You rarely if ever move your business and now is the time. It can be an exciting time and also a challenging time. You need a partner that knows what they’re doing. You need someone who understands a lot more than just computers and cabling. Your moving partner needs to understand your business needs, project management, logistics, communications, vendor management, and more.
Here are the 3 must-do action items you need to successfully move and setup your computers, network, server, printers and more. View our full IT Infrastructure Move Checklist here.
3 things you must do to prepare for any IT move
1. Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 2 of Stephen Covey's, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to "Begin with the end in mind." You might ask yourself, "What does successfully moving my IT infrastructure look like, and how will I get there?"
Some questions you can consider:
- When does it need to be complete?
- How much downtime can I tolerate? What is my move window?
- Who will pack and move everything?
- What new opportunities should I consider when moving?
- Cabling and wireless
- Secure and climate controlled server room/network closet
- Security (physical and IT infrastructure)
- New equipment
- Disaster recovery and business continuity
- Who are all the vendors and roles I need to involve and manage?
- IT service provider
- Internet and telephone service provider
- Printer service provider
- Alarm/security service provider
- General contractor for any build-outs or new construction
- Project manager
- Asset disposal
- Post-install testing
- How do I ensure everything is turned on and working properly so we can get back to work?
2. Pack with Care
What's plugged into what? Where does that cable go? Do I still need the old server?
Properly labeling your IT assets and documenting the exact physical and power configuration is essential to an efficient and accurate re-installation at your new office.
It's also a time when you can finally and properly dispose of that obsolete and unneeded IT gear. Securely destroying any data and selling or recycling your old technology is encouraged prior to the move.
3. Test, Test, and Test
You've unpacked everything, plugged it all in and powered everything up, and it's all working perfectly! You're ready for business! Or, are you? How will you know?
You'll need to test your business systems before you need them and ensure they're working as expected. Prior to moving, document your written test plan. Then after you've moved, execute your test plan so you can see what's working, what's not working, or not working as well as you'd like it to.
A well written and executed test plan will help ensure that the applications and systems you need are ready for business!
Constructing your test plan:
- List out all of your line of business applications and critical systems
- For each item, document the tests you need to complete to prove it's working. Here are some tests to consider and also add your own.
- Ability to logon to the network and into applications
- Printing reports
- Integration with other applications
- Integration with other systems
- Remote access
- Access to your shared network drives and documents
- Email access and flow
- For each item, have a place to indicate success/fail and any status notes.
Whether you're moving from Milwaukee to Waukesha, Cedarburg to Grafton, just across the street, or just up a few floors, you can successfully move your IT infrastructure, network, servers, and more.
One possibility for a successful move is that everything is ready to go when you need it. Understanding what must be accomplished, building your team, creating a sound plan with proper execution are your keys to success.
As you research, create, manage, and work your project plan; you'll have also created more detailed steps for who-does-what-by-when. If you aren't sure what some of these detailed steps might be, please download our free IT move checklist for a successful move including test plan worksheet.