03 Mar 2020

Roadmap to a Successful Office 365 Migration

Most companies are sold on the benefits of the cloud-based business, mobile access, increased team collaboration, and the power of the Office 365 products. However the planning and execution time and effort involved in the Office 365 migration is making them balk at the idea of actually going through this major switch.

“More often than not, however, the migration itself is not that difficult. The more involved and time consuming part of any migration could actually be the planning phase, assessing and cleaning up the source environment, and making sure everything is accounted for and set up correctly to be migrated.”

Here are some strategies and best practices to guide you through a successful migration planning and execution:

The First Step to Office 365 Migration: Assessing Your Current Environment

The biggest mistake companies make when migrating to Office 365 is failing to plan ahead properly and completely. Meticulously assessing your current environment regarding content and document types, security settings and requirements, workflows and processes, and knowing how, why and where documents are stored and who is responsible for updating and maintaining them are just a few items that need to be accounted for and mapped in your migration planning.

While using a SharePoint Migration tool can help migrate your content and workflows to the new environment, working with experts with prior migration experience to assess your environment and develop a solid migration plan and roadmap will eliminate the guesswork, uncertainty, and stress of possible post-migration problems, such as security and user access issues, migrating wrong or useless documents, and the downtime and business impact associated with the migration.

Putting Your Cloud Migration Roadmap in Place

Important considerations to take when creating your migration plan and roadmap:

  • Prioritizing what needs to be migrated to Office 365 in phases to minimize disruptions to the business operations
  • Engaging stakeholders to help assess, clean up, and map the migration items from the current environment to the cloud
  • Defining business user and security needs as well as collaboration and communication requirements of your company and developing actionable steps in the roadmap to achieve them
  • Performing preemptive planning regarding the migration of forms and workflows to further streamline the process
  • Keeping employees consistently informed about the plan, what phase is currently being executed and what they should expect at each stage of the migration
  • Selecting the right migration tools and putting the right technologies and products in place in the new environment to empower business and IT users and admins.

Preparing Your Destination Environment

“As part of your migration process, it is important that you take the time to plan and structure your new home according to your needs, something that is often forgotten in a rush to migrate to the cloud “quickly” and not “correctly”.

Things like: defining and creating the right content architecture and information hierarchy, developing a solid governance model, setting up your security requirements, flattening your folder structure and building the correct taxonomy and metadata for your documents, and many more items are critical in the success of your migration.

Also, creating a robust and user-friendly Office 365 Intranet is essential for increasing user adoption and engagement in the new environment. The out-of-the-box version of Office 365 has an overwhelming amount of choices that would confuse employees. Read our other blog post 3 Reasons Why Your Company Needs an Intranet for best practices on Intranet development.

Let Us Help Develop Your Roadmap to a Successful Office 365 Migration

Utilizing the industry-leading Migration platforms and our team’s expertise in Office 365 and Azure migration and environment management, we help our clients plan and execute a smooth and robust migration to Office 365 from any environment and platform. 

Read our Migration Case Studies and Contact Us to learn more about how we can help plan and execute your migration, while minimizing the costs and complexity of moving your users and content to the cloud.