Flexible contract? Check. Good location? Check. Decent coffee machine? Check.
These are all great benefits but did you ask the right questions about the serviced office IT systems and security that they will be providing for you?
Serviced offices continue to grow in popularity, providing a fixed price, flexible workspace to small and growing businesses. The rise of ‘hybrid working’ post pandemic has further fuelled this.
One benefit of using a serviced office is that they typically provide you with a managed network including internet and usually both wired and wireless networks. This keeps the capital expenses down. But how secure are serviced office IT networks and how suitable are they for your requirements?
Every business is different, as is the quality of the IT offering from different serviced office providers.
With the sharp rise in demand for serviced offices over the last decade, new locations are constantly popping up. All too often do we find serviced office providers cutting corners with IT or failing to get the right advice.
We have seen some truly shocking things like the absence of a dedicated hardware firewall, end of life network equipment, unmanaged WIFI networks, no segregation of network traffic between tenants (e.g. through VLANs), firmware upgrades not being applied to network equipment and insufficient internet bandwidth with extremely expensive options to upgrade.
Some of the important questions your IT team or consultant should be asking before you sign the contract
- What IT systems will you be providing to me? Internet? Wired data points? Wireless internet?
- Is it possible for me to install my own network, and are there are charges for rack space to do so? Can I install my own WIFI access points?
- What are the options and pricing for the internet that you will provide? Is it possible to have our own dedicated public IP address should we need it?
- How are the different tenant networks separated?
- How often do you apply firmware upgrades to your firewalls, switches and WIFI access points?
- Can you provide an overview/map of the building network?
- Is the network perimeter protected by a boundary firewall? What is the make/model of the firewall? Does the firewall feature an intrusion prevention system?
- Do you only use network equipment that is still supported by the manufacturer, with active security subscriptions in place to cover updates and use of any relevant security features?
You must have your IT team or consultant carry out proper due diligence before you sign the lease agreement. Contact us for a FREE copy of our Serviced Office Provider IT Risk Assessment Template.