By Riaan Lombard - 9 July 2021
You are allowed to say that you are downscaling. Reducing the size of your business might be the best decision you made in saving your business. We thought it to be a good idea to give you some insights from an IT perspective on “what to keep” for possible future use, and what to donate or let go of to be used by someone else.
The cables can stay - When downscaling on office space, one of the first actions taken is locking the door on the second floor, or clipping the east wing. The question now is what to do with the cable infrastructure that connected printers, wireless access points, biometric readers, projectors, telephones, and the smart TV in the boardroom. Our advice is to leave it in place. The reason for this is that removing the cables for future use might do more harm than good. Network cables are made up of thin copper wires (8 of them) which can take some hammering, but cannot survive a set of plyers tugging on them to get them released from a stubborn overfilled conduit. You will also need to remove the network connector at the ends of the cable which renders them useless until re-crimped.
Cabinets are movable - Network cabinets are movable assets. We suggest that you keep them in storage for future expansion. A word of caution here is to calculate the cost of moving the cabinet and storing it to the price of a new cabinet. Current economic times makes it increasingly difficult to estimate when you will expand again, but if you have the facilities to store the cabinet at little to no cost, it is a good idea to keep it. If storage cost outweighs the price of a new one, you might be better off selling it to a startup company looking for a well looked after second hand cabinet.
Trunking, network t-boxes, and brackets - At the risk of tearing or breaking trunking in an attempt to remove it from the wall or floor, it is better to leave it in place. There is no second hand market for trunking as it is often cut to a specific size to cater for a specific office layout. These plastic housings are relatively inexpensive to replace should you be able to expand your office space in future. As for network t-boxes (outlet in the skirting where the network cable connects), these can be left in place too. Although a bit more expensive than trunking, t-boxes are easily damaged when removing cables from them. It is also best practice to install new t-boxes when installing network infrastructure. When looking at brackets, access point, television, and projector brackets are good items to keep. TV brackets are usually universal and can be replaced if lost, but access point and projector brackets are device and brand specific. Keep them.
Anything with a serial number - Switches, routers, access points, projectors, televisions, printers and computers are all usable assets. We do not recommend storing these assets for an extended time period as they will lose value fast. Use them, or sell them. The market for second hand computers are strong. Just make sure that you keep POPIA in mind when disposing of those assets as it might cost you dearly if data is leaked in selling these items.
Connect with us - You are welcome to reach out to us should you need some advice on your specific downscaling needs. We have assisted several companies in making their smaller office space their new safe space while focussing on keeping their businesses running without interruption. Send us your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.