Setting up your IT Systems : A Guide for New Companies

There are many things to consider when setting up your new office and getting your IT component just right is one of them. This guide is designed to help you navigate through the process and ensure that nothing is omitted.

By evantage Technology

Published 2 October 2014

 

Setting up an office can be daunting. Setting up a new office in a new country more daunting still. There are so many considerations: finding the right premises, hiring staff, finding new and trustworthy suppliers and getting the necessary legal work done – to name a few. One key component is getting the IT setup in your new office right. This brief guide is designed to help you with  just that; allowing you to successfully navigate through that process and make sure nothing is forgotten that could potentially jeopardise your new office setup project.

 

The first key decision is to determine how much of the IT project work you wish to take on yourself. Many companies elect to outsource the work and use a “turnkey” IT services provider that can manage all aspects of the IT fit-out – this has considerable advantages particularly if this is your first office setup in an overseas location. A turnkey IT provider will likely have extensive experience getting work done in Singapore and will have an established network of reliable suppliers to work with. Your provider should also have experience and contacts for critical processes such as broadband and telephony applications – and in many cases will be able to get these applications processed faster than if you had approached telcos and vendors direct. 

 

If you do decide to engage a vendor to assist you with your IT setup, consider utilizing a formal framework to conduct your vendor assessments, and focus on evaluating potential vendors based on your specific requirements - rather than their expertise. 

 

Your new office will of course require IT equipment. Some companies elect to ship key components from their headquarters, whilst others are happy to source all the necessary items from the local market. For the latter, a local IT provider can help source all the hardware and software you may need. Note that lead times can be much longer as compared to the US and Europe and this must be factored into your planning, with some items taking up to six weeks from order to delivery.

 

Once your new setup is complete you will need to consider the ongoing maintenance and support of your users and your infrastructure. If you are providing this support in-house, be sure to consider the size of the team that is required, and make sure that there is coverage when key resources are out of the office due to sickness or on holiday. Consider too how and by whom these resources will be managed, and ensure that suitable career development opportunities exist for your IT staff so that retention does not become an issue. Outsourcing your daily IT support needs for your new office to a local partner is one option that is popular with many branch offices. Finally, be sure that your existing IT organisation considers how to adequately manage your new branch office IT infrastructure. For example, existing group-wide IT policies will need to be managed and enforced locally as they are done in your headquarters.

 

Will your branch office require remote access to your existing systems that are hosted in your headquarters? If so, ensure adequate performance testing of your business critical applications is completed in good time to ensure your systems are usable.

 

Finally, have you considered how the staff in your new branch office will effectively communicate and collaborate with their overseas counterparts? Are the necessary systems already in place in your organization? Ensuring your teams work seamlessly across geographical divides may be critical to the overall success of your overseas expansion.

 

New Office IT Checklist

 

Communications:

  • PBX / Telephone solution
  • Cellular telephony and associated plans
  • Internet connection(s), Leased Lines,,ISDN
  • Fax machine
  • Answering machine/service
  • Cordless headsets
  • Speakerphones
  • Video Conferencing

 

Computing and Peripherals:

  • Desktops/Laptops
  • Monitors and monitor stands
  • Printers / copiers
  • Software licensing
  • Website (local hosting, language and localization, contact information update)

 

Audio / Visual:

  • TV and set-top box for TV reception
  • Projectors and screens

 

Server Room:

  • Networking, server and storage equipment
  • Backup solution
  • Uninterruptable Power Supply
  • Cooling
  • Fire Suppression
  • Environmental monitoring

 

Other:

  • Network cabling
  • Wireless Access Points
  • Door entry /door phone system
  • CCTV solution
COMMENT
VIEW COMMENT
 
BACK TO TOP