Relocating an office can be a significant undertaking, particularly regarding the movement of technology and systems. Careful planning and consideration is a must to minimize the financial impacts caused by delays and poor preparation.
When moving a small business operation from one location to another, it’s integral to work with skilled IT professionals to guide the process. Here are six crucial IT considerations when moving to a new office.
Determining Infrastructure Needs
One of the key considerations when moving is the infrastructure needs in the new location. Many companies may use this opportunity to shift from in-house servers to cloud servers as they modernize their operations.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a decision that most small business owners can make on their own. Determining whether cloud storage or a hybrid is preferable or comparing AWS vs Azure takes a level of nuanced education and skills. Working with an IT consultant to determine the infrastructure needs and outline the best office space options is highly recommended when planning a move.
Relocation and Set-Up Support
Once the best options are outlined for your infrastructure needs, small business owners will likely require assistance in managing the relocation. Transferring internet service and phone lines is one thing, but moving servers and setting up a new network is quite another.
Reach out to the various service providers that your business uses to see what they recommend. Some service providers will send their own technicians to guide the process, while others will take a hands-off approach. Clarify with service providers what level of support they offer, what fees are involved, and how they’ll continue to support you after the move.
Data Protection and Security
One of the biggest risks when moving locations is ensuring that all data is stored and secured. Running a data backup before a move is a must to prepare for the worst-case scenario. It’s best to make numerous copies of the data backup as well to avoid any complications.
Keep in mind that many small businesses that experience a data loss will shut down within the following year. Furthermore, the majority of data loss disasters are caused by human error. While it may seem like a tedious, time-consuming task, backing up data is never a waste of time.
Noting the Finer Details
When looking at a new office location, it’s not uncommon to miss some of the finer details that will cause issues later. One of the most important things to look at when choosing a new location is the access to electrical outlets and network cabling. Moving into a new office and realizing that there aren’t enough accessible outlets to plug in printers, scanners, and computers is a nightmare.
Another important consideration is the cell service and any dead zones that exist within the building. Check and use your phone as you move through a potential office space to save yourself numerous headaches later.
Creating a Moving Plan
Once the key concerns are addressed, you’ll want to put a moving plan in place. It may be beneficial to hire an IT consultant as the move coordinator for all things related to technology. Additionally, scheduling the IT move time ahead of the rest of the office can help ensure everything is prepared, and any issues are addressed before the bulk of the move happens.
Mitigating Down Time
Finally, create a plan that will help your business minimize the downtime and subsequent loss of profits due to the move. Scheduling the move over a long weekend or holiday period can be beneficial for this purpose. Conversely, you can put a plan in place to have key stakeholders working from home during that time. If that’s the case, you’ll need to ensure everyone has remote access to a secure network and any programs needed to get the job done.
With these key IT considerations, you can plan a streamlined office relocation that will minimize network downtime and ensure everything is functional in your new space.