Ensuring IT Continuity During A Physical Office Move

A Handy Checklist For IT Considerations

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Steven Lerner

Companies move their headquarters all of the time. Whether the relocation is just down the street or to a different state, it is important that senior IT leaders execute a perfectly organized plan during a physical office move so that business disruptions are limited.

There are many reasons why a company relocates, including the cost of real estate, market access, and opportunities for growth. A physical move of an organization is complicated, even without the IT considerations. Most organizations plan for the physical move, but they sometimes neglect the information move, which is all of the technology within the company. When an enterprise fails to plan for IT infrastructure during relocation, there could be prolonged service interruptions that prohibit employees from working. This begs the question: How long can your enterprise afford to be offline?

Case Study: San Francisco District Attorney’s Office

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office is currently undergoing a major physical office move. It is part of a plan to relocate city departments out of San Francisco’s Hall of Justice. According to the San Francisco Examiner, multi-million dollar leases have already been approved to facilitate the move. Herman Brown, the CIO of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, said that the move could occur by late February 2019.

The reason for the move is because of the state of the dilapidated Hall of Justice. In addition to some safety hazards and outdated cabling in the decades-old building, there were multiple raw sewage leaks from the city jail, located in the same building, which flooded both work spaces and the server room. The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department attributed the sewage problem from inmates storing things in toilets.

The physical move also presents an opportunity for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office to go paperless. Historically, documents were printed and sent to other departments in the same building, such as the police and the courts. After the relocation, those other departments will be in separate buildings, and this necessitates a need for the digitization of documents. Brown said that his team is currently reviewing the challenges of digitizing paperwork internally, including the automation of the process and the appropriate legal rules regarding electronic signatures.

Tips For A Smooth Relocation

Organizations should consider numerous factors when moving IT infrastructure to a new office, especially with servers. Transporting a server room requires a detailed moving strategy that goes beyond just unplugging servers, shoving them onto a truck, and then reconnecting them later. It is critical to work with a moving partner who is experienced, bonded, and insured to handle sensitive technology.

For the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, Brown said that the current plan is to transport the servers over a weekend so that the downtime for the staff is minimized. While working for another company, Brown said that he experienced a relocation effort that included the system being down for an entire week. Consequently, Brown would like this move to be as smooth as possible — for both the organization and the workers — without interrupting service. During the relocation, Brown is also planning to have the WiFi installed in the new office before the employees arrive so that they are not burdened.

Before relocating, use this handy checklist for important IT considerations:

  • Check download/upload internet speeds to see if they meet your requirements.
  • Conduct a review to see if the relocation is an opportunity to consider migrating to the cloud.
  • Review cabling and network configuration.
  • Research options for internet connectivity and internet providers.
  • Select a partner for moving physical IT infrastructure.
  • Install and test all power and communication in the new location, including WiFi.
  • Update the IP address.