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IT Move Checklist

Chris Dayby Chris Day @ Fully Managed™
Posted 4 years ago

Technology Strategy: IT Move Checklist

Part of being a Managed Services Provider is the responsibility of helping our clients to relocate offices, which happens fairly often as it turns out! We have some experience on this topic, and I thought I would share a quick list of tips / checklist on how to ensure that your move to new offices goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some things to think about as you round out your project plan:

Preparation

  • Movers - There are a wide array of different options available for moving companies, from "Full Serve" to "DIY" and everything in between.
  • Walk Through - Have your IT consultant walk through the existing space with you well in advance to identify any "red flags" before moving day.
  • Floor Plans - Have your IT consultant review the floor plans for the new space and determine any requirements - this will tie in many of the points below.
  • Managing the Operation - If you have a tight timeline on the move, often times the only way to mitigate risk/downtime is to have the existing & new facilities up and running at the same time. This typically results in additional expense to ensure that additional equipment is available and both locations are online at the same time.
  • Budget - A good general rule of thumb (as a starting point) is one hour of IT project management & services per employee. Of course, the complexity and scope of each move varies tremendously, so your budget could be significantly higher. Keep in mind that this does not include any services required to implement new technology (e.g. servers, networking, wireless, etc.). This is the time & effort required to keep all of the items below moving and on target.

Packing Up

  • Desktops - Will you be moving your desktops yourself or will the movers handle it? Most common is that the movers provide labels and plastic bags for accessories and each staff member "self packs".
  • Servers/Networking - Typically your IT group will want to pack up the servers and networking equipment for you, timing this with the movers' relocation to the new space.
  • Phone System - Who will be moving your phone system or will you be purchasing a new phone system? Typically, this is handled by your phone system provider although we can help catch issues in advance.

On Moving Day

  • Email - Do you have a plan to ensure access to email for the duration of your move?
  • Phones - What will you do with your phone system to ensure inbound calls are not lost?
  • Coordination - Have you nailed down the timing on an hour-by-hour basis? When will the disconnect and reconnect happen?

Network / Server Room

  • Physical Space - Where will your server(s) and networking equipment reside in the new space? Is there a dedicated room with adequate physical security?
  • Power - Have you considered the power requirements for your server room?
  • Cooling - How will the room maintain an appropriate operating temperature? Have you planned for dedicated air conditioning for the room?
  • Server Rack - Will you want to relocate your existing rack or purchase new? Often logistically it is much easier to purchase a new rack than try to move the existing one as they are very heavy and expensive to move.
  • Network Rack - If you have more than approximately 144 network ports, you should consider having a network rack to keep servers & networking equipment separate.
  • Cable Management - What would you like your server room to look like? An "F1 Garage" or a flea market? Now is your opportunity to invest in proper cable management, labeling, etc.

Servers & Networking

  • Servers & Virtualization - Have you considered any server upgrades as part of your move? When you are looking at significant infrastructure upgrades such as cooling & power, it makes sense to consider the question: Could we reduce the number of physical servers in our environment?
  • Internet - Will you be moving your existing Internet service to the new location or will you be looking at new options? Moving is a great time to assess the capacity and performance of your Internet line. Note: Often times providers are unable to provide service to the new location. Keep in mind that if you are with a larger telecommunications company often you may require 2-3 months or more of advanced notice.
  • Network Wiring - Have you considered all of the locations where you may need a computer, phone or printer in the future? We typically recommend placing at least 2 Cat5e cable runs per location. Remember to include wireless access points, TVs, A/V equipment and printers on your floor plan.
  • Wireless - Wireless is rapidly becoming a necessity versus a "nice to have". Have you considered providing ubiquitous coverage for your new location? Depending on the product selected and configuration of the space, a good rule of thumb is that you should plan for one wireless access point (WAP) per 2000 square feet.

Phones

  • Phone System - Who will be responsible for disconnecting and reconnecting the phone system? Is it time for a phone system upgrade? Typically this will be a specialized provider.
  • Connectivity - Have you coordinated to have your analog or digital lines moved across? This is probably one of the most problematic parts of a move. Give yourself lots of lead time and manage your phone providers very closely.

Workstations / Printers

  • Workstations - Have you marked on a floor plan exactly where existing computers will go as well as any new / additional systems? These will require dedicated network cabling and power.
  • Printers - Have you determined where you would like to place network printers? These will also require dedicated cabling and power.

Audio/Video

  • TVs - Have you considered any "smart TVs" for your new space? These are often a great option for providing real-time business intelligence, digital signage, etc.
  • Boardrooms / Meeting Rooms - If you would like to relocate an existing projector or boardroom configuration, or setup new, it is worth engaging in an AV specialist to coordinate and assist with this.

Security

  • Access Control & Video Surveillance - Have you considered getting access control (e.g. swipe cards) installed for your new location for enhanced security? This provides a key-less entry system and these systems have become fairly cost-effective. It is worth engaging an access control/security specialist to coordinate and assist with this, if desired.

Recycling

  • Old Equipment - Have you lined up an electronics recycling company to take away any old, retired equipment? It's a great idea to have them come by shortly after the move is complete.

Closing Thoughts

While an IT move project is a lot of work, it can be a lot of fun too. Typically, significant upgrades are taking place which will improve the way in which the business interacts with technology.  Take the time to thoughtfully plan out the move project from an IT perspective, and things will go just fine.


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