Office moves are one of the most consistently overlooked undertakings of all business operations.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been speaking with a client when they mention, in passing and ever-so-nonchalantly, that their organization is moving spaces. Sometimes, the move is set to take place within the month.
In these situations, the good news is that time and repetition have made me rather adept at keeping my jaw from brushing the carpet.
The bad news is that for services as basic as Internet, your ISP typically needs at least 60 days’ notice.
Even if you get your Internet connection squared away, imagine settling into your new space, only to find that none of the existing cabling (and therefore none of your computers) works. And, even if the cabling works, what if it simply cannot be configured the way you’d like without significant (and expensive) alterations?
I’m sure you can see my point here—there are tons of intricate details to consider before, during, and after you move to ensure that your new site will be up and running in accordance with your specific business needs.
That said, you should get your IT team involved in your move as soon as the thought even crosses your mind. To get a little more concrete about it, you should ideally give your provider no less than 4-6 months to plan and execute the project.
As you move through the planning process, here are a few things that absolutely need to happen in order for your move to be as successful as possible:
1) Walk the new space with your IT team.
What you’re looking at while you tour a space is far different from what your provider is taking in. Where are outlets and jacks located? What sort of power source fuels the server room? Is it temperature-controlled?
2) Get a project plan from them.
An office move is a project, and it needs to be treated as carefully and methodically as any other project would. Your provider needs to write out each aspect of the move and who will be responsible for it. Will your IT team physically break down and move your machines? Will you need to pull in a separate vendor for cabling or electric work? Who will coordinate each party’s efforts?
3) Keep them informed.
Your provider can’t adapt to changes if they don’t know about them. You need to maintain a steady stream of communication throughout the whole project, especially if any changes are made to the actual move-in date. Late notice almost always translates into higher cost (not to mention higher stress levels!).
Your data is what makes you money, and your technology is what hosts your data. With the right leadership and guidance, transplanting your network is not a Herculean task by any means.
But, if not approached with diligence and proper preparation, you could be in for a few more than twelve labors in the aftermath.