Issue No. 114February 2022
Moving Offices? What Your IT Company Needs To Know
Many business changes necessitate the involvement of numerous stakeholders, from Accounting to Purchasing, Sales and Service; it is imperative that all the departments involved in a change be given a chance to weigh in. This is true of your company’s IT department as well, potentially moreso than most people would imagine. In the article below we will go into the important details you should relay to your IT provider (whether they’re in-house or outsourced) when moving offices, and why it is important to do so.
It can be difficult to think of a single aspect of day to day business that is not in some way effected by the IT department. This is because the IT department manages and maintains the critical infrastructure the rest of the business runs on. Since IT has become the base-layer for much of corporate life, it is extremely important that business decisions be relayed to IT in a timely fashion. One of the most important decisions of this type is the choice to move to a new office, or simply out of the office space you’re in currently. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically shifted the relationship that many of us have with physical workspace. This makes it even more important to involve your IT department in the decision to move out of your office space or transition to a fully remote environment. To go into the why behind this, let’s examine each of these options in turn, and how changes effect your IT department. In this article, we’ll look at moving into a new office space.
Moving into a new office is as stressful as moving to a new house. Just like moving into a new house, one of the things you have to consider are the utilities you’ll need at your new office space, and chief among these from the business’ perspective is your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Depending on how dramatic a shift in geographical region you’re making, the provider you use currently may not be available. This isn’t a catastrophic issue, but depending on your IT infrastructure configuration, a switch in ISPs can require a good deal of planning. This is because of the way that static IP addresses are handed out, and the difficulty or impossibility of moving them between different service providers. Static Public IP addresses can allow your business to have a presence on the internet, facilitate a VPN connection to your office, or allow your phone system to function properly, among other items. If these addresses were to change, much like your physical address, IT will need to plan on how to maintain the continuity of the services that depend on those addresses. This might mean making a change in how email flows, or how your corporate website reaches your web-server. As long as some notice is provided these types of changes just require planning. The less time your IT department has available, however, the most complicated it will become to maintain these critical services without some degree of downtime.
Now that you’ve sorted out what internet connectivity will look like at your new space, IT needs to make sure that the space itself can accommodate your needs. They will need to assess whether the space has a suitable room for on premises equipment. If your workstations and phone use ethernet to connect to your network, IT will also need to examine the structured cabling in your office space. Assuming that this cabling needs to be remediated in some way, IT will likely need to contact a cable vendor to come out and replace existing cabling, or install new. Coordinating this work is also important if you are going to have any tenant improvement done on the space. Cabling should be done before any painting occurs if possible, and in coordination with drywall installation depending on the level of construction being done. This is so that the cable installers have as much access as possible to the spaces they’ll need to be, and so that any finish work doesn’t need to be redone or touched up.
Now that the physical space has been setup to accommodate your company, IT will need to coordinate the move date itself. This will involve minimizing downtime as much as feasible, ensuring that equipment is handled properly, and arranging to have it all set back up at the new location. Typically, we recommend engaging with a moving company that specializes in office moves, as they will have the means to move critical infrastructure without damaging it.
As you can see, there are a number of moving parts that go into an Office relocation—and these are really just an overview. It is imperative that your IT department, whether in-house or outsourced, be given as much time to plan as you can allow them. This will ensure that your move to a new office space goes as smoothly as possible, and that you are able to maintain continuity of business operations throughout the process. Check back in with us next month as we delve into the considerations of moving out of your office space entirely and transitioning to a fully remote (or hybrid) working environment!