Whether you’re moving across the road or across the country, office relocation is a lengthy process with a lot of delicate moving parts to keep in order. If you want to enjoy a smooth transition, it’s essential to keep all these intricate elements organised, and nowhere is this more crucial than with your IT infrastructure and security. One false move could cost you thousands or leave you vulnerable to a data breach.
With decades of combined IT experience between them, Invotec’s skilled technicians have supported many clients – from small businesses to large enterprises – through office relocations. So, we’ve decided to tap into this wealth of experience to bring you a definitive IT checklist covering everything you need to do tech-wise when shifting to a new location.
Tick off every step detailed in this checklist, and you’ll be able to enact a secure and streamlined move, without interrupting your services or inconveniencing your staff or clients. In addition to keeping your customers and team members happy, a well-executed IT relocation will save you time and money and may even reveal some valuable opportunities. Read on for all the essential details.
9 IT Essentials When Moving to a New Office
- Consider your IT infrastructure before you select a new office space
It’s a good idea to bring in expert advice before you sign a lease or purchase a building. Whether it’s your in-house IT department or a local Managed Service Provider like Invotec, having experts with you when you inspect any potential premises is wise. They will be able to assess everything from the network cabling to the outlets to ensure you’re either set up for success or aware of any issues that need to be remedied.
- Consult with your IT support company and service providers
Once you’ve locked in your new location, it’s time to contact all your service providers and technology vendors to inform them of your move date and update them on any changes to your needs. Now is a good time to assess these partnerships and confirm whether they’re still the best option or whether you may be able to secure a better deal elsewhere.
If your IT staff or MSP have informed you of any issues that need to be addressed at your new location, it’s essential to take action on these things as soon as possible. Continue to liaise with your IT consultants, and ensure any required upgrades are carried out before your move date. This may mean having more outlets installed, upgrading the cabling, installing additional phone lines, or any number of other features.
- Create a map for your IT infrastructure
With the essential upgrades and maintenance taken care of, it’s time to start constructing a map for your IT infrastructure. This will require more site visits with your MSP or IT team. What you’re aiming to do here is move beyond the “fix it” model to a more proactive approach that will allow you and your team to truly take off in your new environment.
Instead of accepting things the way they are, brainstorm with your IT support team to determine the ideal layout for everything from outlets and phone lines to workstations and routers. Taking the time to plan out your IT infrastructure like this will ensure that your staff, clients, and stakeholders get to step into an impressively streamlined office. Instead of having to run visible cables or apply other band-aid fixes for tech problems, you can design a layout that prevents them from cropping up in the first place.
- Evaluate your tech (and consider some upgrades)
As you’re creating this plan, you may find yourself questioning some of the tech you’re currently working with – this is a good thing! Run with it, and consider ditching outdated tech and upgrading to options that are more efficient and environmentally friendly.
Perhaps it’s time to finally ditch your printers and go paperless. Maybe this move is the opportunity you’ve been looking for to say goodbye to old legacy software and introduce your team to a new and more efficient system. Or it could be your telecommunications system that’s begging to be updated. Whatever the case may be, moving to a new location offers the perfect opportunity to leave behind outdated tech and step into the future as you step into your new premises.
- Make network security and data protection your top priority
Moving your technology to a new location creates a vulnerability that can be leveraged by bad actors. While it’s unlikely that you’ll be hacked or hit with a ransomware attack, the possibility is there. You may also experience unintentional, non-malicious data leaks and other security issues, making this a crucial time to focus on your network security.
Once again, consulting with IT professionals is the ideal route, ensuring that you cover all of the following tasks:
- Take a thorough inventory of all assets and IT resources that will be moving with you;
- Take inventory of any new assets and IT resources that will be procured during the move;
- Develop a transit protection plan for your business data;
- Engage a trusted moving company with demonstrated experience in electronics transit, and ensure your IT support team and telecommunications provider are involved in the process;
- Ensure you have a list of everyone (from employees and contractors to investors and business partners) who currently have access to your systems, including precise details of their existing network access rights;
- Update your IT security policy and include provisions for access and verification procedures at the new site;
- Work with your IT department or MSP to create a plan for protecting your data while you establish your IT infrastructure in your new location;
- If you decided against renewing any vendor contracts (see Point 1 above), make sure you cancel those plans.
- Transport your technology safely
As mentioned above, the safe transportation of your technology is crucial for data security. While this is one of the most important considerations throughout an office relocation, there’s also the simple practicality of avoiding any damage to your valuable office equipment.
It’s best to trust the work to your removalist company and, ideally, an IT support company skilled in facilitating office relocations. However, you should also make sure you or a trusted employee can oversee certain aspects of the procedure. The key elements you want to check on are:
- Correct shut-down and dismantling of equipment;
- Accurate labelling of cables and components to ensure everything goes back where it belongs;
- Safe and secure packaging of all electronic equipment.
In addition to these factors, you’ll need to ensure you have the names and contact details of everyone involved in the relocation process. Develop a contingency plan (and a contingency plan for your contingency plan) that will cover you in case of breakages, security breaches, or delays. You’ll also need to get your IT department or MSP to ensure you have a complete backup of your data in the cloud – one that’s separate from what you have stored on your main system.
- Leave set-up to the IT professionals
Having experienced professionals handle the transport of your valuable office equipment is the best way to avoid any costly accidents. The same is true of the set-up phase of the relocation. By only allowing skilled technicians to handle your tech, you’ll speed up the process and enjoy peace of mind, knowing that it’s in capable hands.
Having your IT team or MSP handle set-up will also diminish the stress of the move for your employees. In turn, this will help them acclimate faster to the new environment, and crucially, to any software or system upgrades you’ve deployed along with the office relocation.
Though your support team should be well-versed in all the steps involved in an IT office relocation, be sure they tick off the following key tasks:
- Testing servers and network capability;
- Data migration;
- Checking phone lines and cabling;
- Ensuring all equipment is set up in the right place;
- Checking all your telephone numbers and internal lines and confirming their locations;
- Ensuring all features of your newly installed phone system are working;
- Testing the call-forwarding function to ensure any calls to your old number are successfully redirected;
- Checking your website and intranet;
- Testing your network connections.
- Take care of the digital details
With so much work involved in your office relocation, it’s easy to forget about updating your contact details. This task may not be as urgent as protecting your valuable data. However, if you fail to do it, you’re at risk of confusing and inconveniencing your customers. You may even damage your search engine rankings, so be sure to take care of (or delegate) the following digital details:
- Update your address and any other relevant details on your website;
- Change your address on your Google Business Profile (to ensure the update takes effect as quickly as possible, it helps to have a few staff members submit the change of address via Google Maps);
- Directly inform all vendors, affiliates, delivery services, customers, investors, and any other stakeholders of your new address (this should be done as soon as the move has been locked in, with follow-ups sent in the week you move);
- Update promotional materials, stationery, email signatures, and any other communication materials that display your business address;
- Update any online profiles or business directory entries with your new contact details.
- Ensure you and your team have extra IT support while you settle in
During your first week in the new office, it’s a good idea to ask your IT department or Managed Service Provider to prioritise support and troubleshooting.
If you’ve brought in any new software or equipment with this move, ensure your IT support team is on-hand to provide training and support to your staff as they learn how to navigate the new systems or technology.
While you’re bound to encounter some obstacles along the way, this IT office move checklist will ensure that the technology side of things is taken care of effectively. If you’re looking for a Managed Service Provider in Melbourne who can help you with office relocation, Invotec has the skilled technicians you need to get the job done safely and efficiently. Contact Invotec today for an obligation-free consultation with an IT relocation expert.