Of all the seemingly endless tasks on the to-do list for your upcoming commercial move, relocating your technology may rank understandably high on the anxiety scale. IT systems can be fragile, require suitable electrical and networking support, and are made up of many parts that can be confusing to take down and put back together again. Here are four steps you can take to help you move your technology without feeling like you're moving mountains.
1. Make Sure the Destination Is "Tech Friendly"
Do you know what your new location's electrical and networking capabilities are? If not, you need to find out before you roll a large number of power-hungry servers and networked devices into the facility. Go over the schematics with your facilities manager and IT staff so you'll know whether any additional modifications need to be made or any special cable routing needs to be accounted for.
Historic buildings in commercial districts pose their own special problems. These sites may have successfully housed businesses for decades using old-fashioned systems such as knob-and-tube electrical wiring "insulated" by ancient, deteriorated materials. Make sure the electrical system has been properly brought up to date before you move in. If you're worried about knocking holes through historic walls, plan strategies for running your network cables through existing conduits or even under false ceilings and floors. This work should also be completed before moving day, with its inevitable obstacle course of boxes and crates.
2. Back Up Everything
The day before the big move needs to be your designated data backup day. Transfer every file and program to portable media, and you can feel secure in the knowledge that you've secured a comprehensive "snapshot" of your business's current state of data documentation. Even if you accidentally zap your server with an ungrounded spike of electricity upon re-installation, you'll be ready to reinstall that data and resume business as usual in your new commercial home.
The weeks before the move are actually a good time to think about how much of your company data you really want to keep at your facility, as opposed to moving it to a secure off-site server. Not only will your data already be ready to access from this remote server the moment you arrive at your new location, but the ability to put some of your function "in the cloud" might mean you can grant some of your employees the ability to telecommute. This transition might let you get away with moving fewer workstations, peripherals and accessories.
3. Let the IT Department Do the Organizing
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to lump the packing of IT equipment in with other packing tasks. Your typical rank-and-file worker may not have the first clue as to how to reassemble all those bits and pieces he unplugged from his workstation; multiply that headache by the number of employees in your organization, and your IT team will be spending the next month just trying to get everyone productive again. Let most of your employees assume responsibility for their own personal office items, but reserve the technical side of the move for your IT people, under the supervision of a senior IT staff member.
Instruct your IT team to label each and every item in detail, whether they know what it is and where it goes or not. Multiple small items such as peripherals can be dropped into a bag, with the bag labeled according to the user's name or the old location's room number. Before the actual move, have your team put up signs with the old location's room numbers in their corresponding new spaces.
4. Choose Your Moving Insurance With Care
Transporting expensive, delicate technical devices is obviously a more anxiety-laden task than just moving storage boxes filled with miscellaneous office supplies. No matter how carefully your commercial moving service stacks the cargo or how expertly they drive, you need to know that the cost of replacing those devices is covered in case of an unforeseen catastrophe.
Moving companies generally offer varying levels of insurance coverage, and the cost-conscious entrepreneur may be tempted to select the lowest total price offered -- but this is usually a mistake, especially where high-tech systems and components are concerned. The basic level of insurance may be totally free of charge, but it covers your equipment to the tune of 60 cents per pound. Considering how lightweight some premium-price laptops are these days, this level of coverage is definitely not sufficient. The next level of insurance covers replacement costs minus depreciation, another potential stumbling block for computer gear. Spend what you must on Extra Care Protection, which covers the entire replacement cost at the items' full value.
You'll have enough to get used to at your new base of operations without suffering from IT nightmares as well. Make these important preparations and you'll enjoy an easier move -- without losing any of your essential technological capability in the process!
For more information and options, talk with a commercial moving services in your area, such as Father & Son Moving & Storage.