SharePoint migration can appear to be a daunting challenge for businesses at the outset. Planning for the change in advance can go a long way in simplifying the process. Businesses must take into consideration all aspects before embarking on the SharePoint migration challenge. We have surmised a list of factors that have to be taken into consideration to minimize uncertainties while migrating to SharePoint.
Pre-Migration SharePoint Preparation
The planning of the migration process commences with acquiring a bird’s eye view of the new environment. The focus of this step is to familiarize oneself with the new environment in which the business will be operating. A good example would be the consideration of the inventory comprising of all the assets and other aspects that are critical to decision making. Here are some of the elements that must be taken into consideration.
- The existing collection of sites.
- Solutions customizations.
- Pre-configured retention policies.
- Present collection of Lists and Libraries.
- Catalog of the existing list of Users and Groups.
Sanitizing the Old SharePoint Environment
This step involves revisiting and taking stock of the existing contents in the current version followed by the removal of unnecessary data and web components among other contents. This might be a cumbersome, yet critical process as the migration process would be simper on a clean environment that doesn’t require reorganization of items. Here are some of the factors to consider while clearing out content from the old environment.
- Delete all unused SharePoint groups, contents, workflows, and sites.
- Identify sites that have not been modified recently and have legacy content.
- Clear out items with too many custom permissions.
- Reorganize Lists and Libraries based on columns.
Optimize the Destination SharePoint Environment
The destination environment must be programmed to accept the contents from the existing site. This process involves making appropriate changes to the vanilla package in terms of the workflows and data structures for managing content properly. The steps may involve:
- SharePoint Server performance optimization.
- Web application configuration.
- Creating backups of critical resources.
- Identifying and rectifying corrupted files and data.
- Recreating and replicating customizations.
Evaluate Transfer Process Meticulously
Once the destination environment is ready for the reception of data, you are ready to carry out the SharePoint migration. If the volume of the contents that you are migrating is particularly large, it might be prudent to move a smaller chunk of contents to check the transfer efficiency. This would not only help identify potential impediments early in the process but also help establish realistic timelines for completing the SharePoint migration process more accurately.
Communicating Information to End-Users
The SharePoint migration process impacts stakeholders at several levels and keeping everyone in the loop is of paramount importance to avoid nasty surprises. Before you initiate the migration process, make sure that you communicate the following information with the end-users.
- Reason for the migration and possible consequences.
- Expected time for the migration process.
- Anticipated downtime during the migration phase.
- Changes expected in the environment.
- Steps to be taken by the users.
Performing the SharePoint Migration
SharePoint migration is one of the most challenging tasks for any admin. Part of the reason is the fact that it is a highly subjective process. The source and destination SharePoint version play an important role in the process. While Microsoft provides a SharePoint Migration tool, it can be used only in a limited number of scenarios such as SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint Online migration. Admins might have to rely on third-party tools for other scenarios depending upon the quantity and nature of data.
Actions to Be Performed Post Migration
The post-migration process involves ensuring that all stakeholders have required levels of access in the new SharePoint environment and that the data integrity is maintained in the destination environment. Stated below are the steps to be taken once the migration is complete.
- Ensuring that all the data that was available in the old environment remains accessible in the current version.
- Creating backups before resuming operations.
- Deployment of custom solutions for redirecting users to the new link.
- Disabling the old environment to prevent inadvertent access.
- Initiate a crawl for the newly added content.
A Piece of Advice Before Implementing SharePoint Migration
Adopting the latest iterations of SharePoint is exciting and challenging at the same time. Users will be greeted with a new user interface and powerful new features. An upgrade to SharePoint is well worth the investment for most businesses. However, the importance of planning for SharePoint migration cannot be understated.
Contact our team to know more about our SharePoint hosting and migration assistance.