Moving—even for the best of circumstances, like business growth—is among the most stressful events in life. A move or expansion can create a lot of tension for a small business. Lost productivity, disrupted routines and increased workloads all add to the stress — and risk — involved in moving operations to an expanded or new location. That’s why it's a good idea for growing organizations to consider partnering with service providers to take on part of the challenge.
Engaging service providers is hardly new in the IT arena. Companies large and small consistently rely on outside consultants, cloud providers and management services for all sorts of activities. In the case of an expansion or move, organizations can choose from numerous services. Among them:
Moving services: A service provider handles the logistics and labor of safely transitioning existing IT systems to new locations, including securing hardware for transport, labeling cables and equipment, and ensuring that all hardware is properly connected and functioning in the new location.
Cabling services: A partner conducts inspection, remediation and physical deployment of data and phone cable runs in the new space.
Telecom and aggregation services: A provider addresses the complexity of engaging and aligning multiple telecom and cloud vendors across different sites, while presenting a single point of interaction.
Consulting and design services: A third party provides IT experts who assess business needs and projected growth to shape server, network and client deployments that address current and future requirements.
Professional services: A partner takes over the configuration, setup and integration of new and existing IT assets in the transitioned environment, enabling IT staff members to stay focused on their roles as business drivers.
IT management services: A third party provides ongoing management of day-to-day IT operations and activities.
These services let organizations decide how they want to approach a move. For instance, if you are happy with your current operational model but need short-term help to get through the move, it makes sense to engage moving, cabling and perhaps professional services. This offloads the burden of the move from IT staff and ensures continuity of business.
On the other hand, you may approach a move as a chance to improve the IT environment. A move may offer opportunities to enhance security policies, for example, or implement virtualization to consolidate workloads onto fewer physical servers. But don’t try to do too much. As a rule, it's best to transition first and transform later. Once past the move, you can work with consulting and design services to address your IT infrastructure, while management services can support day-to-day IT operations.
A service-centric approach can be especially valuable for organizations that open numerous local offices or multiple retail locations. CDW Configuration Services, for instance, can create and configure "office in a box" reference solutions that consolidate IT infrastructure into a standardized, rack-mounted package. The consistent packaging and configuration sharply reduce both time to deployment and management overhead.
The ability to mix and match services is essential. It allows small organizations to leverage world-class expertise to ensure that their moves go smoothly, and in a way that reflects the priorities and requirements of the business.
For more on the technology upgrades small businesses should make when growing and expanding, check out, "Why Expanding Small Businesses Should Focus on IT Infrastructure Upgrades."