Why Do Cloud Migrations Fail?

Successfully migrating to SharePoint Online

Why Do Cloud Migrations Fail?

By Adam Levithan | August 24, 2015

We’re back for another round of war stories, strategy, and guidance with SharePoint Migrations! At the upcoming SPTechCon Boston conference (www.sptechcon.com), Jill Hannemann, Director of Advisory Services for www.portalsolutions.net, and I will be presenting a half-day tutorial on the ins and outs of SharePoint migrations.

Even in a half-day tutorial, there’s simply not enough time to cover all of the details, but we like to cover the key obstacles that we’ve uncovered during our experiences facilitating migrations for other companies in the last three years. What’s different about the session this time is that a lot has changed, improved, and evolved in the technology space. This time around we have the additional benefit of picking the brains of the Content Matrix teams (Metalogix and formerly Metavis).

Here are a few reasons to join us at SPTechCon, and some insight into why we think migrations typically fail:                                                                                                         

  1. Failure to Fully Scope the Effort
    If the underlying reason for migrating is not defined, we’ve seen migrations fail from the point of approval. It’s important to build realistic goals, which are based on knowing how people actually use SharePoint and how your organization would like it to be used in the new environment.           

  2. Failure to Budget for All Activities
    From experience, we’ve seen that it’s better to understand what method of migration you’re going to use to migrate FIRST, before finalizing your effort. Also, it’s not just SharePoint content that is being migrated, and it’s even more important to build a roadmap that takes into consideration all the different workloads that Office 365 provides.                           

  3. No Buy-In from Stakeholders
    Remember #1, yup if you don’t have goals then your stakeholders and end-users won’t understand the value that is being provided by the migration and will only look at it as a technical change, not a productivity boost. When organizations don’t commit to governance before a migration starts, we’ve seen the battle to catch-up be an insurmountable climb.     

  4. Content is Not Cleaned or Enhanced
    Migrations are a great opportunity to take a look at how your organization collaborates and to optimize your new environment to the observed specific patterns. This is also very important when moving to Office 365, because you have several different ways that you could re-architect your information based on new and upcoming tools that are available in the cloud.

What Jill and I enjoy most about this type of session is the ability to learn about each attendee (ok sometimes they have to talk really quickly, but we usually start introductions before the official starting time). By asking these types of questions: What are you migrating from/to? Where are you in the process? What are your biggest concerns? We are able to customize the conversation to individuals in the audience. Oh, and if you do decide to join, be ready to share because your stories are just as powerful. We hope to see you at SPTechCon Boston conference (www.sptechcon.com)!

For additional help, check out The Definitive Guide to Better SharePoint Migration Planning.

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Adam Levithan 2018

Adam is a Group Program Manager of Secure Collaboration at Exostar and a Microsoft MVP advocating for collaboration by connecting business needs with the right technology. Prior to Exostar, Adam was a Product Manager for Migration at a market leading ISV and a Practice Lead for Office 365 in a cutting-edge Microsoft Consulting firm. Over the last decade Adam has been responsible for moving customers to the cloud, designing and implementing information architecture (SharePoint Farm and content) and increasing user adoption. Adam is an ongoing member of the SharePoint Saturday DC coordinating committee and active speaker at many national events.

Written By: Adam Levithan