People tend to take a day, or even a week, off work when they move home. Staying with friends for an evening, ordering takeaways, having important possessions locked up in storage – ‘normal service’ is very much interrupted. They say there is nothing more stressful than moving home. Tell that to the poor souls given the challenge of relocating an entire organisation’s IT infrastructure, without any interruption of service whatsoever.
Relocations are rites of passage for IT leaders where skills are stretched and comfort zones vacated. Successful IT relocations are major achievements, but there are disasters too. Here are three steps to ensuring your IT relocation runs smoothly:
1) Resource it properly
It would be great to think that all IT leaders get plenty of notice before a relocation happens, but it doesn’t always work out that way. You need to do the best you can with a deadline you can’t shift. That means starting planning as soon as possible and having the right group of internal colleagues and external specialists around you. This team will need to deliver:
- A full audit of current IT assets including computing, layer 2/3 networking and connectivity infrastructure and how they are used. This goes right down to the desktop level.
- A complete assessment of the readiness of the new premises in order to plan how the space will be used and where IT infrastructure will go.
- Project management skills to create a detailed project plan for moving day to ensure no downtime.
- Sufficient numbers of properly trained IT relocation professionals to tag, pack and physically lift and shift all your IT equipment.
- Availability of appropriate insurance coverage and specialist moving equipment (for IT equipment) to protect against accidental damage.
- Ongoing post-relocation support.
2) Leverage the cloud
Organisations are using more data and becoming more digitally-driven. Those that relocate premises typically do so because they need more space. This combination of factors makes cloud migration extremely relevant. Businesses can use their relocation event as a significant opportunity to develop private or hybrid cloud strategies that increase performance, agility and reliability while ensuring best value.
The nature of the relocation may also require interim measures to host physical and virtual infrastructure in a secure, optimised datacentre environment while IT facilities are being commissioned at the new premises. As well as alleviating pressure from the relocation process, this can provide the platform for a long-term cloud migration that is fully aligned with business objectives and future-proofed to take advantage of new technology. Needless to say, a high-quality SLA backed up by a 27/4/365 proactive NOC helpdesk is essential.
Luminet has 100% core network uptime and a 100% last mile SLA which underpins internet scale private multi-cloud. Leveraging our unique assets to quickly connect to over 450 cloud providers delivers greater security, operational flexibility, performance and value.
3) Don’t leave it to the wayleaves
Even a well-planned IT relocation project risks unravelling when uncertainty is created by connectivity service providers. One of the biggest issues here is wayleaves; the legal permissions given by property owners to allow connectivity infrastructure built or extended. Without connectivity in place, any amount of elegantly relocated IT infrastructure is more or less useless. Hence, wayleaves present significant business risk, and add to the grey hairs of IT leaders.
Jonathan Whan is Senior Technology Solutions Manager at W2O Group in London, and last year had not one but two office relocations to merge into a new site within the space of three months. After a year of planning, Jonathan encountered the dreaded wayleave delays when trying to install fibre with a national telco provider. “Wayleaves were a big factor,” he says. “Everything else around the move was running smoothly but getting the Ethernet into that building was troublesome. We ended up cancelling the order and getting a 40Mbps Fibre-Air service from Luminet instead. That got us into the building in two weeks.” See Jonathan’s story here.
IT relocations don’t have to be a stressful experience when you remove uncertainties and have the right resources around you. Relocations are also a great opportunity to wipe the slate clean of any legacy infrastructure that is holding your organisation back from exploiting future-proofed private or hybrid cloud strategies. Start planning for success today…