In today’s business environment, IT asset relocation is more than moving computers and servers. Moving apps and data have become equally if not more important than moving hardware. IT asset relocation is a necessity in any growing business; moving to a new data center, or moving some services to the cloud. IT asset relocation takes different forms. Anticipating and understanding the challenges of IT asset relocation helps avoid common pitfalls and makes the process more successful.
What is IT Asset Relocation?
IT asset relocation is moving information technology resources to a different physical or digital platform or environment. IT resources cover everything that a business needs for its IT operations and processes to run. Hardware includes computers, servers, peripherals and supporting equipment like power backups. Software includes both locally hosted and cloud hosted apps. The last element is data, which is the foundation of business decisions and operations.
There are different ways of IT asset relocation:
Physical to Physical Relocation
Physical IT asset relocation happens when a business moves hardware from one space to another. The most common form is moving from one data center to another. A business may feel the need for physical IT asset relocation for several reasons.
- To take advantage of lower operating costs e.g., in a lower tax jurisdiction
- To take advantage of better resources, e.g., technical expertise, or more stable power
- To implement hardware upgrades that require larger physical space
Physical to cloud Relocation
This type of IT asset relocation happens in many businesses as they seek the advantages of the cloud platform, including:
- Flexibility in operations from anywhere in the world
- Reduced costs in hardware purchases and maintenance
- Higher redundancy to ensure smooth operations
- Reduced cost of IT staff
A hybrid relocation is which a business moves some assets to the cloud while retaining others in the local space. This kind of relation usually happens when a business wants to achieve better cost-efficiency in some areas, for example, customer service, while retaining control of more critical operations.
What Are the Challenges in IT Asset Relocation?
IT relocation services recognise that any kind of IT asset relocation comes with certain challenges that a business must understand and put mitigation measures in place. They include:
Loss of IT Assets
IT assets are at the risk of becoming misplaced or totally lost during relocation. The most common is loss of hardware items like drives or keyboards. This risk can be mitigated by careful inventorying.
Data loss is a more serious risk because of unauthorized access to the lost data. It carries serious risks of data breaches affecting both client and business data. Loss of private data can expose a business to lawsuits if negligence in data security is proven. A business also suffers damage to brand reputation when a data breach happens.
Loss of data can cause a complete failure in the relocation effort. There will be nothing to process, analyze or make reference. Loss of customer data, for example, can cripple operations in customer service and sales.
Engaging IT relocation services lowers the risks of losing IT assets in several ways. There is a clear chain of custody which can be followed in case any IT asset is lost. Professional relocation services also have the expertise and experience in handling the physical aspect of relocation. These tasks include inventorying, packing, unpacking and physically securing different assets.
Disposal of end-of-life equipment
What is to happen to equipment that is no longer useful? The first option is to repurpose it for other tasks if it is still having the required technical specifications. This option saves money and presents the least problems. The second option is to donate the equipment. The third option is to destroy the equipment.
Secure data destruction is a key concern when disposing of end-of-life equipment. Data stored in end-of-life equipment is at risk of unauthorized access with varying legal and financial consequences.
Software overwrite is the best method of data destruction on equipment for repurposing or donation. Data overwrites renders the data on the storage media unreadable without destroying the physical media.
Degaussing destroys data on magnetic data storage media, but renders the physical media unusable. Equipment holding high security data should be degaussed before physical data destruction. Shredding and crushing are the two commonly used physical data destruction methods.
The best mitigation for risks associated with end-of-life disposal is engaging professional data destruction services to handle this equipment. It ensures a proper job while saving on time.
The level of business disruption during IT asset relocation depends on the quality of the relocation plan. A good IT asset relocation plan lists all pitfalls that might happen at different stages of relocation and makes plans to eliminate or lower the impact of these risks.
Engaging IT relocation services when drafting an IT assets relocation plan gives it higher chances of success because of the professional input. It is the key to a smooth transition from one platform to another.