Are you using SharePoint 2010 or prior for years even though your business needs a modern solution on SharePoint Online or SharePoint 2019 On-premises? While your organization is using Cloud for all other corporate software, yet supporting SharePoint On-Premises at the same time? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, it’s time to migrate your SharePoint sooner than later. SharePoint Migration is imperative for enhanced collaboration and long-term business rewards.
What is SharePoint Migration?
SharePoint Migration is a process of moving all your content and existing solutions that are residing in your existing SharePoint or file share to a new or an existing environment with generally, a newer version.
A business opts for migrating to or between versions of SharePoint for a variety of reasons and one of the primary reasons among these is for reaping the benefits associated with the latest features and collaboration and productivity tools that come along with the new version. The SharePoint Migration choice completely depends on your business needs, strategies and direction.
Types of SharePoint Migration
Your organization can choose one of the following options that suit you the best based on your collaboration needs and budget.
- Sticking to SharePoint On-Premises
You can decide to stay loyal with SharePoint On-Premises especially when you do not intend to change solution architecture, collaboration model and IT infrastructure and plan to continue with your solution without much changes for years. With this option, you need not bother about the compliance and data security much as your company data will be residing within your company premises. You can keep on upgrading your SharePoint version with Microsoft-supported upgrade methods to satisfy user’s growing demands.
Benefits of Migrating to SharePoint On-Premises
- It offers a more robust solution to protect your sensitive business data.
- It preserves customizations specific to your business needs.
Limitations of Migrating to SharePoint On-Premises
- It needs a physical server, hardware infrastructure and dedicated budget and staff for maintenance.
- Direct migrations by skipping several SharePoint versions can be tricky.
- Additional efforts are needed to experience the look & feel offered by the features that are available with the new version.
- Certain benefits such as home sites, hub sites and SharePoint Spaces available in SharePoint Online are not available even in the latest SharePoint On-Premises version.
- Going for SharePoint Online
Being a Cloud-based solution, SharePoint Online offers businesses all the benefits associated with the Cloud including anytime-anywhere availability, hassle-free maintenance and significant cost-savings. It relieves you from the burden and cost of maintaining your hardware infrastructure and staff and frees you from the timely maintenance in terms of upgrades. Thus, it’s ideal for businesses with smaller budgets and those which don’t need significant customizations.
Benefits of Migrating to SharePoint Online
- It’s a significantly cost-effective option with no up-front cost for infrastructure and staff.
- Ideal for organizations that don’t have a dedicated team to manage SharePoint Implementations.
- Offers all the Cloud-related benefits including automatic version updates, enhanced collaboration, hassle-free external user management, cost-effectivity and certain features that will never be available on On-Premises versions like PowerApps, Delve, Flow and Microsoft Graph.
Limitations of Migrating to SharePoint Online
- With significant functional differences, you need to dismiss your MySites (if you have any as a SharePoint On-Premises user) or reorganize them into SharePoint sites.
- In case of any extra-sensitive information, companies may feel less secure to store it on Cloud.
- 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.
How Will You Take Care of SharePoint Migration?
Your organization can tackle SharePoint Migration with one of the following two approaches.
- Use The Migration Tools
There are many migration tools available in the market including those mentioned below and you can opt for one for your SharePoint Migration.
- AvePoint DocAve – It’s one of the most widely used SharePoint Migration tools that is popular for its level of simplicity. The tool helps the migration of 14 legacy systems to either SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, or SharePoint Online. Further, its inbuilt DocAve Migrators and DocAve Content Manager facilitate easy content restructuring during the content migration to the new SharePoint environment.
- ShareGate Migration Tool – This paid software tool offers one of the most straightforward and simplified ways to migrate your SharePoint instance that needs no installation at the server-side. It offers full-site as well as granular SharePoint Migration and you can migrate your site collections including sites, libraries, documents, workflows and more, either automatically or manually.
- Metalogix Content Matrix – This paid tool can connect directly to already existing SharePoint deployments without the need for any server-side work and migrates content, metadata and any related parameters. Its 3 core features make it one of the preferred content migration tools – its ease to build new site structures, the migration manager that identifies content easily and its ability to migrate content only after the receipt of user permission.
- Manual Migration by Database Attach Approach
Alternatively, you can migrate your SharePoint manually. This calls for in-depth and careful planning. You need to list down and follow the steps in sequence for a successful SharePoint Migration. It can include creating the destination SharePoint farm with the required farm configuration and third-party software and more, back-up and restore content databases to the target SharePoint SQL Server and verifying and attaching these databases and upgrading the site collection. It also demands a few pre-migration steps such as upgrading your source SharePoint farm with advanced service packs, deleting unused site collection, orphaned users and sites, etc.
Migration of Custom Solutions
Tools and Database Attach Approach can help you in content migration. However, none of them are useful for migrating your custom developed solutions. The migration approach for custom-developed solutions completely depends on the individual solution and SharePoint deployment and thus, differs vastly for each case. A SharePoint Consultant can guide you the best when it comes to custom solutions migration. Though migrating custom developed solutions is outside the scope of this blog, we can certainly help you with a few important points. You can check the possibility of simply upgrading your custom solutions without changing the architecture by migrating server-side code and master pages and make adjustments to CSS and JS files. Alternatively, you can migrate them to either SharePoint Framework or SharePoint Add-Ins development models.
If you have your in-house IT team of SharePoint developers and administrators, you can avail it to migrate your SharePoint deployment by yourself. Whether by using a tool or a manual one, SharePoint migration needs diligent planning with a high level of technical expertise as any wrong step can lead to irreversible and expensive information loss. Also, many times, in-house migration can become a secondary activity for the developers, to be taken up in their free time which lengthens the migration windows to months. It not only makes the staff use the half-baked product but also restricts the business reaping the complete benefits offered by the new SharePoint version.
In the absence of SharePoint expertise, a seasoned SharePoint consultant such as WaferWire Cloud Technologies can come to your rescue. With our domain niche, technology know-how and expert SharePoint consultants, we can help you with a quick and successful SharePoint Migration. To know more about our comprehensive SharePoint services, contact us today.