5 Important Considerations to Ensure a Smooth Data Migration to Microsoft 365

5 Important Considerations to Ensure a Smooth Data Migration to Microsoft 365

When companies find they need an integrated cloud solution, they often turn to one of the biggest, which is Microsoft 365 (recently renamed from Office 365).

It provides all the common Office programs, like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, plus a suite of other collaborative programs, like OneDrive, Teams and SharePoint.

By utlising a single cloud platform that can perform multiple tasks, companies reduce administration complexity, increase cloud security, and reduce confusion for users because all tools have a similar look and interface.

As of February 2020, there were over 57,590 Australian companies using Office 365 (now Microsoft 365).

Once you decide to move to Microsoft 365, one of the biggest challenges is migrating all the files that you have in different cloud platforms or on servers or computer hard drives.

There are multiple places within Microsoft 365 where data can go, and you want to be strategic in how you migrate that data. Having a good data migration strategy ensures that:

  • Files are easier to find
  • Sensitive files are protected
  • Data is placed in the most productive area of the platform
  • You’re not saturating “good” data with “junk” data
  • Auto versioning is automatically available in OneDrive and SharePoint
  • Support for a large array of file types
  • Full data redundancy across Microsoft’s Data Centres
  • Full Text Index and Speedy Search

Creating a Successful Microsoft 365 Data Migration Strategy

Understanding the structure and interconnectivity of Microsoft 365 applications and how they’re used is key to strategising your data migration.

Here are the important considerations when planning a data migration strategy to the platform.

Understand Where Data Can Go

You have multiple areas within Microsoft 365 where data can reside, these include:

  • OneDrive
  • SharePoint Team sites
  • SharePoint Communication sites
  • Exchange email
  • Teams

To make the most of your migration, you don’t want to just put all the files in the same place, otherwise you won’t get the full productivity benefits of the platform. It’s important to fully understand each file storage area, what it’s used for and how it can be used to serve up and secure your data.

Separate Files According to their Use

Some files that employees use are personal files. These files are ones that are generally stored on their computer hard drive or a cloud storage account under their name or folder.

Other files are shared by a department, such as client records used by the sales department. There are also files that are companywide, like an employee handbook and training guide that needs to be accessed widely.

Each of these file types should be put into a different area of Microsoft 365. For example:

  • Personal Files: OneDrive is a good place to store employee personal files that don’t need regular access by anyone else. Each user gets their own file storage in OneDrive.
  • Department Files: A SharePoint Team site, which can be accessed only by a specific group is helpful to use for department specific files that several people in that department need access to, but that also need to be secured.
  • Companywide Files: A SharePoint Communication site can be used to store and make easily available files that are used widely throughout your organisation.

Streamline Your Migration by Reviewing Files

There are likely to be files in your organisation that are either outdated or redundant and no longer needed. It’s best to either remove these before a migration or put them in an archive, so your team doesn’t have to waste time trying to navigate around these files to find the ones they need.

If you want to retain copies of any unneeded data, but don’t want them to be in the way, you can set up a special archive folder in OneDrive to store the files that won’t dilute your other data and make it harder to find.

Decide How to Handle Communications/Team Chats

If you’re transitioning from another chat program to Microsoft Teams, now is a good time to review whether or not the way your channeled chats are set up is serving you well.

You have a lot of control in how chat channels are set up in Teams, you can do them by department, project, client, roles, and so on. Make sure when you migrate your chat infrastructure, you take time to consider what worked or what didn’t work with your previous layout so you can optimise when migrating.

Where to Host a Company Wiki or FAQ

If you have specific materials that are designed to help onboard new users or new team members to a specific department process, a great place to migrate this information is Microsoft Teams.

You can use the interface to set up a company and/or department-based Wiki, that users can access and add information to easily.

A Wiki tab can be added to any chat channel. If your channel is protected (i.e. only specific users can access it), your channel Wiki will be as well. You can use this to add helpful information and FAQ’s that will be instantly accessible by all channel users.

Get Professional Assistance with Your Microsoft 365 Migration

GKM2 can help your business plan and implement a successful data migration to Microsoft 365 to ensure you’re using the platform to its fullest potential.

Contact us today for a free consultation. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.