Tips For Migrating To SharePoint Online

Migrating your content to SharePoint Online can seem like a long and ominous task. However, this does not need to be the case. Below we have compiled some tips to help you prepare for migration.

The author of this page: Brianna Bracken
Brianna Bracken, Marketing Executive Aug 20, 2021

As businesses continue to migrate from on-premise to the cloud, it is no wonder that SharePoint Online uptake is on the rise, offering the latest powerful Microsoft features and functionality while also providing the benefits of the cloud. However, a boundary to migrating to SharePoint Online can be the process itself. Often, companies perceive moving such a critical system that is central to most businesses processes to be a daunting task. However, if a migration is properly planned and executed it can be seamless, allowing your SharePoint Online journey to start off on the right foot.

Below we have compiled some tips to help prepare for migrating to SharePoint.

Make An Inventory List

One of the first steps to complete before migrating to SharePoint is to create an active inventory list if your company does not already have one. It is useful to identify each document as well as what actions should be taken with them. It may also be helpful to classify your document types too. Before spending the time migrating the corporate content, it is important to assess the business value of existing content in the inventory – is the content useful to the business? is the content structured in the correct manner? should it be stored in a different folder or library more relevant to its content? Making these decisions prior to migration can save time and IT costs in the long run while delivering a more effective information management process.

Decide On New Structure

An important step in migration is information mapping. This involves looking at where each content piece will fit and assessing how content is currently structured and how the new system can not only replicate that but also improve it by taking advantage of things like M365 groups or Microsoft Teams within SharePoint. This is also a good time to assess any technical issues that could get in the way of creating the new planned structure. It is important to research the differences in the structure of on-premise SharePoint structure and SharePoint Online or from any other system, you may be using. Your technology partner can help with this aspect of migration.

Security Measures

It is critical to consider document security and governance when migrating to a new system. It is essential to have the correct security measures in place including – user permissions, user access controls, content classification, sensitivity labels and encryption. This ensures the right users can access the right documents that they need. This can be different for each organisation as they all operate under different regulatory requirements and security measures on SharePoint Online can be tailored in accordance.

Take Advantage of New Features

Often one of the main drivers for migration to a newer version of a platform is to take advantage of new features. SharePoint Online has some very notable features in particular its powerful search functionality is very useful in saving time for searching for documents. SharePoint Online can also be easily integrated with other critical business systems. Integrations like MS Teams, Power Platform etc can help create a more productive and efficient working experience overall.

Prepare Your Organisation

As with any system change or migration within an organisation, a key step is preparing your employees. Not all employees will welcome change, especially when it comes to uncertainty so it is essential to have a good communication plan in place to help them understand why it's happening, when it’s happening and how it will impact them. Pre-empting potential change blockers or barriers and having solutions for these can make for a more seamless process. Supporting employees after the change is also critical as it may take a while to fully adjust – this is where user adoption training and work to maintain the change comes in.

Choose a Trusted Partner

Choosing a good business technology partner is key to a smooth migration. Researching your potential partner is critical looking for case studies and relevant experience in this area can help. At Storm, we have helped many of Ireland's leading brands start their SharePoint journey, helping them plan and make successful migrations through the work of our SharePoint experts, Business Analysts and Change Management experts.


If you would like to learn more about migrating to SharePoint, get in touch today to speak to one of our specialists.

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