SharePoint’s security, reliability, and efficiency make it a prized choice for many businesses. The seamless integration into the Microsoft 365 suite is a bonus. However, transferring all files and documents by conducting a SharePoint migration can be a daunting undertaking. But the benefits of the platform make the transition challenges worthwhile.
The Importance of a SharePoint Migration
The seamless sharing experience of SharePoint is unparalleled. The platform becomes the single source of truth where organizations can store all business content. Not to mention, the customization available makes the SharePoint experience highly tailored to business objectives, end user competency, and corporate branding.
Planning a SharePoint Migration
As mentioned, migration to a new digital environment is overwhelming and involves many moving parts. Even though it is only a part of a complete SharePoint deployment and adoption, just the content migration piece can pose many challenges for businesses. Mapping out the process ensures that no documents are lost in the process and that your team is equipped to carry out day-to-day operations in the meantime without any hurdles.
To simplify the process, we have put together a checklist to keep you on track, on budget, and on time for your SharePoint migration.
SharePoint Pre-Migration Checklist
Prior to beginning your SharePoint migration, there are a few things you must do, including:
Consider Your Current Business Processes
Know how your organization currently stores and manages all business information. This is where you take stock of the platforms in use, the tools involved and the key stakeholders responsible for content storage and management.
Know Your Business Goals
You know where you stand, now you need to determine where you want to go. Identify what you want to achieve from your latest content management system and document repository.
Analyze Your Existing Intranet Content
Make note of the structure of your existing content library if you are migrating from an old SharePoint Server to SharePoint Online or conducting any sort of intranet upgrade. Analyze whether your content can be organized in a more efficient way in your new SharePoint environment.
Develop a Migration Plan
Create a migration plan and timeline, keeping in mind existing content, and sensitive data that may need to be migrated to your new environment. By creating a timeline for migrating the various facets, you can save time.
Select the Appropriate Migration Tools
Use tools that automate the migration process to make it simpler, including the SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT) offered by Microsoft, or work with SharePoint experts or Microsoft Partners certified in SharePoint migrations, upgrades, and implementations.
Have a Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan
Plan for any hurdles that may arise. It is essential to have a backup of all your documents in case your SharePoint migration does not follow course.
Involve Your Stakeholders
Bring in your key stakeholders and communicate with them to understand what they find most important in terms of security and features that they might interact with daily in SharePoint. Working with key players can help you understand how data will be stored and secured in the new environment.
SharePoint Migration Checklist
Once you have completed the pre-migration checklist and verified each of the above steps, you are ready for the big move. Keep in mind the following for a seamless move:
Create a New SharePoint Environment
Prepare your SharePoint intranet with a focus on optimizing performance. Does it make sense at this point to restructure some content? Or would it be better to keep things as similar to the current structure as possible? Set up your platform to maximize user efficiency and content findability.
Conduct a First Pass Migration
Move over a segment of the full content to pilot the migration for your organization. This is a preliminary step to the full content and document migration, allowing you to test for any issues or vulnerabilities of the new environment, which can be resolved in a timely manner.
Train Your Business Users
Utilize your preliminary migration as a learning opportunity for end users. Take the time to train users about the placement of content in their new interface, so that the transition is adapted to with ease.
Conduct Incremental Content & Document Migration
Start the full content migration process with the tool of your choosing. The biggest undertaking of all, at this point your migration team is ready for the lift and shift. However, migration can take place one of two ways – in phases to allow for a smooth transition or one cutover migration to minimize confusion between platforms. Depending on your users, one approach might work better than the other.
Configure Search and Navigation
Configure intuitive navigation and build a plan to educate users on the search functionality that helps guide users to easily find files and documents. As your organization has large amounts of data, finding the data you need might be difficult.
Test and Validate Migrated Content
Validate the content that you migrated to your SharePoint environment to ensure everything has been moved over correctly, and test customizations and functionality to see if they still work after the complete migration.
SharePoint Post-Migration Checklist
Just because the SharePoint migration is complete, that does not mean your work is done! It is time to maintain a sustainable document management system for the long run.
Ensure User Training Remains Accessible
Put together an easily accessible training program for any newly onboarded end users to ensure they adapt without any hiccups. Make sure to build this knowledge base once you know that your environment is working correctly, and your data integrity is maintained.
Monitor Your Content and Libraries
Monitor your SharePoint environment to see if any issues arise that were not visible during the testing phase. Sometimes, issues become more apparent after the wide-scale adoption of a new environment.
Maintain and Improve Your Environment
Stay abreast with usage reports and adoption statistics to know if your document management system is being used to its full potential. The process is not complete simply because your documents now live in SharePoint, you must be open to improving and iterating as your business scales.
There is so much more to a SharePoint intranet than its document management capabilities. A complete SharePoint implementation and adoption has many other key elements that need to be top of mind, a SharePoint document migration is only a subset of the larger project. Look at our SharePoint adoption plan to see how you can empower your users for long-term SharePoint success.
Why Partner with a Microsoft Partner for Your SharePoint Migration
Migrating to a new SharePoint environment requires a lot of planning, and it is essential to not only have a migration checklist but also to have a pre-migration and post-migration checklist to ensure a seamless transition to SharePoint. Not only that, having an experienced SharePoint expert alongside ensures the process is as seamless as possible.
A Big Cloud Consultant architect works directly with you to plan and tailor a SharePoint migration approach. We define the roadmap to your SharePoint migration based on your existing environment’s user base, content, configurations, and customizations. With hundreds of SharePoint migrations under our belt, we come with vast industry experience in setting up document management systems for success.
Our SharePoint migration experts can help you ensure your intranet is up to date with our industry-leading migration, installation, and upgrade services. Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can craft a SharePoint migration approach tailored to your business objectives.