Planning for the IT logistics portion of your office move begins the moment you sign the lease. While the technology portion is often the most complex part of the relocation to new space, you can minimize risk and maximize success with thoughtful, upfront planning.1) Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
Technology and office furniture will likely be the two items with the longest lead times for your new space. They also have significant dependencies on each other, especially as it relates to cabling requirements for furniture. Make sure that you include team leaders from the technology and office management organizations on your move project team.
2) Consider Technology Lead Times
Even though you will already have confirmed carrier availability at your new location, the time required to set up new circuits for phone and data as well as to schedule the cutover, is a minimum of 90 days. Your carrier often must depend on another carrier for the last mile of connectivity and they can be at the mercy of that carrier’s schedule. Additional connections to support wireless networks and/or other space monitoring and management systems must also be provisioned and installed.3) Fragile – Handle With Care!
Your company’s servers, SANs (Storage Area Networks), and computer equipment are powerful but delicate. If your moving company does not have a specialty in moving technology equipment, contract with a company that can provide this critical service. Look for a company that will partner with you to perform pre-move inventory and desktop diagramming, has dedicated project management to your account, uses anti-static computer bags and monitor covers, will manage the disconnect and reconnect of desktops, laptops and phones, and will provide post-move inventory verification and support. Review their transport vehicles to ensure they are climate-controlled, air-ride vehicles.4) Dust off your Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plan
Even with the best planned move, the unexpected could impact your technology systems. Consider what you will do if equipment is damaged in transit. Plan for how you will handle scheduling delays and conflicts that could occur at the last minute. Determine whether or not overlapping services at the old office and new office make sense. Make sure you have a detailed list of all providers and personnel to contact in case of an issue.5) Include IT Costs and Contracts in Your Move Budget
As part of planning for your move, you should review IT contractual agreements and understand any early termination costs (especially in the telco area) as well as budget for overlapping services and equipment for at least 30 days. Determine whether or not office cabling costs are included as part of a tenant improvement allowance or if they must be included in your calculations. And don’t forget printers, faxes, copiers, and scanners – will you purchase new equipment for the new office or move what you already have in place?6) Think about Technology Strategy Changes
Just like a move from one home to another gives you the opportunity to get rid of things that are no longer useful, an office move is a great catalyst for technology changes such as moving certain processes to the cloud or changing copier suppliers and support. Ensure that any new technologies that you implement during this change are done prior to the move to minimize disruption.7) Allow Time for Testing
Make a list of everything that you will need to test once your equipment arrives and is set up in the new space. Plan for telecommunications testing to take place in advance of your move to ensure there are no surprises on moving day! Your testing checklist should include telephone numbers and locations, call forwarding from your old number (if applicable), every aspect of your phone system (from inbound and outbound calling to voice mail), data and applications access from the location, and incoming and outgoing emails. Make sure to have the right team members available to address or escalate any issues.
A successful, incident-free move is a great introduction for your employees to their new space.