5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Migrating to Office 365

Going through an Office 365 migration? You’re not alone. Ever since its release in 2011, more and more companies have transferred their software, database, and legacy systems over to Microsoft’s latest business productivity suite. There are several reasons behind this—the primary one being that it’s more cost-effective than traditional licensing. Indeed, the benefits of this system far outweigh the (very minor) risks involved in the migration process.

Nevertheless, the risks still exist (unfortunately).

Regardless of the size of your data transfer, Office 365 migration is not a simple process. There will be concepts that confuse you and jargon that’ll fly right over your head. If you’ve got a dedicated IT department—or at least an IT guy—to help you out, you might fare better than others. However, be warned that nothing about this process is straightforward.

But on that note, don’t worry; a little preparation can go a long way. Knowing what you’re up against—and the potential risks you may be facing—can help you construct a viable battle plan for moving to Office 365. Here are some pitfalls you might want to watch out for:

Pitfall #1: Lack of a Dedicated Point Person

We get it; it’s very, very tempting to dump the migration project on IT and call it a day. After all, they’re the tech geeks. They should be able to handle this data transfer, no problem.

Yes problem, because leaving all the work to one department can end up with the actual migration taking far too much time to complete. You need different teams of people: one to create the migration strategy, one to handle the implementation, one to carry out the actual process, and one to check the database and systems after transfer.

Migrating to Office 365 is too big and expansive of a task to dump on one department alone.

Pitfall #2: Lack of a Content Strategy

Most businesses treat Office 365 migration like it’s a copy-paste situation. They transfer every file from every existing server to the cloud. In theory, this method is harmless.

But if you want to really benefit from the move? Take this opportunity to manage your environment. Go through the database and start cleaning it up. Archive document libraries that are never used. Trash inboxes that have nothing but spam and notifications in them.

De-cluttering your existing systems can immediately cut out hundreds of gigabytes worth of data. This effectively translates to ‘less data to migrate.’

Pitfall #3: Overloading Maximum Capacity

Although Office 365 is undoubtedly influential, it’s still finite. When importing data, remember that there is such a thing as an ‘upload limit,’ and disregarding it could have extreme repercussions on your existing files. To avoid this, always double-check the maximum per-day capacity of the transfer service you’re using.

Pitfall #4: Obvious Security Gap

According to the government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey, almost half of all businesses experienced a security breach during 2017. Cloud-based software, for all the benefits and convenience it offers us, is not without some flaws. Make sure your company takes all necessary precautions to ensure your data’s security.

Digital systems, no matter how progressive or advanced, can still be hacked, and there are very determined individuals out there who are talented enough and resourceful enough to try about anything.

Pitfall #5: Incorrect Configuration

Regardless of where you’re migrating from, many of your cloud-based applications may require some reconfiguration for them to replicate their set-up on-premises. The last thing you want is for your company’s employees to go through a learning curve again because some programs are designed differently under Office 365. Not only is this frustrating, but it’s also completely unnecessary. Ergo, try to get all applications configured before beginning your Office 365 migration.

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