11 Things to Remember When You’re Planning a Migration

cloud migration checklist | Binary Tree

In an earlier post, we shared tips to choose the right migration vendor. Here, we talk about how to work with your vendor to plan and scope your migration. Gartner cautions you not to merely lean on a statement of work from the vendor to guide the project, and we echo that sentiment.

As a first step in the project, work together with your vendor to put together a detailed migration plan that covers a wide spectrum of topics. Basically, you jointly do a thoughtful assessment of everything that needs to be done. The result of this step will be a detailed scope of work, with clear action items, phases, roles, deliverables, and timelines. Here are some key things to consider.

1. Allocate internal resources realistically

All too often, organizations underestimate how much time they’ll need to spend on the project internally. Even if you bring in a partner to guide you through your migration from end to end, your internal team will still need to be involved at each step to:

  • Assess your systems
  • Plan the project
  • Implement your plans
  • Migrate your users
  • Roll out and drive adoption
  • Maintain and manage the new platform

2. Get your network ready

Do a forecast for your network to understand how your bandwidth and internet traffic might change when you move your email and other applications to the cloud. Often, our clients see a jump in their internet traffic when they start running more apps in the cloud. So make sure you understand the potential impact and are ready to absorb more traffic.

3. Clean up your directory

Before you move over to the Microsoft cloud, it’s a great idea to find and fix any issues with your Active Directory environment that could slow or stall your migration. Plan to spend a bit of time up front doing an assessment of your directory.

4. Pilot with a few users

This is where you migrate a targeted set of users, to make sure your tools and process work as expected. The idea here is to find and fix any issues that might crop up with how things migrate. It’s usually much easier to fix issues up front, before you start moving thousands of users. So make sure to plan the timing, scope, and goals of your pilot.

5. Analyze your content

If you’re working with your vendor to move files like mail attachments or documents in public folders, make sure to plan for a content analysis. It’s likely that you’ll need internal resources to look across your content inventory and decide what to move, archive, or delete.

6. Automate the data transfer

Migration projects are often ideal candidates for automation. That’s because they’re standalone projects with clear goals and many plug-and-chug tasks to crank through. Talk with your vendor about any flexible tools and processes to help automate your migration.

7. Consider the right timing

This is where you plan how to minimize disruption to your users. Some things to consider: Will you migrate users all at once or in batches? Is there a time of day, month, or year that would work best? Will you let users pick a new day/time as needed?

8. Set support plans

During and after your migration, your vendor can be standing by to help with any issues that crop up. Make sure to set expected response times for issues of different priorities.

9. Monitor and report

You’ll need a process in place to keep tabs on the progress of your migration and monitor for any issues that might come up. See if your vendor has an automated reporting tool that can help you track your status more easily.

10. Make a knowledge transfer

Plan for how you and your vendor will share information with each other. Your partner will need detailed information about your systems. And you might need best practices from the vendor around what should happen before, during, and after your migration. Maybe your IT team could use some guidance on how to maintain Office 365 over time.

11. Roll it out

This is a super important step in any migration, but it’s easy to forget to include it in scope. When you’re rolling out new software, it’s usually not enough to just tell your users to “have at it.” You need to design a communications and training plan to help encourage learning and adoption of the new tool. The right vendor can guide you on best practices to help drive rollout and adoption.

Ready to get started?

We at Binary Tree can help you with all the above—and more. Our experts have migration planning down to a science. And our software and services are flexible enough to handle even the most complex enterprise migrations. Contact us to get started.


Source: Gartner. How to Evaluate Integrators’ Cloud Office Migration Proposals. July 2017