Are you getting ready to move your business to a new office? Maybe you’ve already booked a moving company and given your employees and customers a heads up. Now, there’s one crucial thing left to organize: moving your IT.
IT relocation may seem stressful and overwhelming at first, but with a little planning and forethought, the process can be quick and pain-free. To help you set up your new office, we’ve put together a checklist that covers all of the essentials. Follow this and enjoy a seamless relocation experience from start to finish.
Before we start, do keep in mind that carriers and service providers may have long lead times for installation. Don’t leave your IT relocation to the last minute or you could face significant downtime, which can cost businesses thousands of dollars.
Let’s get started.
1. Tasks to complete a few months ahead of the big move
Your IT relocation starts the minute you sign the lease on your new office space. Here are three critical tasks to complete about two months out from the move:
- Contact all carriers and ISPs and let them know your relocation date. That way, you won’t be without any vital services during the move.
- Contact any technology vendors and inform them of your relocation date.
- Schedule a preliminary site visit with your IT team so they can review the cabling and other tech features of the new property. They can alert you of any potential issues or hurdles well in advance.
2. Assess your current equipment
Moving to a new office is a fantastic opportunity to undergo a little spring cleaning. Evaluate your current equipment. Is your infrastructure outdated? Does it still cater to your business’s needs? Will it support any changes you plan to make in your new office space?
Compile a list of equipment that needs replacing. Remember, old equipment can actually cost you more than you save by not making a new purchase. If you do this well ahead of the move, you may be able to get your network up and running before the big day.
3. Evaluate your communications
You’ve already brought in your IT team so you know whether or not your new property has the correct cabling and infrastructure installed. You might find the following questions helpful when evaluating your current and future communications needs:
- How many phone lines does my business need in the new office? Are these already installed?
- Does the new office have enough power outlets?
- Is the cabling in good condition? Does it have enough line capacity? Will it support my communication needs?
- Should I switch to a new telecommunications system, such as VoIP?
- Will my business phone number change? Do I need to set up call forwarding?
4. Schedule a comprehensive site visit
This item on your relocation checklist is critical. Plan a comprehensive site visit, ideally with your IT provider and even a cabling company. During the visit, be sure to address the following:
- Decide on the location of printers, routers, scanners, and other hardware.
- Create a configuration plan for your office. Get input and feedback from your IT provider.
- If you need a server room, check that electrical, cooling, and security requirements are met.
5. Safeguard your data
You should always be prepared for the worst-case scenario – but it’s even more crucial to have several, geographically-distinct backups of your business data when relocating. One backup isn’t enough. Just imagine what would happen if, say, the moving truck with your backup onboard is in an accident, completely destroying your company’s backup.
After you’ve created multiple backup copies of your company’s data systems, make sure that you have a recovery plan in place. If something does go horribly wrong, you should know exactly how to respond.
6. Test everything
Moving day is over. Your moving company did a great job and all of your IT arrived safe and sound. Now, test everything. Do a thorough walkthrough and confirm that the following items are performing as they should:
- The office is configured as planned.
- The Wi-Fi is stable with a strong signal.
- Call forwarding is working correctly.
- All servers are operating correctly.
- All cloud-based apps are operating correctly.
- Incoming and outgoing emails are functioning properly.
- Your networks are secure.
Once you have confirmed that everything is operating as it should be, you can cancel the services in your old office space.