What IT-Aspects Are Important When Relocating Your Law Office?
Perhaps the space is not large enough for your expanding partnership. Maybe, it’s antiquated and no longer feels appropriate. Whatever reason an office chooses to move to a new building, relocating is a large undertaking. Unfortunately, in many offices, the IT-related aspects of the move are overlooked until the last minute. This can be disastrous.
Improper planning can result in lost data or broken equipment. It could cause interruptions in service. This might mean lost clients, which of course would equal lost money.
Fortunately, it is not difficult to do this right. It does, however, take adequate notice. This is often longer than one would anticipate. Usually, it requires at least 60 days. It also helps to have a good plan and consistently follow through. Here are a few other things to consider before relocating.
How Should an Office Plan for the Move?
The first step would be to determine who will act as the internal manager of the relocation. This should include someone on the staff who is familiar with the office. In a small business, he or she might coordinate the entire project alone.
For larger establishments, however, it would be wise to hire a professional Managed Services Provider. They are more experienced with delicate relocations and can help lead the internal manager in the process.
Generally, the first step is to inform all Internet and telecom providers of the coming move. It is often in the service agreement that they receive a certain amount of notice. This also ensures there will be no interruption in service.
When Is an IT Evaluation of the New Space Conducted?
Ideally, IT needs would be considered when initially choosing the location. This is not always realistic. In an office, there are many aspects to consider when selecting a new office space. A few of these include demographics of the area, accessibility, image, and the history of the site, etc. IT needs are often an important afterthought.
Typically, an evaluation of the new space will be conducted during the planning phase of the actual move. It would be done with or by the project manager or Managed Services Provider. If the office has one, the head of the IT department should be involved as well.
There are several things that should be evaluated to ensure the move goes as smoothly as possible. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Cabling for computers, telephones, and security cameras
- Power outlets of adequate number and in optimal locations
- Wireless networking capability
Each room should be checked. Any of the above that are subpar will need to be addressed. This would ideally occur before the move itself.
How Should an Inventory Be Done?
The IT needs of most offices are evolving. Before moving it all, it would be advisable to take an inventory and evaluate the existing equipment. Begin by determining what is no longer needed. It is better to responsibly recycle it than move it to the new location.
Next check the condition of each remaining piece of equipment. Make a list of anything that is worn or outdated. Decide how to dispose of them rather than pack them. Order replacements so there is no interruption once the move has been made.
As the business world continues to embrace IT, this is the perfect time to assess current trends. It is also a good idea to look to the future and ensure any new equipment purchased is flexible enough to adapt.
Make a hardcopy list of every piece of equipment being moved to the new office space.
Have Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans Been Developed?
Failure to have a Disaster Recovery Plan and a Business Continuity Plan in place before a move could, in fact, be devastating to your business. Further, it is an essential step to make several backups of everything important. This includes files, as well as data systems, security systems, and servers. Keep these separate and in a safe place during the move. If you’re already working with a managed IT services provider, they will take care of this for you. They can also handle much of the move as far as your IT infrastructure goes.
Lists should be made of the important information required for the successful implementation of the Business Continuity Plan. A few items to include are:
- Business priorities
- Inventory of all equipment
- Emergency contact information for IT vendors
- Plan for switching phone lines and internet connections
This improves the likelihood that the office will be able to resume business with as little delay as possible. If you have a good relationship with a managed IT service provider, they may be able to move your networking and computing equipment and get everything back up and running a day or so.
When it comes to the day of the move, everything should have already been planned. This ensures the smoothest transition. For offices that do not have an onsite IT team, hiring a professional IT-relocation company would be a good idea. The internal manager or Managed Services Provider would be responsible for making important decisions. With proper planning, the actual move to the new location should be much easier.