“Share and manage content, knowledge, and applications to empower teamwork, quickly find information, and seamlessly collaborate across the organisation”. – this is what SharePoint does!
So, is SharePoint a CMS (Content Management System)?
Well, yes, it is. It is one of the powerful collaborative platforms that help organisations to create their own space (as an application or website) to save and organise information.
You can either use SharePoint Online or SharePoint On-Premises depending on your business requirements. Here is a diagram, which will show SharePoint’s market position in terms of traffic and popularity compared to the other popular CMSs like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla etc.
Image Source: w3techs.com
According to the research we made, more than 20K business websites are presently using SharePoint technology all over the world.
This diagram will show you the website categories, where SharePoint is being used mostly.
The leading countries, which have shown great interest and have adopted SharePoint technology are the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, Turkey and so on.
Data Source: www.similartech.com
So, if you are thinking of migrating to SharePoint, this article is going to be your ultimate guide.
Before digging into the various SharePoint migration strategies, here is a list of some critical pre-migration pointers that you need to consider.
- Customisation Transition
This activity involves either re-building, re-coding, or re-designing each customisation, which is required in the target environment.
- Migration Planning
This activity not only breaks the migration down into a series of phases or batches to understand your business implications of the migration but also trains the migration team, coordinates the necessary resources along with scheduling all migration activities.
This activity also considers whether data clean-up is required or not. If it is required, then whether it will occur pre-migration, in-flight while the migration is going on, or post-migration is another thing to be decided in this phase.
- Content Mapping
It establishes the alignment between the layout and format of the content in the source environment and the information architecture in the target environment. As a part of this activity, content and column type mappings, filters, templates, and permissions are mapped.
- Pilot Migration
This phase confirms the technical feasibility of the migration. If there is any gap, which has to be addressed, this activity takes care of it.
The end-to-end migration verifies success, tests access and permissions, identifies and addresses the errors, gathers migration statistics along with documenting results. This stage is crucial to make the migration process optimised and including the rollback testing is necessary for that.
- Production Migration
In this activity, you will be migrating content to the target environment. For each batch of the migration, this activity is repeated.
- Testing and Validation
This pointer validates whether the migration is successful or not from the perspective of meeting the requirements of the business. The results obtained at this time should be consistent with the results obtained during the pilot migration. If you find any discrepancies, it can be addressed at this time. For each batch of the migration, this activity is repeated.
- Change Synchronisation
It captures all the changes made to the source environment occur between the initial migration and the completion of the user transition. It also makes sure that all the changes are reflected in the target environment properly. For each batch of the migration, this activity is repeated.
- Transition of Users
It involves performing the final synchronisation of all the changes along with transitioning the users to the target environment by “freezing” the source environment. Again, for each migration batch, this process is repeated.
When an organisation or a business gets ready to adopt a SharePoint migration strategy, one of the main objectives remains to make it sustainable.
To make the migration strategy effective, robust and sustainable, the following factors have to be included in it.
> Data auditing
You need to identify all the information, which have to be moved to the new platform along with the information that can be removed.
> Collaborative planning
In the initial planning discussions, you need to involve the stakeholders to make sure no user scenarios are left out to be considered.
> Analysing user journey
Your users might be new to the SharePoint environment. Hence, to navigate the system effortlessly, your users (employees) might need training. By analysing, you need to decide which customisations are integral, which governance and provisioning rules should be in place.
> Initial testing
Rather than migrating the entire environment at once, you may start by migrating some users and data to the new environment so that you can identify any data anomalies, missing functionality etc.
Other than the aforementioned factors, ongoing oversight of the system is necessary to ensure the sustainability of the system.
See, not every business is the same! Depending on the types of data and information a business deals with, the migration strategy can vary.
One of the key decisions you need to make is whether you should opt for an evergreen model or stick with a more traditional migration.
We have jotted down some scenarios, where these strategies can be used.
SharePoint Upgrade or Migration
Traditional migration is where the content has to be upgraded from one environment to another. Once the upgrade is done, you need to decommission the older environment.
When should you select this traditional migration strategy?
- You want to keep the metadata and context around the data intact
- Prior to moving into a new environment, you want to clean and classify the data
- If you want to manage a single environment along with providing a cohesive experience for the users, this traditional migration will be the best choice
- If your business deals with sensitive data, which needs to be governed and protected, it is better to opt for the traditional migration strategy
In this migration strategy model, you can keep the legacy content where it is and simply add or incorporate s SharePoint 2019 environment.
When should you select this migration strategy?
- When you do not need to worry about data silos and also the information architecture is relatively simple
- When you have the ability to manage two separate collaboration environments
- When you do not have any concern over backing up data
- If your current environment has very few customisations and the amount of legacy content is small, it is better to use this evergreen model of the migration strategy.
Well, to make sure you are having a successful SharePoint migration 2019, you will need the guidance and assistance of a professional SharePoint consultant.
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