Outsourcing your data centre to a co-location facility offers greater efficiency, reliability, security and opens up new opportunities to connect with an ecosystem of other relevant service providers. If your business is looking to make the switch, it’s important to get the planning right to avoid unplanned downtime and unnecessary costs.

Minimise business disruption with this five-step guide to planning your move:

1. Evaluate business goals

Be clear on why you’re making the move to a co-location data centre. There are significant operational benefits, but ultimately outsourcing your data centre frees the business to focus on core strengths and long-term goals. Before you plan a data centre migration be clear about your broader challenges and objectives and how they’ll be supported by your outsourcing strategy. How will this change help you achieve those goals?

2. Identify risks

Migrations can be complex projects, even with detailed planning there will be unforeseen circumstances to deal with. Listing every potential risk, regardless of how big or small, gives you the opportunity to put plans in place. This might involve having temporary equipment on standby, shifting workflows elsewhere or deciding how you’ll manage unplanned downtime. You want the move to have minimal impact on customers and employees, so identify high-risk applications and crucial systems that need to be kept up and running. Clearly map out who needs to know about problems and your strategy for overcoming them.

3. Communicate with stakeholders

Determine how the move will affect customers, staff and any other stakeholders so you can communicate potential issues in advance. This gives them the opportunity to do their own planning and ensure they don’t encounter any surprises. When moving critical infrastructure and applications, it’s important that all relevant stakeholders are well-informed about the process, expected timeframes and contingency plans. You should also plan to get rapid support from suppliers, so they’re ready to go when you need them to swing into action.

4. Consider logistics

Moving internal infrastructure to a new data centre is a significant project, so be prepared for the logistics involved in making the move. This could mean ensuring equipment is packed properly to avoid damage or labelling it clearly to avoid confusion at the other end. Make sure you’re aware of the layout of the new data centre and find out if it offers any support services that will help you migrate i.e. does it provide space to test your equipment onsite? Or installation services to help move your infrastructure into the data hall?

5. Design for improvement

There’s no point shifting to an external data centre if everything is set up the same way. Decide on the improvements important to your IT strategy, be it reduced rack space or better interconnectivity. Re-architect your environment to achieve these goals, taking into consideration future capability and flexibility needed. This will help avoid future restructures as your business scales and diversifies.

Co-location delivers significant benefits, but it can be a challenging, high-risk project if not planned effectively. To ensure a successful move, plan in advance, from physically moving infrastructure to communicating with providers and customers. Using an IT service partner like Computer Merchants to offer support ensures a smooth and painless transition – whether it’s helping you to plan, move or assist with your installation to get you up and running, Computer Merchants are there from start to finish.

So, give Computer Merchants a no-obligation call on 1800 777 111 to hear more about how co-location can benefit your business.

Call: 1800 777 111