How to Make SharePoint Data Migration Seamless

by , Posted April 16, 2017 - 1:37

How to Make SharePoint Data Migration Seamless

Guest post written by: Brooke Campbell

Do I Need to Move My Data to SharePoint?

Moving your data isn’t easy. While SharePoint generally does a good job making the process as smooth as possible, there’s a million little things that can make a SharePoint data migration a hassle.

As such, I’ve outlined a few things to keep in mind when you’re making the journey. SharePoint offers a lot of great benefits while also having some drawbacks, but it is ultimately one of the better data management programs around. But before we get on to those, we have to tackle the question of whether you should migrate your data to SharePoint in the first place.

First thing you need to be conscious of is that the higher the disparity in iterations or difference in programs, the more IT training you’ll likely have to endure. These programs go through constant upgrading and innovating, so moving from one edition to the other isn’t as simple as throwing on a new pair of shoes. Sometimes, you’ll have to be taught how to tie laces all over again. And that may be worth it if the features of the newer edition SharePoint will benefit you. But keep in mind it won’t always be smooth sailing.

And that’s just on the technical side. As years of data can attest to, consumers are often not quick to adopt new user interfaces and other superficial changes. Just look at the complaints Facebook receives every time they update their user interface.

Also take into account of how third party programs will be affected by the change. If the SharePoint data migration will kill all your favorite services, is it worth it? And also, consider that some data and migration services only offer full functionality with certain browsers, which can be a costly and time-consuming headache to manage.

How Best to Migrate Your Data

Once you’ve decided that it is in your best interest to migrate your data to SharePoint, you’ve got some hard work ahead of you. But don’t fret, there’s never been more resources available to you to help navigate the switch. Some sites are totally dedicated to helping you with all your SharePoint needs. Others provide a number of different resources that can help with all the surrounding technology as you move your data.

But what are some of the best ways to make sure that your transition is as seamless and painless as possible?

Find Out What Needs to Be Migrated

Simple enough, right?

Make sure that you know what information is crucial enough to warrant migration. Speak to stakeholders within your business or consult your own data to find out what is critical enough to be moved. This guide offers some helpful questions that you should think of when considering what needs to be moved, like “do we need to bring all versions of a document across, or only the latest versions?” and “File shares may contain programming scripts, database files, large zip files, huge bitmaps and videos, as well as corrupt files. Can we leave some of these behind?”

You don’t want to regret leaving anything behind of course, but you want to try and whittle it down to your most important data so you’re not wasting your time.

Make Sure It Is Cost Effective

Microsoft offers subscriptions but the cost can vary widely based on your chosen plan. While perhaps not the most expensive part of the transition, depending on how long it all takes the amount of work the migration will take, it’s important that you know which model makes sense for you and your company. Without that certainty, you might be wasting money or time on programs that you simply don’t need.

Directory Health

Migrating from an on-site SharePoint deployment often involves setting up directory synchronization and federated identities. Active Directory health issues can come into conflict with the directory synchronization process. Microsoft offers a free tool called IdFix that can help out with these issues, but make sure you have these sorted before you begin. Otherwise, you face having your whole migration process derailed.

Figure Out Your Long-term Plan

One of the key things to think about when you’re moving your data over, it’s important to lay out both a short-term and long-term plan. Plan how your old data will be mapped onto the new SharePoint system. Migration, while presenting challenges, is also an opportunity to ensure that the new structure you develop is better, more effective and more efficient than the previous one.

Setting up governance policies for how documents are stored and defining new metadata and taxonomy are also key strategies to help not only ease your data transition, but also ensure that your new setup will be optimal for you and your business.

It Doesn’t End with Data Migration

Once the process is complete, that’s only really the first step. I know, daunting right? But the point being that the whole process is ongoing and you shouldn’t lose sight of how to improve your data management capabilities even after the migration has completed.

Ensuring that the proper governance and guidelines are in place to ensure that it operates at its best is a key way to improve your efficiency. A few other things to consider include training and support. Making sure that you as an individual or your whole team is able to operate on the new system without much need for oversight is key, but also being able to provide that support when needed is another huge resource that will make SharePoint data migration that much easier to handle both during and after the migration itself.

Be Prepared

While tackling specific issues along the way, the connecting theme here is be prepared and do your research. The more you know about your data, the new system, how you’ll operate once the migration is over, how long it will take, costs, etc. then you’ve already done the majority of the legwork. Armed with all this knowledge, then you’ll be able to have a much easier time transitioning, not to mention that you’ll be able to keep that momentum going forward as you’ll inevitably be forced to migrate your data again sometime in the future.

Hopefully, by that time, most of the aforementioned issues above have been solved.

About Brooke Campbell 

Brooke loves surfing through social media, so she made it a full time job and works as a social media manager at Entrance Software Consulting. And loves all things Tech. When not working, she eats and sleeps, in that order.


Post By Shadeed Eleazer (50 Posts)

Shadeed Eleazer is a Principal Consultant and founder of Managed Path Solutions, a Microsoft SharePoint post-deployment specialist firm. He is the President of the Baltimore SharePoint User Group. Tweet him @mrshadeed to discuss this article and other collaboration topics.

Website: → The Online Home of Shadeed Eleazer


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