The latest versions of SharePoint and Office 365 are exciting, with full of new features and this is a necessary platform of the future. But we know this migration from the older version to any new version is quite a daunting task for large enterprises. During migration, issues may arise even before the beginning of the technical process. Thus thinking from the root, we get to understand that, this is due to the lack of planning. Hence a careful analysis and planning done prior to migration can make the task easy and often reduce the migration cost. Each migration is different from the previous, so a definite plan of what you are getting into is required. The type of migration should be clear, be it from a file share or any other application to Office 365 or be migrating from SharePoint 2007, 2010, 2013 to a newer version or migrating to Online or to Office 365.
Analysis of existing SharePoint environment
Before building a migration strategy it is important to perform an analysis of the current environment. In this analysis, the focus should be on the workloads and contents that you plan to move. After this analysis, a clear understanding of the contents and customizations you have in your current environment is made. Then create a roadmap that covers the contents and customizations that are to be moved and then validate the customizations.
Scope of Migration
Defining the scope migration by having an idea of what is to be migrated is important because by this we will know how long it will take to migrate and estimate the cost of migration. Your migration scope might include files from a shared file drive, contents from an existing SharePoint environment, site collection and subsites, workflows or forms etc.
Type of Migration Scenario
You have 3 options of how you are going to migrate to Office 365/SharePoint Online and those are:
- Manual: For doing a manual migration you can use Explorer view to move files to a newly designed location, but the problem is you will lose the metadata. Although this problem can be avoided by using templates this is the least practical and least desirable solution of all.
- Hybrid: This is the idea of running the existing SharePoint version with Office 365. This helps users to navigate through both the environments with active directory without considering the transition. This helps in keeping the heavily customized server infrastructure that will not be otherwise supported in Office 365. However, going hybrid will not relocate your site.
- 3rd party tool: This is the best and the most logical way of migrating without damaging the data and moving the files into the cloud. But after purchasing this tools you may face some difficulties.
1. Directory Health
This becomes perhaps the most encountered technical issue that you might face during your migration. The migration itself involves identities federation and directory syncing, and some AD (active directory) health issue that might slow down or disturb the synchronization of directories. Using free tools from Microsoft like IdFix (as the name implies) can help avoid this by locating any potential problem with AD health.
2. Effect on Bandwidth
Organizations with limited bandwidth and a lot of data to migrate often become a frustrating task. In the midst of the process, a noticeable slowing down of the entire environment can adversely affect the corporate workflow. Careful execution of migration, constant streamlining, proper automation of the process etc. make sure that the effect on bandwidth is minimized.
3. Difficulty Shift in Some Areas
Some aspects of the company are easy to migrate while some others are complex. Exchange data, when migrated correctly, leads to an unnoticeable change for the end-user. For a more complex system such as SharePoint Online, migrating to Office 365 might bring changes that are quite challenging to the users. For example, a linked Excel spreadsheet can pose issues when migrated to Office 365. Links which are directed to legacy environments other than SharePoint will not be updated automatically.
4. Relief From Security Fear
Another worry for some employees is regarding moving their data from on-premises to the cloud. However, this kind of fear is quite unwanted because Microsoft has a huge number of safeguards to ensure the safety of your data during the migration. Microsoft takes security considerations seriously and finds the most cost-effective long-term solution.
Undoubtedly migration is a time-consuming task. However, we can get more features only with the newer versions. With upgraded versions, you can create internet/intranet portals, project management systems, and document management system by collaborating fully with all the devices supported. Thus it is becoming a must for every organization to move to a newer version to improve collaboration to sustenance.