As SharePoint 2010 will reach the end of extended support in October 2020, you might be planning to move to a newer version of SharePoint such as SharePoint 2013, 2016, or perhaps SharePoint Online. Before getting started, here are a few considerations to take into account to make your SharePoint Migration successful

1. What should we do with our SharePoint 2010 / 2013 / 2016 Server?

The end of support for SharePoint 2010 in October 2020 means that Microsoft no longer provides support, maintenance, and upgrades which can result in security issues for your data and platform if you do not take action.

If you are already using SharePoint 2013, you should also bear in mind that its extended support will end in November 2023 and you might want to consider moving to a more up-to-date platform sooner rather than later.

As for SharePoint 2016, a date has already been set for its end of extended support. There is still plenty of time, as July 2026 is still a bit in the future, but you should know that its Mainstream Support will end as early as July 2021.

If you did extensive customization or even develop your own Farm- and Sandbox-Solutions, you might want to remain on-premises for the foreseeable future. SharePoint Server 2016 and SharePoint Server 2019 are great opportunities to modernize your infrastructure. With those versions, you can take advantage of the latest in content collaboration and portal technologies.  

Taking that route, you will need a multi-phased approach, meaning you will need to first upgrade to SharePoint Server 2013 before you can upgrade to SharePoint Server 2016 or even SharePoint Server 2019. 


2. What to ask yourself before migrating

Migrating your data from an older SharePoint version to a newer can be daunting and overwhelming if you do not plan accordingly.

  • Define Your Business Needs and Challenges

Before deciding on the platform or process, you should start by asking yourself how a SharePoint migration can help you solve your business challenges and better meet your needs. The most common reasons to migrate your SharePoint site include zero maintenance, security and compliance improvements, better support, etc.

  • Perform an audit of your current environment

Then, you need to define the scope of the migration with an audit to make an inventory of the content, workflows, and other applications you will move to the new SharePoint site. For example, you might have duplicates, outdated documents, and even corrupt files. This is a golden opportunity to start with a clean slate and determine what you want to keep versus what you want to get rid of. 

  • Define your requirements

Once you have a comprehensive view of your content and data, it is crucial to establish your requirements to support your current and future needs. To do so, you can map the new site structure as well as the governance policies required to ensure the new SharePoint site will be efficient. To make sure your project will be successful, you can start by defining the destination format, metadata, and policies in the new site, identify where data will need to be cleaned, map old metadata fields to the new metadata fields, 

  • Do not underestimate the complexity of the project

A SharePoint migration project is usually complex and often takes more time and resources than expected. Underestimating the workload can entail many risks such as delaying the launch date or going live without enough content.

Therefore, before migrating, it is recommended to run a test migration on your SharePoint site first to estimate the time it will take to carry out the migration of a single document. Additionally, you will realize that there are a lot of restrictions when it comes to data in Microsoft 365 and that the number of characters and length of file names, file sizes, length of the file path, etc. are limited.


3. SharePoint Migration: What kind of tools are available?

Well, there are nearly a dozen tools out there that can help you with this kind of migration.

Every single one of them has its pros and cons, and some even provide a decent level of custom modification to their standard procedure. Depending on your environment, it makes sense to combine different tools to use the best of both worlds.

Microsoft itself is providing some basic tools like the Microsoft SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT) or the newly integrated Microsoft Mover.

Some other good examples of nifty tools are AvePointShareGateMetalogixLayer2 Cloud ConnectorDockit Migrator, or HarePoint.

You can even find Migration Tools that can handle a lot of different sources and targets, including SharePoint but do not only focus on SharePoint alone. For example, Caliente.

4. Which Tool to choose?

While the Microsoft provided Tools are heavily focused on consuming a lot of different sources, but deploying them only into the Cloud, other 3rd Party Solutions can help you with either migrating to a newer on-premises Version or directly into the cloud.

So, starting with the question of what will be my target System, you now must face the next challenge, which tools do I want to use for what task?
Depending on your manpower and Development capacities, you can even write your own Code to assist with the task at hand.

From experience we can say, none of the environments we had to handle required the same approach as the one before.

Reach Out to Softlanding Today

A SharePoint migration can be a daunting and time-consuming project and process. If you are not sure you will have the time and resources in-house to handle it, it’s best to work with SharePoint experts like Softlanding to get you started.

To find out more about our SharePoint Migration and to discover how managed services for Microsoft 365 can benefit your business, reach out to our team today.


Written By:

Jan Kokott

Jan Kokott is a Senior SharePoint Developer and a pioneer in the SharePoint Global Community with over 10 years of solid experience as SharePoint Developer and Trainer in the IT Consulting, Telecommunications, CPG and Insurance Industries.

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