Thinking of moving office? Here’s the definitive IT relocation check list.
Moving office is hard work, I know this because we moved Everything Tech in the summer, finding offices that meet all your requirements is difficult, particularly in Manchester where Office space is being swallowed up as quickly as it becomes available. There’s a lot to think about, space, location, utilities and of course IT & Internet.
To help reduce the pain I’ve created a definitive list of things you need to think about from an IT and technology prospective.
Think about what you’re leaving behind.
Let’s assume you’ve found the perfect space and your looking forward to leaving the past behind there are a few things that might trip you up.
Are you out of contract with your Internet supplier, for anything other than the most basic of connections you’re going to be in contract, some suppliers will have you tied in for three of five years. It’s often not cheap to cancel or move your connection so you need to know where you’re up to. If you have a leased line with a couple of years left on the contract you could be in for an early termination charge of several thousand pounds.
Cabling & Infrastructure – If you’re leasing space and you’ve added cabling or containment over the years the landlord might want you to remove this or even update it, it can be a costly exercise.
If you’re office has a comms room or even just a cabinet it may have been built in place, all the cabling for your office will go back there so be aware you might need to leave it behind and buy a new one.
While you’re looking
When looking for the perfect location there are lots of aspects to consider.
We always try to encourage customers to let us get involved in their move process as early as possible for some very good reasons.
Probably the most important commodity / utility is your internet connection it’s vital to every business, you wouldn’t believe the amount of times I’ve been taken to see a customer’s swanky new office only to find the connectivity is poor or doesn’t exist. This is common for customers looking to work in rural areas, but I’ve also seen city centre building that lack good connectivity. In both cases it’s likely that you’re going to need to spend considerably more money getting good connectivity.
Phone signal –
Another vital aspect of communicating with customers and suppliers, if mobiles are a big thing for your business then consider takes phones from all the big networks to make sure they all work. Even if your current network is fine you don’t want to be restricted to moving mobile providers in the future if the right deal comes along.
What’s inside –
When you’re looking at potential Office’s the first thing to look at is the availability of structured cabling (the stuff you plug your network cables into). Does it look modern? You can generally tell if its clean and white and all the sockets look the same. Often, we find either no cabling at all or that it’s old and outdated. Network cabling can cost around £50 per socket so if you have twenty people you can often find yourself spending thousands.
Where will you put your IT equipment?
If you’re a larger organisation and you need space for servers and infrastructure you should look for a suitable room or a place to build one. If necessary it should be air conditioned, this can be a big problem if the building is listed or there are restrictions relating to locating the room on an outside wall.
Is it secure?
It’s not just the server room that needs to be sure, we once had a client that were subject to regular break ins they had to store all their computers away in a safe every evening meaning their staff had to finish 10 minutes early each day to pack away their equipment.
Where are the hidden costs?
While you’re moving and there’s going to be inevitable disruption you might want to think about other things that you can change at the same time, for example if you need new servers or computers your I T supplier could build these prior to the move and have everything all set up when you move in. If you do upgrade be prepared to pay to get rid of the old equipment.
Moving IT equipment –
If you’re using a removals company it’s likely they will charge extra to move IT equipment, they will often supply special IT crates.
Moving Copiers –
Your managed printer copier supplier will likely want to move their equipment themselves as you won’t be insured.
Speak to your insurance provider to see if you need any extra cover during the move.
IT Costs –
Your IT provider will likely want to charge you to help you get moved over and setup in the new space.
Moving could be the ideal time to look at changing your phone system, maybe look at new technologies like unified communications to see if they can improve communication. You need to think about how you keep your current numbers, we can port your fixed line numbers to the cloud for minimal cost, so you don’t have to communicate any changes with customers and suppliers.