How to manage 5 common SharePoint post migration issues.

The COVID era completely reshaped the landscape for how companies run their IT environments.  Many companies chose to make the jump to cloud SaaS offerings (e.g. Microsoft 365), but there is also a large percentage of companies that continue to leverage on-premise infrastructures to run many of the services they offer to their employees and/or customers.

SharePoint is no exception to this process.  Companies can choose to run SharePoint Server (on-premises) environments or migrate to SharePoint Online using the Office365 services from the Microsoft365 family of SaaS offerings.  Regardless of the environment companies choose to migrate to, SharePoint consultants and Administrators will need to keep in mind several post migration issues that need to be addressed to ensure the environment is properly configured, secured, and minimizes user experiences issues.

Being mindful of issues that may arise after migration, will help make for a smoother and more successful transition.

Here are 5 different issues that will most likely need to be addressed after migrating a SharePoint Environment:

User Adoption and Training: One of the biggest challenges of SharePoint migration is user adoption. Companies need to ensure that end-users are trained on the new platform and understand how to effectively navigate and use it.  To address this issue, some things that can be done are creating training materials, offering live training sessions, as well as offering support and guidance to users after their sites are migrated.  This will help users to quickly understand how to use the new environment, and feel the transition was painless.

Performance and Scalability: Although this issue only affects SharePoint on-premises deployments, consultants and administrators should ensure that the platform is properly configured to meet the performance and scalability needs of the organization.  Some options to investigate to address this issue are; optimizing the platform for performance, setting up load balancing, and ensuring the platform can properly scale when required.  Having minimal performance disruption after migration will help ensure customers are satisfied with the new environment.

Customization and Configuration: Custom solutions and configurations are just as much a part of SharePoint, as lists and document libraries are.  Consultants and administrators should engage with stakeholders to determine the current customization and configuration they expect to have available after the migration to the new environment.  This could involve creating custom web parts, custom lists, and custom workflows.  However, expectation need to be established to ensure stakeholders know which customization cannot migrate to the new environment either due to limitations or lack of support.

Security and Compliance: Regardless of the type of environment a company will migrate to, security and compliance will always be a top priority.  Ensuring that the platform is properly secured, the data is well protected, and that the platform meets regulatory requirements are key issues to address. This may involve setting up permissions and access controls, implementing Data Loss Prevention, and setting up auditing and logging, to name a few.  Because security and compliance are key to all organizations, this part of the project will continue well beyond the migration and into the operations and support stage.

Content Management: Lastly, content management is an area that Cognillo is dedicated to addressing, as this is a major issue that administrators or consultants sometimes forget to address when migrating a SharePoint infrastructure.  This includes making sure that all content is properly structured, organized, and tagged for easy search and retrieval. It can also include setting up policies and procedures for managing content, like document retention, version control, and access controls.  Another forgotten issue is addressing post-migration broken links.  Many times, documents, pages, lists, libraries, etc. will have links embedded that point to an old environment.  This could be a legacy on-premises farm after the environment has been migrated to SharePoint Online, URLs pointing to old servers, or shared drives that no longer exist.

In conclusion, SharePoint consultants or administrators should add these post-migration issues to the project roadmap, and ensure they are properly addressed during the project lifecycle.  Consultants or administrators should always consider using third party tools to help address or solve these issues in a timely manner and minimize disruption to the customer.  Cognillo’s SharePoint Essentials Toolkit provides different solutions to help address post-migration security, and content management issues that arise.  The SharePoint Essentials Toolkit components address issues such as broken links, orphaned users, checked out files, permission management and site auditing.  This tool can be a great addition to any SharePoint expert’s toolbox.

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