Relocating an office is a big transition. It can involve a lot of upheaval and needs to be managed with precision. The transition of business IT is one of the most important elements in any office move. It not carefully managed, this could lead to IT problems that disrupt business continuity and cause chaos and frustration for your enterprise and for your customers and clients. So, how do you ensure that the IT element of your move is seamless?
Start planning – months in advance
Your IT relocation plan should begin months before the move is scheduled. You’ll need to ensure that you have time to review all the potential outcomes, cover every piece of equipment and system and ensure that the relevant people are well informed when it comes to what needs to happen, and when. Start with a complete review and inventory of all your IT, including essential systems and software and devices and equipment, such as printers or servers. What is required for successful transition for every part of the plan in terms of actions and timescales involved? Make sure you get input from any relevant parties so that no essential steps are missed.
Invest time in creating floor plans
Often, it’s difficult to see where problems may arise without a visual aid to relocation. This is why it’s so important to draw up floor plans as part of the preparation for the office move. Use the inventory you’ve created to design detailed floor plans for each of the spaces in your new office so that you can see exactly what needs to go where and what is required to get everything up and running. This may involve a process of updating, replacing, changing or adding to existing equipment and systems. It’s also a great time to review whether your current IT meets your business needs in terms of both cost and deliverables. If you could reduce spend or improve performance by making changes then integrating these during an office move can mean less disruption.
Test out your new IT
When the first stage of the office move is complete it will be important to test everything before considering the process finished. So, when you’re planning the transition don’t forget to include a test phase that you can implement as soon as the physical move has been completed. This will enable you to identify any problems that need to be dealt with quickly and to prevent issues with business continuity.
Get some good advice
If you don’t have the experience or expertise to be able to identify the potential issues that could arise with IT during an office move then it’s always a good idea to get some expert advice. This will give you insights that you may not otherwise have had the benefit of, and help to make the transition a smoother one.
At help4IT we have a wealth of experience when it comes to ensuring smooth IT transition during an office move – our team is happy to help.
Flexible working is not just something that employees today have a legal right to request. It has also become an integral part of the work culture of many businesses. Being able to offer flexible and mobile working to employees makes an enterprise a more attractive employer and also creates opportunities for cost saving and efficiency. But how do you ensure that this flexibility doesn’t come at the cost of IT and network security?
Device security is crucial
You may have employees hot desking in the office with company laptops or they may be using their own devices from other locations. Whatever the method that you choose, device security is going to be essential. Good password hygiene will make it much more difficult for data and information to be accessed by those who should not have it, even if a device is lost or stolen. Long, obscure passwords with a mix of numbers and letters, as well as the use of two step authentication, will help to boost the strength of device security.
Educating employees will give them tools
It’s a fact that staff often simply aren’t aware of the range of security risks that modern IT presents – and so it’s often up to employers to provide training to educate employees in order to keep company networks safe. The basics of device security will be important, such as not auto saving passwords, but you may also want to educate employees on other risks, such as the dangers of using public Wi-Fi and avoiding public computers to log on remotely to business networks.
Encrypted emails are essential
Email is the key communication tool of choice for employees when flexible working – and it’s often the first place that cyber criminals will look for information and data that could be used to engineer a security breach. Encrypting emails disguises email content and an encryption key is required for anyone who wants to see it. So, sensitive information is protected and only those who are supposed to see the content of the emails sent between the business and its remote workers will be able to do so.
Data backups support business recovery
Cloud technology is a useful tool when it comes to security, enabling regular automated backups from which data can be recovered centrally through an off-site server. In the event of a security breach at your business, backup will be crucial to ensuring business continuity and the access to critical data that is required to get systems back up and running – and secure – once again. Implementing regular data backups is an important part of security and one that employees may need to be involved in enabling.
Invest in network monitoring to trigger early warning
Network monitoring has a number of benefits, from identifying current inefficiencies to informing IT strategy and planning. It’s also a crucial security tool that will act as an early warning if there is a security issue unfolding that is affecting your network.
Flexible and mobile working could be transformative for your business – as long as there is the security in place to ensure this is handled safely. Get in touch with help4IT today on 0207 653 9780 to find out more.