How to Plan for IT Needs at Your New Office or Building
Why you should involve your IT team early in your new location plans.
Making the decision to relocate or expand your business or organization can be a very challenging (and rewarding) experience. The need to relocate or grow often comes at a time when your business is quickly transforming. There are so many “moving parts” that it can be quite hard to track and efficiently execute all the requirements that come with your changing business.
More often than not, the IT needs of your new company location or expansion project quickly take a backseat or are completely forgotten. This is a costly error. Not involving your IT team early on will likely cause delays in your ability to run your business in the new location as well as logistical mistakes that could have easily been avoided.
One of the most common oversights during a construction, remodel or relocation project is that “IT is always the last to know” yet the basic and critical functionalities of your business are reliant on your hardware, internet & business applications. Leadership rarely includes your internal or outsourced technology department in operations meetings where they discuss the needs for a new space. If an organization is touring new buildings with architechs, property managers, or commercial realtors, the IT team is rarely on the calendar invite.
As a result of this oversight, IT professionals rarely have the opportunity to identify shortfalls in the building’s (or construction site’s) ability to meet the IT needs of the organization. These considerations vary based on what phase your construction phase is in, or if you are renting a space rather than building one. To get an idea of when and how to include your IT team in your relocation or expansion project, consider the following:
Availability of internet and phone services
It sounds simple, but oftentimes, companies forget to check on the availability of internet and phone services. This takes planning and coordination or else your business can be down for days or weeks. Even though it’s 2021, sometimes underground internet cabling has to be installed or upgraded for speed or connection strength and therefore the functionality of your company is at the mercy of big internet providers. Your internal or outsourced IT team can take this off your plate and make sure that your are up and running in a timely manner.
Pro Tip: Plan early for conference room wiring
Will your new space have conference rooms? The unfortunate fact is, almost no one considers the wiring requirements of their conference room until they are ordering new furniture. By then
, the buildout is past the proper window of opportunity and the new conference room is now cluttered with visible patch cables running all over the room rather than the polished, professional and function meeting space you intended.
Gauge the overall health of existing infrastructure
If you’re remodeling a space or moving to an existing building, it is important to understand how well the existing technology has been maintained and how much attention will be required to get things functioning optimally. When checking out the new space, it can be easy to overlook the mundane aspects such as cabling, a successful WiFi structure, networking properly. is your critical business hardware needs to be in a space that is secure, yet accessible and well ventilated? One of the most common mistakes is putting your most critical business systems in an inaccessible, dark and poorly ventilated area which is a recipe for disaster.
Testing the health and labeling is the only way you can rely on existing network outlets in offices, copier areas, reception desks and work areas is to confirm that they can still pass data traffic without issue.
Bring it all together.
Unless you plan to use all of a new building’s existing office spaces, cubicles, and layouts, you will probably need new network cabling in remodeled areas. Your IT team will be able to devise a WiFi mapping for optimal, seamless coverage through walls, floors and over large areas. Connecting your construction and operations team with your IT team is a great step to connecting all the dots and ensuring that the transition to your new space is painless.
Introducing IT early to your planning process saves costs and cuts down on stress.
By being proactive, involving IT early in the planning process, unearthing hidden infrastructure costs, and introducing IT needs into design and costing activities, your entire new building project will be more informed and less frustrating. For new construction: you won’t find yourself with a finished structure, and unfinished network infrastructure. For remodels and rental arrangements: your organization will possess far more bargaining chips when discussing the true move-in costs of a structure, and may be able to get certain costs covered by the current building owner.
At 4QuartersIT, we are glad to help your organization plan for your move. Attending your internal planning meetings, meeting with contractors and vendor management are just a few of the ways we can help. Contact us today!