If you’re in the process of moving your office to a new building or opening a new location, you are likely juggling a lot of moving parts. And while finding the right space, arranging for packing and transportation, and other logistical tasks are all important to the big picture, your office IT services should not be overlooked.
Properly installed and operational IT equipment is critical to keeping your business up and running at full capacity, as well as keeping it secured both physically and digitally. That’s why it’s so important to have a plan in place for moving and setting up your company’s necessary IT services at your new location. Not only will this help make the transition easier, it will set up your employees and your business for future productivity and success. Check out the list below for IT relocation tips you should keep in mind during the process of moving offices.
Servers & Networks
A business’s network servers typically function like a company brain—it stores information about clients, employees, projects, and other vital information. The transport and IT installation of your servers needs to be done safely and securely, so your important data stays intact and the security measures stay in place. When you’re relocating or expanding your networks, here are a few things to ask yourself:
#1. Does your server need to be hosted on-premise, or would a co-located server be better?
If you have a smaller company that does not require on-site hosting, co-locating your server may be a more financially beneficial way of maintaining your data with a trusted organization.
#2. If you are planning on hosting the server in your building, who will be in charge of moving and installing the physical infrastructure (server/network racks, shelves, etc.)?
If you need on-site server hosting, be sure to have the relocation and installation done properly; moving a server is a delicate process. The people you trust to move the physical servers should have experience moving delicate office equipment.
#3. How will the server be transferred from the old location and installed correctly in the new one?
Servers are complicated pieces of information technology. Server room relocation is a process involving labeling, securing, wire removal, more labeling, panel removal, more labeling, and packing in such a way that will prevent static and shifting in transit. Oh, and did we mention labeling? Definitely do that. (Seriously, you’ll thank us later).
#4. What kind of wireless network will you have at the new location?
You want to make sure that your company’s wireless network is both highly functional (so work can be done quickly and efficiently) and completely secure (to protect your business, employees, and assets from digital threats).
#5. Planning multiple office expansions or relocations?
Consider moving your server to the cloud. Cloud IT services allow your company’s server data and information to be accessible from anywhere, anytime. Telecommuting or on-the-road workers can have access to any necessary files on the company server while working away from the office.
Your Company’s Phone System
You will likely want to keep the same phone numbers and phone lines when you move into your new office, but before you decide whether or not to keep your old phone system in the new location, you may want to consider a few questions:
#6. Will your current phone system need to be expanded, updated, or upgraded?
If your phone system is older, or if you’re moving because your business is growing, you may want to consider updating, upgrading, and/or expanding your current phone system when you move office locations. You’re already unplugging everything and setting it all back up again, so now is the perfect opportunity.
#7. Is VoIP (Voice-over Internet Protocol) a better option for your company’s telephone needs?
Depending on the size and type of company you run, you may want to consider switching to VoIP for your phone services. There are advantages and disadvantages to this, like with regular phone services.
Physical Building & Business Safety & Security
When going through an office relocation, you have to consider the security and safety needs of that location. Think about this:
#8. Do you need access control and which doors should have it or not?
Some companies require the ability to control who enters and leaves certain areas. If you are one of these companies, you need to decide which doors at the new location need access control systems, what type of system you will need, and how you want employees to verify access (key card? fingerprint? handprint? retina?)
#9. Do you need CCTV cameras inside and outside the building? Where should they be located to be most effective?
For additional security, you may need a closed-circuit television (CCTV) security system to visually monitor inside and outside of your new office building. Do you know how many cameras you will need and where they need to go to be effective and avoid blind spots?
#10. Does the building already have adequate fire alarms?
Speed is key when a fire or other emergency strikes. Do you have a properly installed and inspected alarm system in the new location that will respond to smoke or fire quickly and alert the proper authorities?
Meetings and Conferences
Want to make sure that your new meeting or conference room is set up and outfitted so that you can look professional and have the most effective sessions in there possible. Are you certain that you are equipped to include everyone that you need to include in your meetings? Here are some things to think about:
#11. Do you need new Audio/Visual Equipment in your new meeting spaces?
Whether you will be meeting in a small conference room for ten or a large auditorium for three hundred, you need to make sure that your audiences will see and hear you in your new meeting space. Different rooms are made with different materials and different layouts have different acoustics, so the system from the old location might not work the way you want it to. Your office relocation project plan should account for this.
#12. If you are using TVs or computer displays in your new space, do you know where you want them mounted and what type of connectivity you want or need?
Your visuals need to be, well, visible. Do you know the best place for your TVs or computer displays to be mounted so all can see them? Do you know whether you want them to connect to a DVD player, computer, laptop, or blu-ray player? What about a screen and a projector? Would that be better for your new space?
#13. Speaking of meetings, after moving offices, will your new meeting space be properly equipped to reliably handle video conferencing?
For some businesses, video conferencing is an important way to keep employees at other locations or non-local clients in the loop by bringing them into meetings at a distance. If you are expanding or opening a new location, this could be a fantastic tool for you to use. You need to know how well-connected your system is going to be, though, or you could be facing lag and dropped video calls.
General Office Layout
How you lay out your new office makes a big difference in the productivity of your employees and your systems. Your IT wiring and services layouts may be vastly different from your previous location. If you’re considering on open office floor plan, you need to know that, with the benefits of such a layout, it has its drawbacks, especially if there are confidentiality concerns in your business. Here are a couple of things to contemplate before the relocation of your office.
#14. Do you have a plan for your IT service layout?
Cabling a new office space can be a hassle without a strong office relocation plan created beforehand. Don’t let your move become any more stressful than it has to be. Plan out your new IT layout in advance to streamline the moving process and reduce the likelihood of wiring issues cropping up in the near future.
#15. Do you need noise masking for your new office space?
Your new office may be spacious, but the acoustics might carry too much sound for what you do. Echoing phones, the annoying tap-tap-tap of a keyboard, loud chatter…it can all be very distracting to your employees, and it could also be a problem if confidentiality is required in your business. You might want to consider a sound masking system that generates “pink noise.” You can find the benefits of pink noise in an office space here.
Overwhelmed? Get some help!
Evaluating a new office space for all of its needs and the requirements for office moving can seem like a daunting task. That’s why it can help to have expert advice and assistance before, during, and after your move to make sure everything runs smoothly through the whole office relocation process. C1C offers a variety of managed IT services that are customized to your company’s exact specifications and needs. Contact us today for a free consultation!