IT Relocation – How to get it Right
If you’ve been tasked with organising your IT Move, chances are you’re feeling pretty stressed right now! An office move can be an arduous task and not one to be taken lightly. There are so many areas to consider, probably before you’ve even signed on the dotted line. According to statistics from Moving Office Ltd, the average company will move premises every 7 years, and in 70% of cases, the person made responsible for the move will be doing this for the first time!
So if you’re the designated person in your organisation, here are some mistakes to avoid when planning an IT office relocation….
1. Trying to do it all yourself
You may have been given responsibility for the move but this doesn’t mean you have to do it all on your own. An office relocation can take months to arrange, and will involve various elements of your business. Think about what expertise and skills your colleagues have – whether that be financial, organisational or attention to detail for example. An office move can mean a fresh start if done successfully, so find out from all your company’s departments what would help them to work better. Seek help when moving office.
It’s also worth considering whether you go it alone and rely on your own IT department to carry out the IT Move, or whether you hire the experts. This will of course involve costs but might be a massive weight off your shoulders as they will have all the skills and knowledge required for the move. If you do opt to do this, you will still need to involve other staff and department heads for their input. People like to be kept involved and offer up ideas, even if they don’t have to do the donkey work.
2. Unrealistic Timescale
Probably one of the biggest pit-falls when arranging an IT relocation is not allowing enough time. Some aspects of the move will simply take as long as they take, and no amount of money will make them move any faster! Basic things like legal matters, giving notice on your current premises, and ensuring you’ve tied up any contracts on IT equipment and services at the old location are just the beginning.
One of the most important things to start in motion is the circuit(s) for your connectivity. Depending on the location of your new premises and the type of circuit required, this could take anything from a couple of weeks to several months. Your business cannot run without this! If you are given a long leadtime for a high spec circuit, it’s worth considering ordering a basic business ADSL alongside this which will probably be installed fairly quickly. That way if the large circuit runs into problems or takes months to install, your move is not held up. The smaller circuit will probably allow you to get by for a while and can be used further along the line as a backup.
3. Lack of future-proofing
Now is the perfect time to look at your processes and think about whether they are still right for your business and if they will continue to be appropriate for the next 5 to 10 years. If you simply move everything that’s currently in place and don’t consider whether you need new PCs, servers or telephony, you will be missing the perfect opportunity to have all the disruption in one go and start afresh.
Take a good look at your new building and consider the space available. If you need to get cabling or electric points installed, don’t just deploy what you need now. Don’t forget those seldom used items such as franking machines, credit card machines and tannoys. Also speak to your telephony provider to check what power and network requirements are needed for the telephone system and whether any additional capacity should be retained in your cabinet in case you need to expand in another couple of years.
On a more basic note, before you exchange contracts, it’s highly recommended that you check out what sort of connectivity is available at the new premises. Fibre is becoming more readily available but it’s not guaranteed at all locations and if you need this for your business then it could cost tens of thousands to install. Make sure this isn’t a deal breaker. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
4. Failure to communicate
The relocation is going to be a real juggling act with many items on the to-do list. For a successful move, you’ll need to keep people updated. For example it may not seem important that there’s a delay of 5 days on the circuit installation, but if you fail to tell your telephony provider this could have an impact on their work. Have regular catch-ups with all involved, whether this be a weekly conference call, video call or simply an email detailing where you’re at.
Keeping staff updated is also important, partly because of morale. It’s far better for the changes to be seen as an exciting prospect than a negative step, so talking to staff about the process will help them to not feel in the dark about Moving Offices.
Finally, don’t forget to tell your clients and other important contacts! If you’re planning to have a period of downtime on move day, it’s advisable to give them prior warning of this. They’ll also need to know your new contact details and any other changes that might impact on them.
If you’d like more advice on how to deal with your IT relocation or your office move - CONTACT US
Further Reading: IT RELOCATION eBOOK