Whenever an organization decides to switch to Office 365 from its existing environment, the first step is to plan for a seamless migration process that ensures minimum downtime and productivity loss. Whether the business is moving its entire operations or is looking for a hybrid solution, Office 365 migration has to be a seamless transition for the best results. A well-planned procedure drastically reduces the associated deployment risks and chances of data loss.
The following 5 tips would help organizations plan an efficient and cost-effective Office 365 migration.
Assess the Priorities
Determining the needs and intent of the migration is the first step of this intensive process. The business has to decide whether it wants to move its entire process and determine what all it needs in the cloud, including emails, documents, and other files. The different work requirements of every employee should be taken into account and inputs from key individuals should be incorporated in the plan. The assessment should also include information such as the number of accounts, network setting details, file storage locations, and details of online meeting and messaging platforms.
Choosing the Right Partner
The next step is to choose an experienced partner who will help the client with the migration and decide on the project scope, timeline, and progress tracking. Even if the organization has a well-experienced IT team who is confident of executing the process satisfactorily, it’s better to go with a Microsoft partner who would help clear all apprehensions, assist with the necessary licenses, carry out the job without disrupting productivity, and extend long-term support. The partner would help the client decide the best approach among staged, hybrid, and cutover migration as per the project needs and scope. It would also help them with all privacy and compliance requirements.
Once the migration partner comes on board and the detailed plan is devised about carrying out the job without affecting work continuity, a pilot migration should be carried out with a small volume of data. This would help in keeping bandwidth, servers, and certificate-related issues at bay and keep the downtime at a minimum. The pilot migration would also help test important accesses and permissions and identify other process loopholes and correct them.
Once the pilot migration is carried out successfully and the necessary changes are made to the plan, the complete Office 365 migration can be initiated. While carrying out the process, the industry best practices should be followed for the desired outcomes. If the job is executed by the in-house team, they can use some migration software to support their efforts. Deployment for critical resources can be delayed to reduce potential business losses if anything goes wrong in the process.
Validation and Assessment
Once the process gets over, thorough testing should be carried out to identify any existing problem and ensure that everything is working well and fine. End users should be informed about the ways to customize their preferences and verify their information. The client can also address sustainability items including the handling of the old environment and the demands of the future growth of content. Data should be validated to ensure the smooth functioning of processes and applications that would consume it.
Migrating to Office 365 is a critical task and demands serious planning, considerations, and expertise to deliver satisfactory results. When executed smartly, Office 365 migration not only saves costs and makes processes efficient but also helps businesses scale and tackle operational challenges for future growth.