Regardless if your IT department is small or you are using a Managed IT Provider, it is critical that you plan every detail of your IT relocation well in advance. Relocating IT when your organisation decides to move to a new office space can be both stressful and exciting. With any relocation project comes a few setbacks and unanticipated surprises. However, if you leave plenty of time to organise a detailed plan, you can avoid unexpected events.
The IT infrastructure checklist we have provided here will help you to organise your transition and keep everything moving forward in an effective and secure manner. Careful planning can save you time, headaches, and money while ensuring satisfaction in colleagues, customers, and staff.
Top Tips For Securing New IT Space.
You will need to work with senior management when it’s time to secure the new office location and IT space. Here are a few things to consider:
What is your IT relocation project budget?
Trying to relocate IT without a handle on your budget can easily result in disaster. Regardless if you are using a Managed IT Provider or your internal IT department, understanding your budget will enable you to communicate effectively with the rest of your organisation and help senior managers understand the financial impact of IT relocation.
Invest the time to get quotes for everything that applies to your infrastructure such as:
IT equipment and cabling relocation fees
Determine costs for occupancy including energy, maintenance, service charges, etc.
Costs of any new IT equipment
Cost for equipment and installation of telephone communications
Costs for design and fit outs
Cost for website updates, email re-routing, etc.
Cost of any new software, upgrades, and installation
Cost of energy performance, cooling systems or any required ‘green’ regulations
Cost of cabling or hardware purchase and installation
Disposal costs of old technology
Costs for additional security during the move
Costs for fail-safe provisions or any changes
Environmental assessments costs (if applicable)
Costs of fire plan assessment
Temporary storage costs during the move
Cost of Internet service options
Upgrade costs of your new space
Cost of required square footage and server room space
Dilapidation costs for the old space if required in the lease
Costs for air conditioning, heating and ventilation
Costs associated with compliance
Costs for future expansion plans
Any miscellaneous IT costs related to your specific industry.
Once you get quotes for everything, organise a new budget to accurately plan for the move.
As senior management assesses the proposed building for relocation, take a close look at the IT facilities.
Cooling, heating, and ventilation system – Does it require an upgrade?
Are the facilities old and in need of repairs and upgrades?
Does the facility provide flexibility for future modifications or expansion?
What components are new, used, or missing altogether?
How functional is the lighting?
Has the IT space been rated as energy efficient?
How secure is the facility in terms of doors, windows, security systems, etc.?
Does the new IT space conform to fire and safety regulations?
Are there any asbestos hazards?
What about IT risk assessment and electrical?
How much work will be required to install cabling, floor boxes, and data points?
Will there be any added costs of moving in equipment such as lack of elevators or lifts, etc.?
Should you hire an IT specialist to conduct the assessment with you?
What other things should you consider that pertain to your individual situation?
At this point, it also is a good idea to draw up any design plans based on the building and facility assessment.
It is helpful to have a consultation session to determine what experience will be necessary for the new space. This will require you to meet with IT staff to determine if all services (existing and new) will be covered by IT professionals with the necessary expertise and certification. You may also want to consider working with a Managed IT Solutions Provider with extensive experience in IT relocation.
Your IT staff and/or Managed IT Solutions Provider should have experience and/or certifications in the following areas (if applicable):
Hardware and software purchasing
Data backup and recovery
Disaster recovery planning
Network infrastructure and system setup
Cable installation including floor boxes and data points
PC, desktop, mobile device, printer and fax machine deployment in addition to other types of equipment
Email installation and configuration
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) security and technologies
Virtual Private Network setup and configuration
If you are working with an IT staff, determine their employment status and key skills. Is someone about to retire or relocate? How difficult will it be to replace the skillset?
The Network and Infrastructure Assessment Checklist.
If you are considering working with a Managed IT Solutions Provider, only your IT department, or both, it is imperative that you create a carefully planned IT infrastructure assessment. This will help to reduce the chances of costly setbacks, inadvertent surprises, or unnecessary downtime.
Creating an IT network and infrastructure checklist will also help you to compare service providers to determine which one will serve your IT needs the best. It will also ensure accuracy when determining Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and keep you up to date as technology changes. A one-time assessment will not suffice and should continue even after the move has been completed.
So, what should your network and infrastructure checklist include?
Financial data – Identify all operational costs for IT including other expenses that determine your TCO. This should include management, maintenance, overhead, and costs associated with amortization, depreciation, IT facilities and anything else that is applicable.
Performance – Determine what aspects of your infrastructure work well in addition to services that could work more efficiently. How could you improve in terms of flexibility and scalability to meet future initiatives? What technologies should you add to provide your organization with the competitive edge?
Outsourcing – Are you considering outsourcing to an IT Solutions Provider in whole or in part (hybrid)? If so, what will be needed to ensure a smooth transition?
Existing infrastructure – What do you already have in place that you plan to relocate? What will it take to integrate your system into a new environment?
Hardware and software – What do you already have in terms of third-party applications, storage, IT equipment, computing, and enterprise applications? What is the age of your legacy systems?
Power points – How many do you need and where should they be located?
Cabling – What type of cabling will be required based on future expansion and bandwidth requirements (i.e. Cat 5, Cat 6, Cat 7, etc.)? How many ports are necessary according to number of workstations?
Floor Boxes and Data Points – How many floor boxes and data points will you need? How many workstations will require power and data?
Wiring Closets – How many wiring closets will be necessary such as 1 per floor or every 10,000 square feet, etc.?
