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Migrating SharePoint to Office 365? Work out these 4 things before you go!!

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Carrying out migration operations from On-Premise SharePoint to Office 365 has never been a piece of cake, especially when you want to do it in a cost-effective manner!! Very often, I’ve seen IT administrators going through big checklists of what to do and what not to do before actually proceeding to migrate users to the Cloud.

Undoubtedly, there are myriad of factors to consider when you also want to avoid burning a hole in your pocket while transitioning from a SharePoint solution that is established along with complete infrastructure to the one hosted online (Office 365). Apart from encountering some of the common issues like improper planning, out-of-place processes, poor-compatibility, rise in ongoing costs and zero flexibility; you need to watch out the following 4 things to know whether your enterprise is actually ready for migration!! All these are some of the “rarely covered” yet “important to address” migration considerations that you may forget to take into account while switching to Office 365!!

Are you ready for Migration? Check Out these 4 Pointers!!

Ponder Over Content Migration – Know what to migrate and How!!

Legacy SharePoint systems that many companies are still relying on, demand comprehensive customization. And the sad part is – it’s not always mandatory that all those customizations will work when you jump to the Cloud. Hence, for smooth migration, you need to properly plan migration of your content; you should know when to migrate what content and how should you proceed. For small migrations, you can proceed using the Explorer View of Office 365 that also allows you to open a SharePoint library in Windows Explorer. Though this one is suitable for small migrations, it lacks certain key functionalities like migrating metadata and incremental migrations.

Hence, to make transitioning much easier and quicker, third party tools are available like “Kernel Migrator for SharePoint that facilitate the process of moving users from on-premise file servers and SharePoint to Office 365. Besides this, tools allow you to avail benefits of additional features like migrating metadata along with permissions, mapping file attributes automatically and generating CSVs for bulk migration of content.

Auditing Current Implementation of your System and Custom Code is important

When it comes to Cloud, determining the state of your current SharePoint content is extremely necessary even before you plan to start migrating your files & documents. Structuring everything in a right way before proceeding to migrate is the key to flawless and smooth transitioning. Audit your content for validity and archive old files & folders that are not required in your new virtual set-up (i.e. on the Cloud). After all, there’s no worth wasting time, efforts and money in moving unnecessary things from your existing infrastructure to your new system. Also, auditing custom functionalities like templates, workflows etc. that exist in your current SharePoint system is important since you need to know whether it would be possible to integrate them when you’ll switch to the Cloud.

Investigate a new way of reworking information architecture if you want to automate your migration process. Not just this, you may want to carry out a Pre-Migration checkup of the entire system using third party tools. One such tool that provides you with detailed Pre-migration analysis reports is Kernel Migrator for SharePoint. With this SharePoint Migration tool, you can pre-check for any kind of issues that may come your way during migration and fix them before moving the actual content.

Think about your future – Monitoring and Maintaining Your New Solution

Migrating & implementing your existing SharePoint Solution to Office 365 is just not enough. What if you migrate all the content successfully but later figure out that it is become drastically horrible & expensive to maintain & monitor customizations? Wouldn’t it be a disaster for your business?
Hence, it is wise to think carefully about the future of your business before you migrate. I’ve listed some key points below that may turn up helpful to you –

  • Figure out how you plan to maintain your content.
    Decide whether you’ll need a dedicated Intranet Manager or you already have a competent team in place to manage things for you!!
  • Analyze how will you monitor & maintain your customization’s in Office 365. 
    If possible, use 3rd party tools for integrating custom apps to your online hosted solution – Office 365 & generating custom reports. Regularly keep a close eye on these comprehensive analytic reports and check whether they comply in terms of maintainability, code quality and other dependencies.

Mend your Strategies: Cloud demands significant modifications in Policies

Cloud offerings though come with a lot of benefits, demand enterprises to change their policies in terms of maintaining security and running a cost-effective solution. Due to a plethora of cloud platform providers like Amazon, IBM, Rackspace and Google that are making significant private cloud investments, massive amount of free space is also available to users.

Often, when IT administrators are in a hurry, they rush to migrate to the online hosted solutions without checking out the storage limits that these cloud vendors offer. Just because the storage of 5 GB or 10 GB is free, enterprises tend to ignore the fact that their organization’s size is going to be bigger day by day and it is necessary to figure out the costs involved in buying the extra storage space later. Also, for secure storage of corporate information; the Cloud vendor that you choose must follow all standards of security compliance that guarantee your data will remain safe on Cloud.

Today, everyone is in a rat race to migrate to online hosted solutions due to the so called “promise of the cloud”. However, moving to cloud doesn’t mean you should overlook your existing potential and just rush to take the big transition. Remember, moving to cloud storage has its own set of cons if not done smoothly & carefully. To make the most out of your newly implemented Office 365 Solution, you can consider taking help from 3rd party tools like Kernel Migrator for SharePoint to ensure you don’t run into significant migration issues later. Good luck with your Cloud migration!!

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