Major IT migrations aren’t easy. What’s especially frustrating is that while the decision to move to a new IT platform likely did not fall on the IT administrator’s plate, the responsibility for a flawless rollout does. Such is the case with an Office 365 migration, an increasingly common shift for organizations moving an on-premises Microsoft install or other enterprise messaging platform to the cloud.
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To ensure success and ease the pain of a migration, tight alignment between IT decision makers and the IT team is critical. Alignment should include discussion about scope of the deployment, accountability for staying on track, success measurements and a communication strategy for all those impacted by the migration. But that conversation and a process to set reasonable, achievable expectations for an Office 365 migration can’t really happen until the IT administrators truly understand how complex the migration will be.
Enter a pre-migration assessment.
“But won’t a pre-migration assessment take extra time?” says the CIO who wants to check Migrate to Office 365 off his 2017 to-do list. In fact it will and organizations with 500+ employees should anticipate at least 1-2 months for a proper assessment. But, the consequence of not performing an assessment would be far more disruptive. A pre-migration assessment provides the IT team with full visibility into their current IT environment, important information that enables the team to determine:
- What critical data and users accounts should be migrated
- When critical data and users accounts should be migrated
- How to simplify the IT environment to minimize the complexity of the migration
While a comprehensive pre-migration assessment includes several elements, begin with an IT asset inventory. An inventory of the IT environment includes:
- Users accounts (login names, email addresses and delegation relationships)
- Size of user mailboxes
- Offline data, in third-party archives or local PST files
- Client versions and configurations
- Network settings
- File storage locations
- Online meeting and Instant Messaging systems
- Additional third-party applications with workflows integrated into existing systems
With an inventory complete, IT teams can move on to additional steps. Stay tuned for our next blog post that provides a look at other critical assessments.
A pre-migration assessment may be the most critical element of a successful cloud migration. But the IT team’s work doesn’t stop there.