5 Pointers to Avoid SharePoint Migration Issues

About 50% of SharePoint Migration Issues are due to the lack of knowledge regarding the common SharePoint Myths.

Being aware is the key factor in ensuring that there are no SharePoint migration issues. Here are some of the important pointers to keep in mind to ensure that there are no obstacles in the migration process. Every organization expects the highest migration quality while maintaining a balance of cost and time through the migration roadmap. The scarcity of resources adds another layer of complexity to the migration process.

Evaluating the Adverse SharePoint Migration Issues

In most of our client consultations, we come across the demand for adopting the most economic migration tools or services, that is, the preference is to transfer data directly to a new environment without the need for extensive analysis or cleaning.

Although there may be relatively inexpensive ways to balance the two important parameters of cost and time, they may not be the most effective method. Before upgrading or migrating to a new SharePoint environment, you should be aware of some serious SharePoint migration errors.

1. SharePoint Upgrade shouldn’t rely solely on the IT team

This myth stems from the SharePoint migration pitfalls from the fact that all stakeholders are not on the same page when it comes to SharePoint migrations. This is ironic, considering SharePoint offers a digital collaborative environment for all stakeholders, internal and external. It is essential that all stakeholders are consulted and a consensus emerges regarding the SharePoint roadmap of an organization. During the migrations, one must consider the logical architecture of the SharePoint platform, which provides scalability and a wide variety of collaborative features– content management, version management, enterprise search, social media, and digital asset management.

  • Involve all stakeholders – Technical and Business – prior to starting a SharePoint Update
  • Set objectives and goals that enterprises want to achieve with a SharePoint Upgrade
  • Include all platforms & custom solutions when planning an upgrade

2. An all-round planning is a must

Choosing to upgrade or migrate without a comprehensive assessment of the SharePoint environment involved in the migration, can be costly. The majority of companies that use SharePoint use it in all departments and supplement it with the line of business applications to carry out their daily activities. Therefore, in this case, it is necessary to assess the current environment and analyze the costs and risks associated with the migration to the new environment. You must ensure that the new environment supports all the components that exist in the current environment. If necessary, the infrastructure must be mapped and updated. You need to determine the right tool for SharePoint migration while avoiding the main obstacles to SharePoint migration.

It can be an extremely costly affair when one opts for only an upgradation or migration without a thorough assessment of the SharePoint environments participating in the migration. Most enterprises utilizing SharePoint use it across departments, and complement it with line-of-business applications to perform day-to-day activities. So, in this case, one has to assess the current environment and analyze the costs and risks associated with migrating to the new environment. You must ensure that the new environment supports all the components present in your current environment. Base infrastructure has to be mapped and upgraded, if necessary. The right tools need to be identified for SharePoint migration while avoiding the major SharePoint migration pitfalls.

  • Begin SharePoint upgrade/migration with a thorough analysis of the cost, value & risk involved
  • Identify the right set of tools to do a successful SharePoint 2016 upgrade or to other SharePoint versions
  • Maintain and migrate old unstructured framework to new to get higher ROI

3. Pre-evaluation of the third-party applications to be integrated

While considering the Legacy Architecture, it becomes vital to assess the line-of-business applications that are being utilized and third-party applications that are logically integrated with the current system. Before going ahead with any migration, one must check for the compatibility of all these tools with the new environment, and if needed update the tools to a version that is more compatible with the destination environment. This is extremely important as you do not want a case where you finish setting up the environment only to find out that some apps are not compatible with your latest environment.

  • Map workflow, interaction, and storage quotas of all custom & third party applications
  • Create a back-up of line-of-business applications and public-facing SharePoint sites & portals
  • Consider the dependencies of each application before upgrading/migrating the environment

4. Take care of Scattered information

Having a SharePoint environment empowers one to create unlimited sites and portals for their internal use with custom workflows and usage rights. The situation often becomes cumbersome because of diverse unmapped documents and files being utilized without the knowledge of the SharePoint administrator. It is critical for a SharePoint migration team to map all the information with the relevant metadata.

Additionally, we find that multiple versions of a file are placed in the SharePoint environment. These documents are untagged, so we don’t really know which versions are critical and which are unnecessary. This scattered information needs larger storage space and is disorganized without proper classification and categorization. As the idea behind setting up the new environment is to gain higher productivity, and stale versions of documents will occupy additional storage with little or no benefit.

One must also consider the content database size and document archive scenarios to utilize available resources with maximum uptime. A number of content databases and site collections have to be mapped in order to restructure the content in the new version. Ignoring the storage can halt the entire process, so it is advisable to have additional storage, which will ensure that there are no unnecessary problems.

To avoid this SharePoint migration pitfall, one must identify the right set of documents, along with their versions to be transferred to the destination. Additionally, we must categorize the important documents, so that analysis of a migration or upgrade becomes easier

  • Create a content hierarchy to properly structure the content database
  • Involve all stakeholders and collect information about stored data prior to Upgrade
  • Consider the current task list and communication downtime to all Stakeholders

5. Take care of the Documentation part

Documenting your systems should really be as much a priority for business teams as it is for technical teams. The amount of money spent on re-working legacy systems leads to a lot of redundancies that eat into the IT budgets of organizations. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the business teams to lead this initiative. Documentation can be as simple as giving an overview of the architectural and system considerations, with web parts & external data sources. The document should provide details of all previous migrations or SharePoint upgrade experiences, along with the type of approach utilized – In-place, Database, Use of 3rd party migration tools, Custom/holistic migration, or a tailored, hybrid approach. This becomes especially critical when resources who developed the system leave the enterprise so that in their absence, the documentation can give a blueprint of the existing SharePoint environment.

  • Develop a System overview chart with all touchpoints
  • Compile all third party components and web parts integration details
  • Create a training manual for an easy transition

This is our list of key factors that can drastically mitigate your Migration issues and thus, improve your overall Migration experience.

Feel free to Share your SharePoint Migration Ideas and experiences.

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