Have you have grown too big for your existing premises? Do you need to move somewhere that offers the ability to scale your business for the challenges ahead? There are many good reasons to think about finding a new home for your business, but moving offices can be more difficult than you think. It involves much more than simply packing up and transporting everything to your new location. Few businesses have completely location independent IT systems, even nowadays when many have moved services into the cloud.
Can we do this without specialist IT help?
It can be tempting to think that your IT infrastructure can be quickly transferred to your new location and everything can be fully operational with minimal interruption. The reality is often much more complicated. Having access to a team of experts who plan and implement office moves regularly can make all the difference to conducting a successful move. With any transfer of IT you may need to consider relocating and reconfiguring equipment to suit the new environment. You will also need to think about the particular challenges faced by your business.
Do you store company data on-site, or off-site? Do you employ cloud integration services? If you physically have all the data you need to run your business stored on your own site then you will have no access to that information until everything is set-up and working in your new office. When data is stored in the cloud it remains accessible at all times, even while your equipment is being carried to its new home, meaning that disruption to your business operations will be minimised.
What IT problems should I expect when we move?
IT problems are one of the biggest causes of unexpected expenses during an office move. If your IT systems are not operational then it’s probable that while you will still have to pay your staff, many of them will be unable to work during the move. It is also likely that you will be unable to communicate with your customers, and you could potentially lose business as a result.
IT problems may not end when you reach your new building. There could be issues with the strength of the Internet connection, or the building layout. All of these issues should be taken into account before the move is undertaken, not once you arrive. Conducting a comprehensive audit and planning every aspect of the move in advance with an IT expert before you move could avoid weeks of suffering after you move.
Employing cloud based services is an excellent way to keep your business operational even while an office move is in progress. With a cloud-based infrastructure there is no physical move of data, allowing for elements of your business to be run by remote staff, during the move.
Ways to manage IT costs
Involving an IT expert in your planning from the beginning will help you make the best use of your existing IT equipment. They can also advise you on the cabling and other fixed requirements for your new location. It is important to be aware of these issues before the move takes place so that there are no unpleasant surprises when you are setting up in your new building.
Ensuring a smooth move to a new location
Encountering a major problem during an office move could have devastating consequences for your company so it’s important to make sure that you understand what will happen at every stage of your move before the move starts. Ensure a plan is in place which covers the order in which every piece of your office IT will be shut down, transferred, and reconnected to your network.
Before you arrive at your new location, the location must be prepared with all vital services connected and operational. This means both making arrangements with service providers, and fitting any necessary internal cabling in the building.
When it comes to the physical logistics of the move. It is vital that you have an inventory of all of your equipment and a floor plan showing where each item will fit in the new environment.
Potential dangers to avoid include:
- Data loss – If all the information you need to run your business is often stored in your IT equipment. If that data is lost through damage to the equipment, or just cannot be accessed due to equipment not being available then you are losing money.
- Impact on your customers – If you cannot access your IT systems then interacting with your customers becomes difficult and your business suffers.
- Connectivity – if your new office doesn’t have suitable Internet connectivity ready when you move in, then it will be virtually unusable. Many companies also use VoIP phone systems nowadays, which requires network connectivity and Internet access, to ensure they work properly.
Both of these dangers can be address by taking advantage of cloud storage, and allowing employees to work remotely while the move is in progress. Working with an IT specialist and employing cloud storage will ensure your IT systems will remain fully operational throughout the move, and on the first day you move into your new office you can start working immediately.