How the Cloud can help your upcoming office move
Relocations, in any aspect of life, are a stressful undertaking and even with careful preparation and planning they cost time, money and energy. When it comes to moving offices, a lot has to be taken into consideration; furniture needs to be moved or replaced, important documents and files are to be shifted securely and valuable assets have to be relocated without being damaged, all whilst keeping the business up and running and enabling employees to continue working as best as possible.
One major headache for businesses is removing their existing IT infrastructure including PCs and servers and rebuilding it at the new location as quickly as possible in order to not disrupt ongoing business too much. Many companies merely shift their old system from one office to the other when in fact they could not only move offices but also move their IT to the cloud, resulting in various business benefits and a smoother, easier relocation.
5 reasons why an office move is the perfect time to go cloud
Your traditional IT hardware may be due for a refresh
Many experts say that the average life of a PC is 5 years, however nowadays hardware usually needs to be replaced every 3-4 years due to maintenance costs and outdated operating systems. Before going to the trouble of moving old, outdated equipment over to a new office, businesses should take a look at their current IT setup and assess what could be improved.
An office move is a perfect opportunity to break out of the IT refresh cycle for good; companies can change over to the cloud mid-move, discarding old IT hardware and servers and adopting new, economically friendly Thin Client devices. Ultimately, all that is needed at the new office is an internet connection and internet enabled devices, as data storage and backups as well as operating systems, applications and emails are managed and updated by the cloud provider.
Moving hardware whilst enabling employees to continue working
Traditionally, relocating would involve moving a lot of the existing hardware to the new location, causing the loss of valuable office time and work productivity. In addition, careful planning is required to securely relocate heavy servers hosting critical company data and delicate screens and PCs. Once moved, the entire IT infrastructure will have to be rebuilt in the new location which, depending on the size of the business, can be a very time consuming task and employees might not be able to work at all until everything is set up.
By adopting a hosted desktop cloud solution, companies can overcome these challenges in various ways. First, on-site servers become redundant which means that no servers have to be moved over to the new property (and, in the long run, don’t need to be refreshed). Furthermore, chunky old PCs can be replaced by energy and space saving Thin Client devices which are a fraction of the size of a traditional PC. All that is required at the new office is an internet connection and internet enabled devices so the set-up is not only painless, but employees can also access their data and applications from any location using their own devices, meaning that they could flexibly work from home or an alternative location whilst the move is taking place, ensuring business continuity.
Transferring critical data and ensuring disaster recovery during the move
Traditional IT systems tend to offer limited security and disaster recovery and it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep these systems up-to-date and secure. When it comes to moving offices, ensuring that all servers on which critical data is stored are relocated in a safe manner can be a daunting task. Furthermore, backing up data in case a server gets lost or breaks on the move can be an additional worry, especially if back-ups are not performed on a regular basis.
Cloud solutions by the right provider can remove this risk for businesses as all data is stored and backed up regularly in secure, ISO 27001 certified data centres. This way, no on-site servers are needed which removes the risk of data loss and theft during the move as no critical company data is stored on IT hardware in the office; should devices break or get lost during relocating, no data is compromised and exposed. What’s more, IT security is taken care of constantly with frequent updates being performed by the provider to ensure a secure IT infrastructure at all times.
Having your it network planned and set up by someone who knows what they are doing
Many businesses which are already considering adopting the cloud plan to do so AFTER moving office – what many don’t realise is that it is much more efficient to take this step during the move itself. For example, here at Atlas we are happy to take over organising and setting up internet and telephone connections as well as moving/exchanging existing hardware and making sure the IT infrastructure is up and running at the new office when it’s time to move in. This takes away a lot of stress for a business – especially when there is no IT expertise available – and enables the company to focus on business continuity instead.
Remaining competitive and using it as an enabler for future business development
In general, an office move is a great time to reflect on existing structures and assess whether they will suit the business in the years to come. Business owners should ask themselves whether their IT setup is enabling the company to remain competitive in the long run rather than restricting it.
Cloud computing offers the possibility for businesses to build and define a unique, productive company culture. It allows them to embrace new ways of working such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and remote working and offers increased flexibility and mobility to employees, attracting young talent along the way. Furthermore, companies can react to business change quickly thanks to the scalability of the cloud, improve collaboration and reduce office space and energy costs, amongst many other benefits.