a host of ancillary services.
Businesses rely on their IT like never before, which has transformed the already stressful process of moving office premises into a potential make-or-break situation.
Whatever you do, use a specialist like Comtec. We can fill-in the missing skills and capabilities that no organisation has internally, or take on control of the whole project on your behalf.