Are you bringing in new workstations? What about a new software suite, or a better database?
Bringing in new technology has historically been a challenge that requires planning, documentation, testing, and after-action feedback. Several things could go wrong on the technical side and the personal side, but proper preparation can iron out the most devastating side effects of new technology.
Keep these concepts in mind as you install, upgrade, or revolutionize your business tech infrastructure.
Beta Testing For Smoother Transitions
Measure twice, cut once. It's a standard saying in many lines of work, from carpentry and masonry to architectural design and engineering. Measuring what you need, creating what you need, and bringing in what you need means less waste.
For many people, bringing in technology means wasting a lot of time and money in hopes of something that makes it all worth it. Individuals struggle to set up their accounts, install and test programs, and migrate their files. Businesses displace their workers and lose productivity hours trying to figure out what to do on the spot.
Bringing in a professional can help, but do they know exactly what you need? A licensed technician can install, turn on, and operate the systems they're trained to handle, but understanding the unique quirks of your software and files can take a lot of explaining.
Beta testing is the process of trying out an experimental, incomplete, or preliminary version of products and services. While your old systems are still in place, build a test system, and bring it into your work environment. Test how well it works with the peace of mind that your old system is on standby.
For businesses with multiple employees, give one or two employees a new system, or designate a training system for everyone to test. For software, make sure that you have a backup of your original files that can be restored if the new software damages or incorrectly alters your information.
When the new system seems to function correctly--or better than the old systems--start moving everything out and adopt the new systems at your leisure.
Restack And Major System Moves
How much new equipment are you installing? Do you need to move out old equipment? Does anyone have to stop working during the change, and how long will the change affect business as usual?
Restacking--the act of bringing in new systems and moving out old systems--is a planned and well-organized way to upgrade your systems while losing as little time as possible. Technicians will uninstall and relocate old systems, then install the new systems.
Businesses with hundreds or thousands of people per location choose to restack entire departments or buildings by designating a specific time to move everything. Some moves will happen after hours, while businesses that operate at all hours--or areas where night operations aren't practical--will give their employees half days off as the move takes place.
If you move just a department at a time, your entire business won't grind to a halt. Especially for large companies, allowing some key, quick, and flexible workers to take care of their tasks until it's time for their row or department to move can be an even more efficient way to upgrade. Successful restack businesses know better; don't count on this unless your business specifically trains flexible technicians who know how to juggle their files between machines if something goes wrong.
A managed IT services team can help you set up the restack and create a better way to handle the transition. If your businesses use a virtual machine (VM) server or cloud computing services, you can use any generic laptop or tablet to connect to your virtual computers and perform tasks with as little interruption as possible.
Even if your business can't switch to virtualization right now, using managed IT services for emergency backups can help you save your data in case the migration doesn't go well, or if you change plans and need to work on temporary systems while designing a new system.
Contact us to discuss how we can help you prepare for your new technology.