Plan Your Microsoft SharePoint Migration

So, you’ve decided to migrate to SharePoint Online? That’s great! In our previous blog, we talked about how M365 subscribers can get started with SharePoint and the advantages of migrating to a platform like SharePoint. SharePoint Online is a powerful collaboration platform with the capability to fill any collaboration gaps in your organization. Migrating to SharePoint solves difficulties involved in effort-intensive activities like decision-making, collaboration, file sharing, and planning. One misstep in planning can lead to unpleasant challenges and additional costs over time. To make sure things go right for your SharePoint Migration, here is what we have put together for you as a series of steps/checkpoints to take care of during your migration process.

1. Know how your business benefits from SharePoint When enterprises consider SharePoint, they look for advanced security features, better support, storage capacity, customizable features, rolling release, or zero maintenance costs. The promises of SharePoint must cater to the needs of your business and to ensure this, you need to carefully evaluate how your business is currently operating versus how you envision it running in the future. Your migration plan should aid the digital transformation of your business, if not catalyze it. Take into consideration all possible changes brought in by workflow automation, project management objectives, projected user growth, size of the database, and level of scalability needed for your environment.

2. Build a migration team Have in place a specialized SharePoint team to save time. The migration process is a heavy-duty task that requires expert oversight and management. It needs teams for strategy, architecture designing, documentation, and testing. SharePoint vendors like CCS often work with your in-house developers to ensure a glitch-free migration.

3. Assess your existing data environment It is very crucial to evaluate your existing infrastructure. Not only will this help formulate the appropriate migration strategy but will also define completion timelines. Factors to consider include:

  • Permissions, users, and groups
  • Site collections and sites
  • Lists
  • Libraries
  • Branding
  • Pages
  • Custom solutions
  • Retention policies
  • UI customizations and file share
  • Content types and site columns

After evaluating your inventory, you will know what to migrate and what not to. Exclude orphaned users, workflows, unused and duplicate content from your migration plan.

4. Restructure your existing architecture Consider this as a cleaning process to start afresh. This step will help you clean up your old workflow and discover highly disorganized areas. It will help you restructure content types, web parts, templates, adjusting permissions, organizing lists and libraries.

5. Prepare your destination Bear in mind the following points when preparing your destination environment for the migration:

  • Create backups
  • Optimize server performance
  • Configure web applications
  • Test the restore
  • Map out a metadata plan for your content
  • Run a test migration

6. Embrace disruption with digital The changes that Covid-19 brought on individuals and businesses alike have us looking for ways to deal with the newness. The use of digital accelerators and enterprise technologies will help organizations withstand and overcome unexpected real-world disruptions. It is also judicious to form a centralized change management team to guide and assist employees in adopting new technologies and platforms. 7. Phase-wise Migration plan Rather than completing the entire migration in one go, migrate in phases. It helps the team understand the transformation better and avoid unforeseen pitfalls as you move from the old system to the new one. Some points to note during the migration:

  • Configure user profiles and permissions
  • Back up your content before beginning your move to SharePoint Online
  • Set your previous database to read-only
  • Use the SharePoint migration tool to scan package, upload, and import your files

8. Post-migration Ensure that the migration is smooth. The SharePoint testing team at CCS can help identify the possible bugs and other issues that may occur during the migration process. A testing plan is often essential at this stage. It ensures successful migration with all features, customizations, and third-party apps working as required. Testing will ensure:

  • User permissions and workflows
  • Ensure migration is complete
  • Verify libraries and lists
  • Test the UI and user experience
  • Create a backup of your new system
  • Run a full crawl

Conclusion As the SharePoint migration process is intricate and time-consuming, it is best outsourced to experts that bring in the expertise and experience to minimize errors and delays while maximizing the benefits that the platform has to offer. Plan it well, so you reap the benefits of your investment, and the ROI far outweighs the costs required to get there. As a certified Microsoft Silver Partner with experience in SharePoint, M365, Azure, Dynamics, and many more, CCS can help you with your SharePoint migration. With more than 35 SharePoint consultants and a suite of accelerators and pre-built solutions for SharePoint Online, we help organisations implement SharePoint Online faster and better. Get in touch with us today to discuss more about simplifying your SharePoint Migration plans.