May 14th, 2019 3:26 pm
7 Top IT Considerations for a New Office
Moving to a new office is an exciting time. While the employees think about how to decorate their new spaces, though, you are focused on the IT considerations for a new office. Fun. (Well, here at Bailey Systems we think it’s fun.)
The truth is planning an office move is always more complicated than our clients think it will be, and there are always unforeseen issues that arise. However, there are several IT considerations that will make your new office move more seamless.
New Office checklist: 7 steps to make the move smooth
- Take a complete inventory of your equipment.
An office move is a good time to update or upgrade equipment, and to get rid of anything you don’t really need. There is no point migrating something that no longer serves your business. This inventory will also help you figure out what you need so that you can purchase it and have it ready to install on time.
- Conduct the inventory.
- Make a list of what you are upgrading replacing, or acquiring.
- Arrange to return any IT or telecommunications you are leasing, but no longer need.
- Dispose of old or broken equipment.
- Assess your server room requirements.
2. Check out the new space to ensure it meets your Datacom/Telecom requirements.
There is no guarantee that your new space has the correct cabling and infrastructure installed. You want to check this out well before the move date. (See the blog Getting a new office: When to think about network cabling for more about that.)
- Check how many phone lines you need.
- Decide what type of cabling and how much of it you need (See Cabling 101: What type of cable do I need for our office? to determine you cabling needs).
- Count the power outlets and make sure they have the appropriate power running to them and that they are in the correct places.
3. Conduct a site visit with your IT provider.
A thorough site visit is essential because what you see on the surface is not always what is waiting for you, especially in terms of cabling. Make sure to:
- Review the new office configuration plan with your IT provider.
- Make sure power jacks and network cabling are accessible to the workstations.
- Decide where you’re putting peripherals like printers and routers.
- Confirm the server room has appropriate electrical, cooling, dimensions, and security.
4. Choose your Datacom/Telecom systems.
Not all communications systems are created equally, and not all options will be a perfect fit for your business. Don’t just consider your needs today; think about your business in the next 3-5 years.
- Make sure the Internet access is what you need—do not assume a new office has high-speed internet. Review your provider options and choose the one that offers what you need.
- Think about what kind of phone system is best for the new office—VoIP, Hosted VoIP, PBX.
- Check to make sure there is enough line capacity/Bandwidth to support your business.
5. Back it up, back it up, back it up.
Like a boy scout, be prepared. Make not one, but several backup copies of all company data systems just to be sure you don’t lose anything. This includes firewalls and servers. And don’t put the copies on the moving truck. Put them somewhere safe and far away from the move.
6. Prepare for Move Day.
Have your IT provider recommend how to transport your office technology. Moving sophisticated IT requires special handling, expertise, and transit protection. Your IT provider either does this or has trusted movers they work with. Do yourself a favor and let them handle it.
7. Test the network.
Nothing will put a damper on the office move like the phones and Internet NOT working on day one. Arrange to have your IT provider in the office that day to help troubleshoot the (inevitable) technology issues that spring up. After each stage of the move, work with your IT person to verify all cabling, equipment, and phones are in the right place and working. You’ll also want to:
- Check all telephone numbers.
- Test call forwarding to all phone numbers.
- Test all the phone system’s features.
- Start all servers and test network capability and data migration.
- Check the email system, website, intranet, and extranet.
- Test each network connection.
Best Advice for a Smooth Office Move
As you can see, there is much to plan and a lot of moving parts with your IT when you moving offices. The best advice we have is to plan your IT relocation well in advance. In fact, start planning it while you’re looking at office space. A site visit with your IT provider before you sign the lease can ensure that the space meets your IT needs. We’ve seen dozens of cases where a client built out the new office and moved in only to learn that there was no high-speed internet or all of the cables had been decommissioned. These problems are avoidable if you consider IT from the beginning.
Finally, once everything is in motion, make sure all carriers, ISPs, and technology vendors know your move date and are ready to support you.
If you need help with this in the Northern Virginia area, schedule a call with us… we’re happy to help make your office move smooth.
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