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Migration from on-premise SharePoint to Microsoft 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 factors to consider when you also want to avoid burning a hole in your pocket while transitioning from a SharePoint server that is deployed on-premises, along with the 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, rising costs, and zero flexibility, you need to watch out for 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!

Methods to Migrate SharePoint Content to Office 365

Migrating SharePoint to Office 365 can be a complex process that involves numerous difficulties. However, with careful planning and execution, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. In this article, we will discuss four effective methods for migrating SharePoint to Office 365 in order to help you navigate this process successfully.

1. 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 easy if all those customizations will work when you jump to the cloud. Hence, for smooth migration, you need to plan the migration of your content properly; you should know when to migrate what content and how you should 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 facilitates migration 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.

2. Auditing the current data is important

When it comes to the 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 the 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, effort, and money to move 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 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 check up of the entire system using third party tools. One such tool that provides you with detailed Pre-migration analysis reports is Kernel SharePoint Migrator. 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.

3. Think about your future – Monitoring and maintaining your new platform

Migrating from your existing SharePoint Server 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. So, figure out how you plan to maintain your content.

Decide whether you’ll need a dedicated manager, or you already have a competent team in place to manage things for you!

4. Mend your strategies: Cloud demands significant modifications in Policies

Cloud offerings, though come with a lot of benefits, demand enterprises to change their policies. 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.

Final Words

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 SharePoint Migrator to ensure you don’t run into significant migration issues later. Good luck with your Cloud migration!

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