Top 5 IT Service Requirements Overlooked During Small Business Construction
Adding on to your business, adding a new location, or renovating your business can be both very exhilarating and challenging. There are so many things that go into construction. You'll have to answer thousands of questions before it's all done. One of the things we see often over looked is your IT Services. We've seen new construction that never considered where the server would be located, where the network would converge, or even where the network ports would be located. The business couldn't operate without these things, so they had to spend, often double the cost, to have these put in place. And what's worse is they have to put these things in places that are not ideal in the name of saving money. In one business we know of, they put the server and network convergence in a closet in the main hallway of the business where all of their clients had to pass. So, every time the IT Services company was on site, they were in the way of every client of the business. It wasn't ideal for the business, the business clients, or IT Services company.
In this article we will address the top 5 IT Service requirements that are often overlooked when adding on to your business, adding a new location, or renovating your business.
Metal Stud Construction
Metal stud construction is becoming a bigger part of the overall construction market. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, but it can often require wood backing where you want to mount heavy items on the wall. Many of today's business mount TV's and other display's on the wall. In normal wood construction they can be mounted by tying into the wood, but in metal stud construction that's not possible. So, the construction company will add wood backing in places where you intend to mount these kinds of items. It's important in your planning that you understand where these things will be mounted and be sure that your contractor put in the proper backing. Where you plan on having your server and network convergence is an important place to have this wood backing. Your IT Services company, phone company, internet services company will all need a place to mount their equipment. What we see most of the time is someone will mount a 4' X 8' sheet of plywood on the outside of the wall to hold all of this equipment.
Wireless Access Points
Most businesses these days want and require WiFi access in their business. In the planning phase you should decide where you should have your access points located. Each access point location will need a network wire ran to it. We recommend that you have a conduit ran all the way to that location with a network wire ran through it. You will also want to have power ran to the location. There is the idea of running power over the network connection, but carefully consider the costs. The network device that can send power over the network often costs much more than one without. And, you will have to pay the premium every time your replace your network equipment. We're definitely not opposed to this situation, we just want you to be aware. There are situations where you definitely need and want power over your network connection. If you can't get a conduit ran to the location, then we recommend that you have two network cables ran to the location. The added cost of running two cables instead of one is negligible. The two cables are pulled at the same time so all you should be paying extra for is costs of the extra cable and end points.
Server and Network Convergence Location
Your phone, internet services, cable company, and others need a space for their equipment. In the past, you could put these things in attics and basements without air conditioning or heating and not have many problems. Things have changed. Many things now require power and have electronic devices that require a protected environment to work properly with longevity. This is often the best place to have your server and network convergence, but not always. If you have a very big building and your phone and internet services are brought into the back of the building and the majority of your computers and offices are in the front of the building, then you may want to put your server and network convergence at the front of the building. The location should be somewhere that is out of the way of you, your operation, and your clients. When the IT Services company comes on site they should be able to do their work without causing problems in your business. We've seen businesses who didn't take this into account in their new construction, who wound up with their server and network convergence in a closet in the CFO's office. So, every time their IT Service company came on site, the CFO was affected.
In the old days you ran different cables for phone and network. Today, the same wire should be ran for both. All the the network and phone wires should connected to a patch panel. The patch panel and all the ports should be marked so you know which patch panel port goes to with port in your building. From there a wire can be ran to either the phone system or network device to allow the port to be phone or network. All of network cabling companies should run the wires into a patch panel by default, but not all electrician services companies and IT Services companies do this by default. Also be sure that whoever you have run the cables will certify the cables are working properly. You definitely want things done this way. It keeps things much tidier, easier to work with, and easier to manage. If you had conduit run to all the locations, then you are even able to replace the network cable easily when faster cable becomes available.
Never Run One Network Cable To Any One Spot
It never seems to fail. Wherever someone has run only one network cable, they suddenly need two or even more. It's at this point that many mistakes are made. The proper thing to do at this point is pay the money and have the cable ran through the wall and connected directly to your patch panel. It would have been much cheaper to originally run two cables. The cost is negligible for running two cables as opposed to one. Running two cables should cost you nearly the same as running one cable, the labor is basically the same, so all you should have to do is pay for the extra cable, network ports, and Patch Panel ports. If your cable running company wants to charge you double, then its time to find another cable running company.
We hope that this article helps you avoid some of the commonly overlooked IT Services items when a business goes through the process of renovation, new additions, and new locations. We recommend that you get your IT Services involved very early in the project. Depending on the IT Equipment involved there could be some space requirements that should be understood. Plan, plan, plan. The more you put into your planning, the fewer issues and unnecessary costs will be involved.
We are BKUPGEEK. We have experience with helping businesses go through this process. We can help you avoid many of the pitfalls associated with your IT Services and business construction. Picking the right equipment, placing the Wireless Access Points in the proper locations, and managing the install of the phone and internet services are all things we have experience with. Put out experience to work for you. Still have questions? Chat with us NOW!