Eliminating IT Downtime During Your Office Move
Posted on September 16, 2016
There’s no room for downtime in the always-on economy. If like us, your business is hinged on delivering uninterrupted service, an office move can be a complex project to navigate.
Vocus has helped thousands’s of businesses connect to high-speed IT services in their new offices. We know the common hurdles that businesses face that lead to unplanned IT and service downtime.
Read on to learn the key things to plan for throughout the move, when every minute offline means lost revenue.
1. Assess Cabling, Ports + Power Early
Cabling and power issues tend to cause unnecessary headaches in the moving process.
If you are refitting the premises, your commercial designer should be factoring in these requirements during the early planning stages.
With the proliferation of devices, not only do you need to ensure enough ports and power for computers, printers, and hardware – but portable devices such as smartphones and tablets, too. Two network points per staff number is now considered the bare minimum.
And when it comes to power outlets, more is always better.
Carefully planning your cable management and power capacity will help to future-proof your business. Be generous when it comes to connectivity – it’s better to have more, than not enough, especially on move day.
2. Give your Service Providers Ample Notice
One of the most common issues businesses face during an office move is the amount of notice needed to relocate their internet and telephone services. Most telephone providers will need to be notified a minimum of three months in advance to ensure you’re up and running on day one.
Many businesses discover this when it’s too late – making for a very stressful lead-up to the move. Internet providers can also require up to three months’ notice.
As a heads up, Vocus can deliver business internet services within 20 to 40 days in our fibre connected buildings.
3. Create an IT Inventory + Migration Plan
Take the time to assess your setup and take an inventory of your current equipment before the relocation. This will ensure you have a clear idea of what needs to be moved, and what needs to stay.
The IT Inventory is a master list of all equipment. It should categorise equipment by type, detailing which workstation and staff member each item is allocated to.
During a move, this document can extend in to a migration planning document, indicating which workstation the item needs to be moved to. With a clear overview of all property, you will be able to check off items as they arrive at the new space – ensuring no equipment disappears in to the abyss, leaving staff offline on their first day.
4. Be Realistic About Resourcing
Office moves always tend to present unwelcome curveballs. From move in to business as usual, it’s difficult to predict how long certain tasks will take to complete. Be realistic about the size of your IT and support team, versus the amount of equipment that needs to be reconnected.
If your IT team doesn’t have the scale to support the move within your time frame, you will need to resource help from elsewhere in the business, or consider outsourcing IT setup services.
5. Stage the Move
If your business has multiple teams or departments that are business critical, we recommend staggering your move across two days, or separate weekends.
When we consolidated a number of our offices in early 2016, we needed to ensure that all of our service desks were operational throughout the move – there is no margin for these services to go offline. Instead of shifting everything at once, we phased our move across separate days, ensuring zero disruption to our customers.
6. Get Your Network Up Before the Move
If you haven’t moved office before, it can be confusing to determine which items should be moved over first. Setup and test your servers and network BEFORE move day. We recommend having these sorted a week in advance. Also test all wireless access and LAN points before you commence load in. From here, you can begin moving in and assembling the furniture, followed by workstation setup.
7. Test, Test, Test
One of the simplest ways to avoid unnecessary downtime throughout your move is to test the space before the wider team is relocated. This is something we like to call ‘user acceptance testing’ – simply sending one or two people from each department to test the area and ensure everything is sound for move in. From connectivity to health and safety compliance, this process will give you the heads up on any issues that need to be tackled, minimising last minute hassles on the day.
There will always be unforeseen challenges during an office relocation – it’s the nature of the project. Even so, the thread linking the above solutions is careful planning. With enough of it, your business will push through the move without a minute of slowdown.