Top 5 Challenges in Migrating to SharePoint Online

* This article is part of a book called “The Survival Guide for Migrating to and Adopting SharePoint Online.”

The path along which you traverse while migrating to SharePoint Online may not be as smooth as you think it to be – there are some “bumps” along the way.

In this chapter, we look at some fairly common challenges you are likely to face while migrating to SharePoint Online.

1. Disorganized Information

A major challenge – which has NOTHING to do with the framework itself but rather a lack of organization on our own part, is information which is disorganized. This invariably proves to be one of the most critical challenges while migrating to SharePoint Online.

And the solution – as would be obvious to you is to ensure that your information remains as organized as possible. So whether we are talking about:

  • The sites themselves
  • Their respective libraries
  • Lists within these sites
  • Content types such as documents, images, spreadsheets, databases, etc.
  • Content layout such as in stacks, columns, etc.

All have to be properly organized. Remember that when you do so, migration becomes a breeze, and when you don’t it becomes a very big challenge.

A term that we will stress here is pre-migration analysis – you must spend adequate time on this if you are to get your migration right.

2. Storage Challenges

A second challenge that is faced all too often is with regard to storage of data – there may be less or more space available (more is of course not a problem per se but you need to organize it accordingly).

The solution to this challenge lies in ensuring that you double check on storage available and amply provide for it beforehand, before you commence with the migration process.

Remember that this is as much a consideration of the pre-migration analysis process we mentioned in the previous point, as here.

3. Bulk Migration

Bulk migration is often a challenge when migrating to SharePoint Online; files may get corrupted or may not end up in the place you intended them to go.

Herein there is no quick fix per se, yet with adequate planning as well as the deployment of third party tools which make the migration process easier, you can certainly have more files migrating together than otherwise.

This is especially true for similar file types, though it is just as true that similar file types may not necessarily be intended for the same location…you don’t always have images together and documents together in separate locations – they may all very well co-exist.

So as we mentioned, using third party tools which are intuitive and can easily determine the way in which content is to be laid out when migrated can certainly make a big difference.

4. Loss of Metadata

The probable loss of metadata is certainly a major challenge when we talk about migration to SharePoint Online. At the same time, this challenge can be overcome by having a clear “inventory” of your content before you begin the migration process and also have it well organized say in terms of content types.

Another tip would be to continuously add metadata to content as you migrate – this will definitely go a long way in keeping it preserved.

5. Security

Security is often a challenge when migrating to SharePoint Online, particularly since at a local level, when you have your content say in the in-house location, you also have your own set of security tools at your disposal; once you take things to the next level onto the cloud, you may not have the kind of security that you had previously.

At the same time, remember that this challenge is more about perception than reality – more often than not, the cloud is just as secure and impermeable, perhaps more so, than the security you have at your disposal currently.

The key is to double check on this and work accordingly wherein you ensure security of your content.

This article is part of a book called “The Survival Guide for Migrating to and Adopting SharePoint Online.”

Claim your free copy by filling the form below.

The book covers a range of topics including:

Chapter 1: Top 5 Challenges in Migrating to SharePoint Online

Chapter 2: Six Data-Backed Tips to Make Users Love SharePoint Online

Chapter 3: Five Tools You Must Know That Will Make Migrating to SharePoint Online Effortless

Chapter 4: A Checklist for Successful SharePoint Online Adoption

Marissa Hart is the Lead Author & Editor ShareMe. ShareMe is a blog focused on SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online delivers the powerful features of SharePoint without the associated overhead of managing the infrastructure.