Whether you’re moving to a new office across town or just switching floors in your current building, relocating your IT infrastructure proves an enormous task. From safely packing and handling hardware to mitigating the risk of data loss en route, there’s a lot to consider to ensure business continuity before you unplug and make the move.
To help your IT migration go as smoothly as possible, here’s a checklist for you to follow - covering the whole process from start to finish.
Plan Your Relocation
Relocating your IT infrastructure can be a very complex and long process, with a large number of staff involved in everything from hardware transport to networking and server admin. An essential part of making sure the moving process runs smoothly, therefore, is adequate planning.
Whether you’re moving a team of 10 or 200, leave plenty of time before the relocation to begin your planning; visit the new location to scout out the space and its facilities, contact service providers to talk about moving your contracts over to a new address, and make sure you’ll have enough staff on hand on the day to help. Though following a plan should prevent any problems from occurring on your move, it can’t hurt to have a disaster recovery plan in place should the unimaginable happen.
Protect and Backup Data
While proper storage and handling of hardware might seem like the most risky part of relocating your IT systems, proper data protection is just as important. Whether through hardware being broken or misplaced, it’s possible that your business’s data could get lost on the move, so it’s important to keep several backup copies.
Having a complete backup of your data is important for ensuring business continuity - making sure that you can get your system up and running again as quickly as possible when you’re in your new location. With that in mind, transport the backup copies of your data to your new office separately from your server infrastructure just in case something does happen on the way.
Assess Your Equipment
Packing up and reassembling your hardware is the perfect opportunity to assess the equipment you have, what you may need in the future, and what needs replacing from your current inventory.
Make sure you dispose of and replace any old and outdated equipment, think ahead and buy in any equipment that you think you’ll need in the near future, and see what sort of equipment you’ll need to fit in with your new office’s requirements. If you’re moving because your business is expanding and you’re buying more equipment, it’s a good idea to think about how many cables and plugs you’ll need and what sort of additional networking gear you’ll need too.
Even though you’ve backed up your data and have a disaster recovery plan in place, it’s important to make sure every care is taken to have your existing and new hardware reach their destination in one piece.
If you’re not comfortable moving your expensive IT equipment yourself, hire professionals seasoned in completing delicate jobs - they’ll usually have the right equipment and insurance for the task. To make the job easier for you, consider labelling all wiring before you disconnect your systems to make setup quicker at the other end, and give instructions to all of your organisation’s users to ensure they leave their equipment in a fit state for transport.
Setup and Test Your System
On the day of the move, you’ll need as many people ready help as possible - the moving team, your IT support staff and ideally someone from your networking or service provider.
Provided you’ve planned correctly and backed everything up, the process should go pretty smoothly with minimal disruption to your business. Before considering the job done though, check that everything works correctly - your phone system, networking, emails, and website. Allow a short period after the move for mistakes to crop up that you may have overlooked, and ask for feedback from users to make sure that everything is now working as expected.
Following our checklist you’ll be on course of a seamless transition from your current IT office to your new one - with the right amount of planning, data security and expertise to keep your business running smoothly.