SharePoint Online Cloud Migration Tips

SharePoint Online Cloud Migration Tips

Dennis Snider

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With Microsoft encouraging as many users as possible to migrate to the Office 365 cloud, many businesses are planning to move from SharePoint On Premises to SharePoint Online, a complex procedure in which they must consider storage issues, user access, and how to migrate branding, taxonomy, custom code and workflows. However, while complex, the process needn’t be difficult if it’s properly planned for. Below are five steps to take before switching to SharePoint Online with Office 365.

Find the content owners
Let all members of staff know about the upcoming switch, and take the opportunity to find out what they want from the new system. Identify who most frequently edits content and let them know what’s moving to where. Also, make sure that all staff are aware of the benefits of the new system.

Trim your content
Look at what you are currently storing on SharePoint, and cut everything you don’t need. You may find that up to 95% of what you’re storing is no longer needed. Ownerless content should be archived unless absolutely necessary; if you have to move it, give it a new owner. You should also take this chance to look at the way your content is structured; content structures often reflect organizational patterns and this is an opportunity to reorient the structure around users.

Decide on user permissions
You will have to decide the way in which user authentication will take place, either by giving all staff new Office 365 logins or by creating a type of identity federation between your existing Active Directory Domain Services. PowerShell can be used for creating users in bulk with all details, or the Microsoft Azure Active Directory Sync can be used to synchronize with the cloud version of Office 365.

Check your custom code
Office 365 is more restrictive regarding types and operations of code, so your best bet is to use the functionality provided rather than trying to rewrite code. The same applies to your branding, which should be re-created using SharePoint. You’re also going to have to migrate workflows and content types, so keep focused on what your users require. The less code you can migrate to the cloud, the better.

Go!
If you follow the steps above, you should be ready to migrate to the cloud. Make sure all your users know when it’s going to happen, and that content will be read-only during the migration. Asking them to validate their content after the migration will help them feel involved. Choose appropriate third-party tools to make the migration easier. Once your migration is done, simply ask your users to log on and they can carry on working as normal.

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