5 Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Office IT Relocation Service
A crucial part of most organizational moves is the relocation of office IT infrastructure. Virtually every department within a modern organization interacts with the technology stack on a daily basis, and any downtime can lead to critical losses that in many cases can’t be recovered. According to Gartner the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute, which equates to more than $300,000 per hour. While those figures are most likely based on larger companies, the research demonstrates the importance of IT uptime, regardless of company size.
Stakeholders should seek the assistance of an office IT relocation service when planning a move. Nothing is more crucial to smooth continuous operations during a transition to new facilities, than a seamless migration of the IT infrastructure. IT relocation services specialize in the migration of critical systems while minimizing downtime. However, before hiring an office IT relocation service, it’s imperative that the organization gets answers to these 5 important questions.
1. Is the current IT stack documented?
Before hiring a relocation service, it’s important to have thorough documentation of the existing IT infrastructure in order to understand what needs to be moved. A service can help with documenting everything, but there is absolutely no substitute for this kind of preparation. An organization can’t function efficiently without a documented tech stack, and this never becomes more apparent than when the time comes to move it.
Documentation should include all software and hardware, servers, storage, and networking equipment as well as any VOIP or telecommunications services or other technology the organization employs. The CTO, CIO and IT Management roles are often critical at this stage, as they are uniquely positioned within an organization to identify and specify all IT elements that need to be part of the relocation. There are many techniques for documenting complex office IT infrastructure to include networks, servers, applications, data centers, cabling, etc., and having this documentation in place strengthens the planning for the relocation.
2. Is there any legacy IT that should be upgraded or changed during the transition?
For older organizations, this can’t be stressed enough. Even before the relocation vendor review process can begin, it’s a good idea to have a clear understanding of the technology that is already deprecated or on the way out.
According to CompTIA, 73% of medium-sized organizations cite technology as a primary factor in pursuing their business objectives. Thus, using software or systems that are no longer supported by vendors can be a huge detriment to operational efficiency. If any part of the tech stack is out-of-date, an office IT relocation project can be the ideal time to replace it, as continuing to rely on unsupported tools can threaten future success.
Management should take the time to identify any portion of the organization’s technology that is out-of-date and consider upgrading or making the switch to more modern solutions such as the Cloud. The office IT relocation service can advise on the best way to handle these transitions if they know what is required in advance.
3. How will data integrity be protected?
Perhaps the most important aspect of IT relocation is maintaining data integrity. When data is stored on servers, on shared drives, and on multiple computers, the potential of a loss in data integrity increases exponentially. The relocation service provider needs to have a plan to safeguard data throughout the entire process. The ideal result of a relocation would be a carefully planned transition from old to new data sources such that there is no loss to data integrity, whether it be financial transactions, marketing data, communications, or business intelligence. The right IT relocation service will have a solution to this challenge.
4. Do the new facilities meet all organizational IT requirements?
Depending on the complexity of the technology stack and the nature of the relocation, it may not be readily apparent whether the new facilities will support all of the necessary IT infrastructure onsite. Determining this involves close consultation with the relevant stakeholders, including the CIO, CTO, and IT support personnel, and it should include prospective office IT relocation vendors as well. Their feedback will provide a clear picture of any potential challenges to a smooth migration. Determining constraints early on will allow the organization and its relocation vendor to rectify them before they become a problem.
5. What is the timeline for relocation?
It might seem logical to ask this question first, but the truth is that no real timeline for office IT relocation can be trusted until all of the above questions are answered first. Small and medium-sized organizations often overlook these critical points during periods of rapid growth, and it haunts them afterward. But once answered, an informed decision about the timeline for the overall migration to new facilities can be made with much greater accuracy.
When an organization contracts with an office IT relocation service, it’s important to communicate not only the target transition date but other key information as well. This should include the location of critical servers and data, all software needed on the different machines, the number and location of workstations, telecommunications requirements and functionality, and any third-party service provider integrations that may be disrupted by a move.
It’s worth noting that half of all small and medium-sized businesses work with third-party solutions providers either frequently or somewhat regularly. By asking and answering the above questions before selecting an office IT relocation service, the probability of a successful migration rises substantially.
Outsource IT can help with that transition. We’ve completed successful IT relocation projects for small, medium, and even larger businesses. Click here to find out more.