How to Avoid IT Downtime When Moving to a New Office

Moving is stressful, but it can be exciting too.

Moves are typically a landmark in the life of small businesses. It usually means the company is growing to the point where it needs more space to house additional employees.


So while you are busy packing up office furniture and taking posters off the wall, make sure to remember technology. Downtime during a move can be costly for a business looking for a fresh start. Follow these tips and you’ll avoid IT downtime when moving and start off in your new office on a high note.

Think outsourcing: If you aren’t already outsourcing your IT to a provider, moving presents a good time to think about that. An outsourced IT provider can not only help you stay connected during your move — they’ve likely helped dozens of companies with similar type switches — they can make sure your office is equipped with the latest in technology to help your business.

Go to the cloud: If during your move preparation, you realize some of your technology needs to be replaced, think about moving to a cloud solution. This is less disruptive than moving existing equipment because it doesn’t require any downtime during the move and your staff can move into a fully functioning office.  This is also a great time to consider options for moving services to the cloud and doing away with aging servers.

Be wired. Make sure you place network and phone jacks in every location you can foresee placing an employee in the future.  It’s much easier to go all out now than it is to augment your wiring later after the construction is complete. Even if you don’t have an employee for that spot now, you likely will in the future. You’re moving to a bigger space for a reason, so get ready to use it!

Develop a contingency plan. Of course your move is going to go smoothly, but let’s just say it doesn’t. IT can be a tricky beast and things can go wrong. Plan for that. Build contingency plans into your move. Can key staff members function from home if need be?  Do you need to allow for an overlap in occupancy from your old office to your new office? Think of everything that can go wrong and then provide an answer for it before it happens.

Migrate the IT on a weekend. This one is pretty obvious, but still needs to be said. If you turn off the technology at the old office, make sure it’s at a non-important time like late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Yes, this means working on a weekend, but it also can help avoid precious downtime during the workday. Doing the transition on a Friday or Saturday at least provides a little time to troubleshoot issues before people come back to work. If you can do this over a holiday weekend, all the more better. No one said IT was glamorous.

Give it time. Moving your office network is like performing major surgery on your IT, so give your business time to recover.  Allow your IT team time to assess how the network is functioning once the move is complete, and take into account that your employees will need time to adjust to their new surroundings. Also, give yourself time to make the move. Usually three months in the standard, but if you think that you’ll need more time - take it.

Eliminating downtime during a move is important and is more about preparation than the actual move itself. You have to be ready for everything, because trouble can and will happen. If you are organized and prepared, though, you can make the move a seamless one.



About The Author

President of NSI, Tom has been helping small and medium businesses succeed in Connecticut for over 25 years.