Best Practices for SharePoint Online Migration 2022

With over 85% of Fortune 500 companies using SharePoint Online as part of Office 365, organisations that have not yet made the transition, are now looking for the most seamless way to migrate.

The author of this page: Conor Reynolds
Conor Reynolds, Marketing Intern Mar 14, 2022

Named market leader in Gartner’s most recent Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms, SharePoint is the solution of choice for businesses and organisations of all sizes and industries, thanks largely to the wide range of functionality offered. With its ability to execute and deliver a consistent and streamlined user experience, we take a look at the best practices for SharePoint Online migration in 2022.

Cloud vs On-Premise

Firstly it is important to understand the benefits of SharePoint Online versus SharePoint on-prem and which version of SharePoint best fits your organisation. If end-users need a more modern workspace, then SharePoint Online features and functionalities are more modern than SharePoint on-prem. The main advantage of SharePoint Online is that unlike on-prem, you do not need an IT team to add updates and patches as this is done automatically by Microsoft. Advantages within the interface include menu navigation, intranet improvements, web parts, external access and sharing improvements to provide users with a modernised intranet experience. SharePoint Online also allows for the personalisation of the site and the pages are better for navigation.

Another critical factor to consider is system integration. Will the infrastructure selected support seamless data transfer across the business or will custom integrations be required to support day-to-day operations? With many business systems already cloud-based, quick and easy integration between cloud platforms and SharePoint Online can prove a key advantage when considering preferred system infrastructure. 

The integration SharePoint Online offers is also a key consideration as users can access all the information they need much quicker. However SharePoint on-prem gives you more control over your information, so some organisations opt to remain with their legacy solution.

Focus on Navigation

When migrating to SharePoint Online, it is important to use this opportunity to improve the digital experience for end-users. As part of the migration planning process, we encourage clients to focus on streamlining navigation and improving search functionality. When navigation is poorly implemented, tasks can take much longer than necessary. Whereas with good navigation, employees will find tasks like finding the best place to share a document or finding the most supportive expert for a project, much more intuitive. By focusing on navigation, your business can provide instant access to the tools your team needs day to day, improving the employee experience and ultimately delivering a better customer experience. 

 Also with the right navigation set up on the intranet, end-users should have quick access to MS Teams, sites, communities and more. To implement bespoke navigation that fits within your organisational context, business analysis can help you identify areas for improvement and existing bottlenecks. 

Migrate in Phases

One of the main challenges for IT admins is the number of factors that need to be considered. With customisations, workflows, forms and often hundreds of thousands of data files to consider it can be difficult to know which data to bring to the cloud. This evaluation process is important, ensuring that when the migration process starts, your data is organised and your new system is optimised for success

When planning a migration with our clients, we encourage them to migrate in phases to maximise efficiency and minimise business disruption. After each batch of data is moved onto the cloud, the data migrated should be analysed to ensure data integrity and that all data has been successfully relocated. This  saves IT teams from doubling back afterwards.

Manage Sprawl as soon as possible

Given the volume of data created day to day, another challenge faced by IT admins is preventing the intranet from being messy and unmanaged. As business users adopt the new system, the volume of data generated and stored will continue to grow. When there is no plan to address outdated content, curated content or when IT teams don’t implement a process to ensure that content is saved in the right location, content sprawl can create system bottlenecks and have a negative impact on user experience over time. To prevent sprawl, it is important that IT teams have a clear launch plan for the solution, conduct regular content audits and have a well-defined governance structure.  

If you would like to learn more about migrating to SharePoint Online, get in touch today.  

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