Top 5 Tips for Planning your SharePoint Migration

Posted by: Stephanie Donahue on October 17,2014

Ready for a SharePoint Migration?

One of our most common consulting jobs is helping clients plan migrations. Whether moving from a legacy SharePoint environment to Microsoft 365 or an outdated file share to SharePoint Online, we’ve found that the challenges and process are similar. Each business’s migration is different, but these 5 tips will help make it smooth!

1.     Inventory your current environment

If you don’t know what or where your content is, how can you expect to move it? Dig through all of your storage areas, check every hard-drive nook and cranny. You may be surprised to find more data than you though initially. After your inventory, you should know what your data is, where it is, and how you use it.

2.     Determine which content to move

You may not need to move all of the data you discovered in your inventory. Depending on which SharePoint environment you’ve elected (SharePoint Online or SharePoint Server) you may not have room for everything. Consider storage space, age and version of document, and how a document is used before moving it.

3.     Plan your Information Architecture

You may like your current Information Architecture and decide to build your new environment the same way. You may also learn during your inventory that your IA is MIA. Now’s the time to plan it. Think about your desired taxonomy, intended features, permissions, customizations, systems integration and security.

4.     Choose a Migration Method

Some businesses opt to migrate their data manually. They either select a team of users to copy or move data over, or they let users move their own content. Other businesses opt to use a third party tool. If you are migrating from an old SharePoint environment to SharePoint Server (not Online) then SharePoint has some built in migration capabilities. Compare each option with your business data and business need, and go!

5.     Prepare the Environment

Build the site structure that you developed during your Information Architecture planning. If your current environment has a great deal of customizations, you may want to apply those to your new environment before migrating your content. If your current system integrates with other platforms, make sure your new system will integrate with them too! Import users, groups, and permissions if possible. The idea is to have your new environment functioning as completely as possible before filling it with content.

Once you have completed these 5 steps, familiarize your team with the new environment. Teach them about the Information Architecture, show them the new features, and then start moving! Remember, migrations are rarely perfect. Even a well-planned migration will encounter hiccups. You’ll just be better equipped to handle them!

If you are ready to migrate or have questions about migrating to Microsoft 365, contact us!

Topics: Business Intelligence

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