Everything You Need to Know About SharePoint Migration

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If you have been using SharePoint 2010, then it is high time to get your business a modern age enterprise-level collaboration solution such as SharePoint 2019 On-Premise or SharePoint Online. Also, if your organization is using SharePoint 2019 On-Premise, but also uses Cloud for other corporate software simultaneously, then you must also consider migrating to SharePoint because SharePoint Migration has become imperative for attaining long-term collaboration and enhanced productivity for the business.

In this blogpost, we have tried gathering and discussing all the basic important information that you may need to understand SharePoint Migration process.

What is SharePoint Migration?

SharePoint Migration is basically a process where you shift/move/migrate all your data and content from the existing solutions (SharePoint older version or legacy content management systems) to a newer SharePoint version or Cloud i.e. SharePoint Online. Migration may occur between any two (older to newer) versions of SharePoint, and the underlying reason for migration may also vary. One of the most common reasons usually found out is the yearning to reap advanced and better benefits associated with the latest versions. These benefits mainly include the latest productivity and collaboration tools and features. The choice for the SharePoint version to migrate is solely dependent on your business needs, directions, requirements, and strategies.

What Are the Types of SharePoint Migration?

For SharePoint Migration your organization basically have two options depending on your requirements and budget. First, if you want to maintain your data on your On-Premise server, then you can simply migrate from an older SharePoint On-Premise version to a newer version. On the other hand, you can migrate from the SharePoint On-Premise version to SharePoint Online. Each of the migrations options have their list of pros and cons, on which you can have a quick look below.

Lingering to SharePoint On-Premises Version

The first option is to persist using the SharePoint On-Premise option while only upgrading to the newer version. This option is ideal when you don’t want to make changes in your collaboration model, IT infrastructure, and solutions architecture; and also don’t intend to make any significant changes to your system in upcoming years. Continuing to use SharePoint On-Premise allow you not to worry about your data security and compliance issues because all your critical data is stored within your corporate premises. And, you can always upgrade the version of your SharePoint On-Premise environment by using SharePoint Upgradation Methods supported by Microsoft in order to satisfy the changing needs of your business and customers.

Advantages of Migrating to SharePoint On-Premises

  • SharePoint On-Premise is more robust in terms of protecting sensitive business information and critical data.
  • SharePoint On-Premise is better in preserving customizations to precisely meet your business needs.

Constraints of Migrating to SharePoint On-Premises

  • SharePoint On-Premise server requires physical infrastructure, specified hardware, and dedicated staff, budget, and other maintenance resources.
  • Migrating directly to the latest version while skipping a version or two in the middle could become very hard to manage. For instance, migrating from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2019. In that case, you need to first migrate to SharePoint 2013, then to SharePoint 2016, and then to SharePoint 2019; and hence the migration costs also add up.
  • In order to experience the look, feel, and features offered by the latest version, a company often requires extra efforts, skills, and experience of staff.
  • Benefits like hub-site, home-sites, and SharePoint spaces that are offered in SharePoint Online only and not available in SharePoint On-Premise version.

2. Going for SharePoint Online

It relieves you from the burden and cost of maintaining your hardware infrastructure and staff and frees you from timely maintenance in terms of upgrades. Thus, it’s ideal for businesses with smaller budgets and those which don’t need significant customizations.

SharePoint Online is a cloud-based solution that offers a wide range of benefits that are associated with cloud technology which primarily include data availability at any time and anywhere. Not only this, but it also offers significant cost savings and hassle-free options for maintenance. SharePoint Online also relieves you from the burden of extra cost and maintenance for hardware structure. 

Benefits of Migrating to SharePoint Online

  • SharePoint Online is a highly cost-effective option since it does not require any upfront infrastructure and staff costs.
  • SharePoint Online is also an ideal choice for organizations that do not have any dedicated IT, management team, for managing SharePoint implementations.
  • SharePoint Online offers an extensive range of features and benefits which include enhanced collaboration, cost-effectiveness, and problem-free external user management. Also, the features and apps such as Delve, Power Apps, MS Flow, and MS Graph are not available on the SharePoint On-Premise version.

Limitations of Migrating to SharePoint Online

  • Limited customization capabilities as compared to SharePoint On-Premises.
  • Some users may find an ongoing monthly subscription burdensome as compared to a one-time investment.
  • Since, there are significant functional differences between SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-Premise, you are required your MySites (if any residing on your SharePoint On-Premise) or should reorganize them on into SharePoint Sites.
  • Companies with extra sensitive information usually feel less secured on Cloud.

How SharePoint Migration Can Be Managed?

SharePoint Migration can be effectively managed by undertaking proven migration approaches; such as the two that are mentioned below;

Using Ready-Made Migration Tools

One of the easiest ways to SharePoint Migration is to use ready-made migration tools that are available in the market. The top three most reliable migration tools available in the market currently are listed below;

  • AvePoint DocAve – AvePoint DocAve is one of the most sought-after SharePoint migration tools which is widely known and used for its simplicity and ease of use. The tool is capable of facilitating different types of legacy systems to any latest SharePoint version including SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2019, and SharePoint Online. The inbuilt DocAve Content Manager and DocAve Migrators also assist in easing content restructuring during the migration of your data to the new SharePoint environment.
  • ShareGate Migration Tool – It is a paid software tool for SharePoint migration that provides one of the simplest and straightforward methods that do not require any type of installation on your server-side.  ShareGate Migration tool granular as well as complete suite SharePoint migration that can be used to migrate all your site collections, documents, libraries, and workflows; and the entire process can be performed both manually and automatically.
  • Metalogix Content Matrix – Metalogix is also a paid tool that can be used to directly connected to the existing deployment of SharePoint and does not require any side work for the server for migrating metadata, content, and other related parameters. The tool has 3 fundamental features which include ease of creating a new site structure, migration manager which helps in quick identification of content, and its ability to only migrate content after receiving user permission; makes it a highly preferred tool.

2. Using ‘Database Attach Approach’ For Manual Migration

Alternatively, you can also migrate your SharePoint data manually; but this requires very careful and in-depth planning. For manual migration, you need to list down all the important steps and follow them in sequence to ensure seamless, successful SharePoint Migration. This includes building destination SharePoint farm along with the desired configuration and third-party software, restored and backup content databases to the target SharePoint SQL Server while attaching and verifying databases, and then upgrading the site collection. Few pre-migration steps that are also required include upgrading the source SharePoint Farm with the latest service packs while deleting all the orphaned sites, users and deleting unused site collections, etc.

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