Office 365 Migration Guide: five key dos & don'ts for success
Migration to Office 365 is one of the latest trends in the business world. You are not alone if you are planning to adopt Office 365 and Azure Active Directory as its back- end system. Moreover, various cloud applications relevant to it, like SharePoint online application and Exchange Online, are in high demand.
According to the stats revealed by Microsoft, there are nearly 135 million active users of Office 365 who are commercial, and the number of Azure AD customers are over 10 million. It also reports that the number of organizations using SharePoint for content management, intranet, and team sites has reached 200,000, whereas people using SharePoint for specific purposes have reached 190 million.
Figures regarding subscriptions of Office 365 are growing at an exponential rate and are more than double at the start of the current year as compared to the previous year.
Why are organizations adopting Office 365?
Most common factors that are drivers of the steady adoption curve for Office 365 are:
- Firstly, few of the most popular on-premises legacy systems have ended their mainstream support, e.g., Exchange 2013 came off of mainstream support on 10th April 2018. Not only Exchange 2013, but many other firms have also changed their models to adapt to the needs of the workforce of the 21st century.
- Office 365 has established its place as a fantastic cloud-based collaboration platform with valued features such as flexibility, stability, and driver for productivity. Moreover, the much-anticipated features of security and compliance is an integral part of Office 365.
- Organizations are taking advantage of the cost-saving associated with cloud-based applications providing e-mail, collaboration, and communication. On-premises setup of the services requires high investment.
Taking into account the benefits associated with OFFICE 365 and AZURE AD, it's the best choice for organizations in transition to become a truly digital firm.
Challenges associated with adopting Office 365
Although there are many appealing benefits associated with the decision to migrate to Office 365, reaching there is not a piece of cake. Several challenges are associated with the adoption process.
Challenges at the higher level are usually:
- Conducting a suitable assessment
- Cleanup of your source environment.
- Efficiency in migration.
- Proper track of progress.
- Ensure a smooth transition so that users can normally work throughout the migration process.
- Managing your target environment after the migration process.
- Effective communication with users through the whole process
Challenges at the operational level are usually:
- Managing permissions in the process of mapping from the source platform to Office 365.
- Managing the feature restrictions and size limitations properly.
- During each stage of migration, managing the limitations of the native tools.
Overcoming these challenges requires the right knowledge and the right tools. Certified professionals with the experience of working of Office 365, changing the mailbox, operating web apps like outlook web apps, user interface, and adding new users can be an essential resource during the adoption process of Office 365.
5 Key dos and don'ts of cloud migrations:
- Don't skimp on preparation
Taking proper time and resources to prepare for the migration will conclude fewer issues.
Moreover, the anticipated target environment will be having an optimized state of management and security. Start working on application inventory early. In case your critical apps don't work on your target platform, you might need to reconsider the decision to migrate on a cloud-based platform. Issues are mandatory to arise in the process of migration; you must be sure about the procedure to roll back any unsuccessful changes quickly.
- Do plan for coexistence
It takes months to complete the migration process; you must make sure users can communicate, work, and collaborate during the process. Returning to the previous mailbox tools is a lengthy procedure which involves reverting to the source environment. You should make third-party tools available, having strong coexistence capabilities.
- Do minimize impact to the business
Ensure the availability of apps during the adoption process. Users would consider the migration a failure if they would not be able to access their SharePoint data wholly and accurately. Furthermore, users should not be required to configure Outlook manually.
- Do implement the security measures
Firstly, you need to audit and have an insight into your users' activities. Secondly, you need to backup your data so that it can be recovered in case it gets deleted, and most importantly, you need to manage users and groups to ensure security. Rights and privileges should be granted according to the principles.
Migrating to Office 365 is an excellent opportunity to implement the security parameters which otherwise could not be implemented in legacy systems.
- Don't forget about post-migration management
Although it would be Microsoft's responsibility to provide the users with performance and system availability apart from the tasks mentioned above, there is administration of Office 365, Azure, SharePoint Online, and Exchange Online, which require trained professionals for smooth execution of processes. Moreover, you need to have skills like permissions reporting, license management, privileged account management, backup and recovery, compliance auditing and so on. You'll have to have the right tools before migration to office 365 starts so you can ensure a secure and productive environment from day one.
If you are planning a migration to Microsoft Office365, you are not alone. More and more organizations are adopting this cloud-based platform to ensure cost-effective, high-performance processes. It would help if you catered to specific challenges like managing limitations and granting privileges. This article encompasses essential dos and don'ts for successfully migrating to Office 365, which include:
- Prepare properly before making the decision
- Plan for coexistence
- Minimize the business impact
- Ensure security
- Ensure post-migration management
To ensure smooth and optimal migration to Office 365, make sure your workforce is technology-ready and playing a suitable role to meet the organizational goals.