Avoiding stress and downtime when you move office

Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2014

It’s strange how you can wait ages for one office IT relocation project to come along and then 5 suddenly arrive at once. Since Christmas, the phone has not stopped ringing here at Mustard with requests for help in moving office IT systems.

We’ve been speaking to a variety of organisations wishing to relocate to larger premises or open satellite offices where networks and phone systems need to be connected up to their main site. So if 2013 was the year that UK businesses kept a tight grip on the purse strings waiting to see proof of the economic recovery we have heard so much about, it seems 2014 might just be the year they decide to push ahead with projects that have been sitting on the shelf for too long.

Mustard has managed dozens of office moves over the years and, although business owners tend to approach these projects with a sense of dread, our experience shows that interruption to business operations and system downtime can be easily avoided if some basic rules are adhered to. Here are our top 5 tips on moving your office IT.

Top 5 tips when moving office IT systems

  1. Start planning your move at least 3 months in advance

A bit like moving house, relocating an office – including the furniture, the filing systems, your IT equipment and telephony systems – can be stressful experience. The pressure will only be made worse by over ambitious deadlines, so begin planning your move as early as possible.

  1. Ask an expert to conduct a site survey

This is where Mustard comes in. At the very least you need to ensure your new location has the capacity to run the systems which need to go live on day one. But this is also the ideal time to review future growth requirements. Does the building have structured cabling? Has it been tested and are there sufficient outlets to accommodate both your IT equipment and telephone extensions? Mustard will perform a detailed site survey taking in power requirements, the potential need for air-conditioning and many other factors.

  1. Appoint a single point of contact

In our experience, appointing one nominated individual or a small dedicated team to plan and co-ordinate the move, increases your chances of success. After completing the initial site survey Mustard can produce a ‘moving plan’ and project manage the entire move liaising with all contractors and removal companies to ensure everything runs like clockwork.

  1. Allow 90 days for all new connections

Don’t be caught out by lead times on phone lines and internet services. New connections can take a month or two to set up depending on the services you are going for. Lease lines and fibre connections are particularly prone to delays with your location and the type of building you wish to occupy being a major factor. Our advice is to place orders with suppliers at least 90 days prior to your anticipated move date.

  1. Relocate out of hours

If avoiding lengthy periods of downtime is high on your agenda, you’ll need to perform the bulk of your relocation out of hours. Mustard is willing to work early, late and all through the weekend if necessary, but you will also need to provide some key members of staff to oversee the relocation of your systems and test key applications as systems become live.