6 Tips for Moving Your IT Infrastructure When Relocating Office

It’s almost always a good thing when a business outgrows its premises and needs to relocate to a larger space. However, without careful forward planning it can easily become a major logistical headache.

After sourcing new premises, scheduling a professional removals company, notifying your staff and clients of your upcoming move, preparations should begin for moving your IT infrastructure at least 6 months in advance of moving.

Here are 6 things to think about before embarking on a relocation of your IT infrastructure.

  1. Time to re-evaluate IT strategy

Relocating the business can provide a chance to look at things with a fresh pair of eyes. It’s worth using this opportunity to analyse your existing overall IT strategy and assess how it ties into overall business growth.

What opportunities exist for the automation of operations? What bleeding edge technologies are you likely to implement over the coming few years? Can your existing IT infrastructure support future business growth?

These are all relevant questions and are worth considering before making a move.

  1. Do you know what you’re moving?

Different businesses are at various levels of development and organisation in terms of their IT department. It could be just one overworked IT manager keeping track of the business’ IT assets on a spreadsheet – or a fully-fledged IT department using asset management software to make sure they know which assets are deployed and where.

In either scenario, it’s crucial to make sure you know which assets you have across the business so that you can plan, prioritise and, crucially, make sure nothing gets lost in transit!

It’s also a good time to look at existing hardware – once you have completed your inventory, you can perform an audit to see what should be discarded, kept or upgraded.

  1. What could go wrong?

Unforeseen IT issues following a relocation can incur significant and unexpected costs to the business due to downtime and the inability to work at full capacity. It’s also important to make sure the move is communicated clearly to external stakeholders so they’re aware that there is going to be an interruption in their usual service delivery.

It’s also worth putting plans in place to cater for issues once the move is complete since it’s possible you’ll experience challenges with internet and Wi-Fi connectivity, building layout and other infrastructural pitfalls.

For these reasons, it’s important to plan carefully and take these issues into account from the outset of the project, before the physical relocation takes place. Make sure that equipment placement planning is complete and that you know exactly what is going to go where.

  1. Do I need specialist help?

As is the case in many situations, the most efficient thing to do in terms of cost, time, and risk is to outsource the process to a specialist relocation consultant who will manage the move for you from start to finish.

Having a dedicated expert to manage to the logistical complication and foresee common problems can be a great help.

  1. Network and equipment capability

A relocation is an opportunity for you to assess how well your current network and hardware infrastructure has been working – there are lots of questions to evaluate, including:

  • Could a new network design be more efficient for the business?
  • How well is our phone system working? Would it be worthwhile upgrading? Should we look at a VoIP solution?
  • Should fibreoptic internet be installed?
  • Is this an opportunity to upgrade hardware and equipment?
  1. In-house server vs. cloud hosting

After you have planned out the move and communicated the plan across the business, it’s also worth considering whether relocation is an opportunity to upgrade data storage and access.

There are benefits to both in-house servers and cloud storage – as well as to combining the two solutions.

Cloud servers are scalable, cost-effective, flexible and protect your data from physical on-site damage. However, users are at the mercy of connectivity, and the servers are potentially vulnerable to third party breaches.

Keeping your server on site enables you to keep physical control over your server and ensures that you keep your data in-house – which is a key consideration given the increasing levels of personal data protection regulation in Europe and the US. Users are not as reliant on connectivity, and data can be accessed even without an internet connection. However in-house servers require an up-front capital investment as well as rack space or a server room.

It’s often the case that a hybrid solution combining virtual servers with cloud hosting can provide more of the benefits while assuaging many of the risks of both.

This list will help to provide you with a high-level guide to your IT infrastructure relocation – however each business and each relocation project is different and provides different challenges to overcome. It’s often the case, especially for bigger moves that it’s simpler – and far less stressful – to let a specialist handle the logistics.

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