Opening a New Office: An IT Checklist

Organizing a move to a new office has a number of overlapping elements. Whether opening a new business or relocating to a new space, proper planning should be in place to limit the impact a move will have on the operational and financial components of your organization. Even businesses run from a home office can benefit from using our IT Checklist.

When opening a new office, a local IT Service Provider can be a valuable asset in coordinating the move. Delegating responsibilities to a provider that has a network of resources and have worked with other local vendors can reduce the complications and stress that sometimes occur while opening a new office space.

  • Define and Notify Key Parties. Compose a contact list of all parties involved with your current location and the space you will be moving into. This would include your company’s IT coordinator, landlords, equipment movers, phone and internet companies, and the IT Service Provider you have partnered with. Ensure all parties are aware of the scheduled move in date. When questions arise and schedules need to be coordinated, it will prove helpful to have an easily accessible list for everyone to refer to.
  • Know Your Budget. Determine the resources that need to be available for elements that go beyond the physical move. Know your IT budget vs. the telecommunications budget. Remember you may have to allocate resources to update your website, domain renewal and record management as well.   
  • Do Your Research. Before signing a lease, it is important to know what internet services are available at the location you are considering. It is better to determine beforehand what services cost and the speeds that are available at your new office location. Some locations may be able to take advantage of a fiber connection. With fiber being a high quality connection, companies can also put their phone lines on the same connection. If you combine the savings on phone and internet services, you may find fiber internet connection an attractive and affordable option.
  • Review the Floor Plan. It is preferable to have your IT service provider conduct an on-site survey of the office space. Reviewing the floor plan together can help determine if there are enough outlets available, the number of workstations and phone lines required and the setup location of hardware such as printers, faxes, scanners and photocopiers. If an onsite server room is required, is there adequate cooling and electrical elements in place?
  • Examine Your Hardware and Software Needs. Procurement of software licenses and hardware is something you need to evaluate for both your short and long term needs. Determine what business critical applications should to be procured, how many users will need these applications, and at what frequency they’ll likely need to be updated. A skilled IT Service Provider will be able to navigate the complex procurement and compliance process to ensure that you are running business quality equipment.
  • Cabling Requirements. While not every IT service provider may conduct the actual install of  your cabling, they likely have local contacts that they have worked with in the past. These kind of recommendations can be extremely valuable in ensuring proper installation and functioning of your infrastructure.
  • Determine your employee’s IT requirements. Determine the IT needs of your employees. Will a Wi-Fi connection be required? Determine how you will integrate a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) strategy. The strategy should address  how employees  will use their personal devices to conduct business. How many of your employees will need to work from remote locations–either their home office or from client’s location?
  • Protect your Data. Backing up your business data is always critical, but especially so during moving time. Ensure a full recovery is possible so you are prepared for worst case scenarios. Suppose your equipment is damaged or lost during the move, you will want your backups to be able recover all of your company’s important data.

The IT aspect of opening a new office or moving to a new office space can be complex. When handled appropriately your service interruptions can be limited which will save your company time and money, and more importantly keep your clients and staff happy.

(image via flickr)