Printers and Faxes – How many printer and fax connections are required?
Servers – How many servers are required and what type of infrastructure is needed?
Backup Generator – Do you need a backup generator in the event of a power outage?
Governance – What are your current policies and procedures? In the new location, will they support effective decision making and the required levels of security? Are you going to be required to integrate new policies and procedures for BYOD and mobile devices? What other governance challenges do you face?
Data Protection – How do you plan to protect data during relocation? Do you need to make backup copies of all data systems including servers, firewalls, and other applications and store the copies during the move? How will you ensure a fast and efficient recovery of data in case something happens during the move?
Risk Management – How vulnerable is the data and physical facilities at the present? Will the current disaster recovery plan ensure fast and efficient business continuity. Is the plan adequate enough to meet compliance regulations?
Service and Support – What service and support will be required before, during and after the move? How will it be delivered?
Availability and Reliability– What internal issues will affect the availability and reliability of IT resources? Service quality issues have an impact on your staff maintaining a positive attitude during the move, as well as customers that depend upon interactivity for retention, loyalty and satisfaction.
IT Coordination and Management – Who is responsible to make sure everything involved with relocation works?
Benchmarks – What benchmarks do you currently have in place for accurate evaluation and diagnosis? What do you currently have and what is its effect on the business?
Telephony and Internet Connectivity.
It is also necessary to assess your communications requirements to ensure the appropriate infrastructure is implemented in your new office space.
Current Setup – What is your current setup? What improvements could be made? What are some of the pros and cons?
Existing Phone Lines or Replacements – Do you plan to migrate your existing phone lines or consider upgrades and replacements? What services, features, and availability will be required at the new location?
VoIP or PBX – Would an Internet-based calling system or PBX be better?
Current Phone Numbers – Will you be able to keep your current business phone numbers? If not, how will you get the word out regarding the new numbers (email, call forwarding, etc.)?
Services– What types of calling services do you need (i.e. voicemail, call forwarding, call blocking, conference calling, etc.)?
Telephony Provider – Will you need to shop around for a new telephony provider as well as compare packages and service contracts?
Lines – How many telephone lines will be required?
Videoconferencing – What types of technology will be needed to implement videoconferencing?
Data Circuits and Telephone Lines – What is required in terms of cancelling your current location and moving the service to a new location?
Ordering – If applicable, how far in advance will you need to order telephone connections and handsets? How many handsets are required?
Internet Access – What type of Internet access and broadband speeds will be required for your new location?
Expansion – What type of growth within your organisation is predicted for the next 3 to 5 years? What will it take to prepare for the expansion?
Pre-Office Move IT Checklist.
Once the new IT and office space has been procured and you have carefully planned for the move, it is time to delegate and set deadlines for the completion of all IT-related tasks. This includes but is not limited to the following:
Notify your Internet Service Provider at least 90 days prior to the move (some require a longer notice period so check the small print!)
Provide the specialist who is decommissioning and reinstalling the hardware with a long lead time to prevent having to rush installation at the last minute
Collaborate with IT specialists to determine testing times
Designate someone to oversee the packing process
Place someone in charge of discarding any unnecessary clutter
Donate any unwanted IT to a charitable organisation. If it is too old, make arrangements for recycling
Discard old files and shred any documents with sensitive information. Scan any documents that do not require a hard copy
Designate someone to work with the removal company
If applicable, have someone set up multiple recycling areas
If necessary, contact a high-rise management service to work with any building complexities at the new site
Schedule a visit to your new site with IT specialist to go over wireless, cabling, and server room needs
Identify exact locations for workstations, printers, servers, and other necessary hardware
Work with your telephony provider to identify telecom locations
Schedule workstation and cabling installation
Schedule IT moving resources
Schedule move dates that help you avoid unnecessary downtime such as after business hours
Schedule dedicated HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) and power, security system, and locks
Set up the appropriate security for both the old and new sites to avoid losing items during the move
Designate someone to be readily available to assist with last minute issues or glitches
Onsite Work Tasks.
Schedule time to work on the new site in preparation for the move. Some of the tasks may include:
Capture photos of onsite work for each phase to identify any problems.
Separate and recycle any waste being removed during the upgrade.
Consider environmental and IT compliance.
Look into disposing of hazardous materials and the proper procedure.
Investigate how to make your fit-out carbon neutral and discuss carbon emissions with your fit-out contractor.
Set up weekly IT meetings on the new site.
Collaborate with your project manager to track progress.
Set up a sign-off process in the event of any changes or modifications.
Once everything is lined up, it is time to revert to the Project Plan to examine circuits, network infrastructure, wireless connectivity, and telephony system. Perform tests and upgrades as needed and make sure everything is working properly.
Some of the steps may include:
Setting up or modifying any new hardware, workstations, or printers
Upgrade any software as needed
Make sure all cabling and connectivity hardware is complete, tested, and in working order
Test all printers
If necessary, complete any build out work
Test all workstations, security applications and software, telephony systems and handsets, VoIP systems, and other hardware
Once everyone is settled in, request feedback from the staff on the communications and IT infrastructure. This will help you to act quickly on any improvements in the technology equipment the staff depends on to run daily business operations and tasks.
Any problems with the IT infrastructure at the onset can result in downtime that can have negative consequences on your business both financially and from the operation standpoint. Hopefully the checklists we have provided in this article will help you to plan a low risk and successful transition to your new location.
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