Whether you’re moving from Bondi to Redfern or from state to state, office relocations are almost always stressful. Finding and inspecting new facilities, meeting with contractors, coordinating with your team and movers; are just some of the tasks that require careful planning and execution.
And then there’s technology.
If your company relies on IT in any capacity, everything from cabling to data management must be planned out in order to complete the move on time, stay within budget, and minimise downtime. So before moving to your new office space, make sure you’ve fully considered the following:
First of all, office relocation doesn’t guarantee the same or better internet connection than your current office. If high-speed internet is critical to your business, discuss your bandwidth requirements with the new internet provider. For instance, if you plan on running cloud-based applications, video conferencing systems, or data analytics software, you need at least 100Mbps to utilise these tools effectively.
When designing a wireless network, you also have to consider where access points should be installed and how many you need. Ideally, you want access points to be as close as possible to all your workstations and make sure they’re not behind thick walls to guarantee stable connections.
As for how many you’ll need, internet routers can adequately sustain around ten wireless devices at a time; so install enough to support all your computers and mobile devices.
Another thing to consider when moving to a new location is network security. Make sure you have enough space to protect your wireless networks with hardware-based intrusion prevention systems, firewalls, and advanced encryption systems to prevent unauthorised access. We suggest partnering with a professional managed security services provider to help in this area.
Outdated or improper cabling management can result in unstable connections, network failures, and even fines for failing to meet safety regulations. Prior to moving in, conduct a full assessment of the existing cabling to discern whether it can handle your business’s network activity.
If you do decide to replace the cables, you have several options:
- CAT5 cords deliver bandwidth of up to 100Mbps, and are suited for businesses with low network activity.
- CAT6 wiring offers superior internet speeds of up to 1,000Mbps, allowing you to run bandwidth-intensive applications and future-proof your network.
- Fibre optic cables are designed for transmitting data over long distances and are ideal for firms with an international presence.
It’s important that you not mix and match the wiring, as this tends to cause performance issues and management errors. You should also consider hiring expert technicians to avoid problems like over-bending, incorrectly terminated cables, and insufficient network jacks.
When moving to a new location, sticking with a traditional phone system is often not worth the time and expense. Most new locations require complex phone cabling, just so you can get by with outdated landlines and an entirely new set of phone numbers and contracts.
It’s much simpler and smarter to upgrade to an internet-based phone system, or VoIP. Hosted VoIP services can be accessed via the internet with any company-registered device; which means you don’t have to worry about complex phone cabling or additional equipment. This allows you to scale your phone systems easily, without incurring extra infrastructure costs.
Meanwhile, call forwarding lets you reroute incoming calls to your new VoIP phones or mobile devices without changing your office extension.
All you have to worry about with a VoIP system is ensuring that you have sufficient bandwidth and a stable internet connection to conduct calls and video conferences seamlessly.
One of the most time-consuming aspects of the relocation process is; physically transferring servers, software licenses, and data from one location to another. But if you migrate your operations to the cloud, a new location doesn’t require much physical infrastructure beyond an internet connection.
The cloud removes the need to install, power, and cool an in-house server room, and allows employees to access files, applications, and server resources from virtually anywhere with an internet-enabled device. Professionals are also watching your systems remotely; which means you will hardly experience any technical difficulties and downtime during your move.
Office relocation follows physically moving your IT hardware. Thus, exposes the devices to a different set of risks, including theft, damaged servers, and lost data. Before moving day, back up all your data and store it in the cloud for quick and easy access. Educate your staff about what your company has done to prepare for data loss and interruptions of service. If there are remote employees, they need to know how to go about it and keep constant communication during set-up.
Keep in mind that newly installed systems rarely work right out the gates and will need minor tweaks. It’s therefore important to take the time to test whether the cabling is optimal, the network is reliable, and web-based services are accessible.
When everything is indeed operational, call your service provider to finalise the office relocation.
If you need an expert to support you throughout all these considerations, call Empower IT today. From cabling to business continuity plans, we provide the services to ensure a smooth relocation.