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What Matters Most During a SharePoint Migration?

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Categories:SPF 2013; General Knowledge

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Editor's note: Contributor Sean O'Leary is the Senior Manager of Global Communications for Metalogix Software. Follow him @metalogix

To say there is a lot involved with a SharePoint migration is to put it extremely mildly. There are hundreds of potential pitfalls along with hundreds of options for how and when you set forth on a migration project. It can be overwhelming.

But when you are preparing to undertake a SharePoint migration, whether you are upgrading from an older version or consolidating file share content into SharePoint, what really matters? What are the key things you need to be successful?

How to effectively migrate SharePoint has always been a hot topic within the SharePoint community and its urgency has only been increased with SharePoint 2013 looming in the distance. At both the SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas and the European SharePoint Conference 2013 in Copenhagen, we received many questions, concerns and comments about the topic.

It was why we wanted to get an accurate gauge of what the community was thinking as we conducted the SharePoint Content Survey. We posed a simple, yet critical question with an option to select more than 1 answer to more than 100 SharePoint and IT professionals, spread between the public and private sector:

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The fact that high-fidelity, including maintaining metadata, permissions and versioning information, clearly speaks to the maturation of SharePoint. All of the respondents in the survey were running SharePoint, with 40% still running at least one SharePoint 2003 or SharePoint 2007 farm. The survey also revealed that 60% want to move to SharePoint 2013 within the next year. It is a reasonable assumption that high-fidelity is so important because there is so much information within current SharePoint environments, that losing any of it is simply unacceptable.

The next most popular responses – pre-migration planning – links back to the ultimate goal of completing migration projects effectively and efficiently. As we discussed in our recent SharePoint 2013 webinar, there is no substitute for planning when it comes to a SharePoint migration. Without a proper inventory in place and a complete plan, your project is doomed from the start.

The last 2 responses go hand-in-hand and mark a shift in the mindset of the SharePoint professional. When SharePoint farms were being measured in GBs, the need for speed was less of a concern because even a slow migration, whether with out-of-the-box tools or another third-party tool, would not take too long. But moving 250GBs is a whole different ballgame than moving terabyte upon terabyte of content.

The no downtime migration speaks, again, to how SharePoint has become business-critical. Imagine trying to tell your organization, which is now relying on SharePoint every single day for collaboration, that it will be down for several days. The odds that it would be received favorably are remote, and that’s putting it kindly. SharePoint simply cannot be down, for any reason, during a migration.

The speed aspect becoming more prevalent is to be expected and, if this survey were conducted in November 2013, would continue to climb in the minds of SharePoint admins and IT directors. As content continues to grow at an extraordinary pace, so does the amount of content that needs to be moved during any SharePoint migration and upgrade. The quicker that content can be moved means a quicker project for you – and the speed of business is not going to slow down for your project.

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