Whether you are migrating to newer SharePoint On-premises versions or Microsoft 365, it’s a project that requires your patience, time, extreme organizational skills, workforce, and money.
Doing the old “Lift and shift ” SharePoint migration is not a path you want to take, even if it seems like the easiest one in the short run. It means moving an application and its associated data to the Cloud without making an architecture and content analysis, or removing and rewriting the outdated services. If you want to get a good return on your Microsoft 365 investment, do it right from the start.
People say that making the right preparations is half the job done. SPDocKit can help your content owners and decision-makers do that preparation as smoothly as possible. It will help them decide what can be left behind, what is going to the new platform, and what requires new architecture or additional development to make things right from the start.
Getting Started with SPDocKit
SPDocKit creates regular snapshots of your environment and provides you with the most important SharePoint farm information to get you ready for migration:
- Detailed server configuration documentation
- SharePoint farm architecture
- Solutions and features inventory
- Unused content and usage metrics
- Workflows inventory
- InfoPath Forms inventory
- Permissions reports and cleanup
- Contextual audit log reports
In this blog post, I’ll cover how SPDocKit can help you prepare for migration and not get surprised by the amount of content and customizations heading your way.
Centralized Farm Documentation
Each time SPDocKit takes a snapshot of your SharePoint farm, it stores all your farm server configuration settings and permissions structure in a centralized interface. This farm documentation can also be easily exported to PDF or Excel or stored securely as a configuration backup to a specified SharePoint library. Use it to revisit what you had in your old environment and compare it to the new environment after the migration.
Exploring SharePoint Farm Architecture
The Farm Dashboard report will help you pinpoint the top challenges in terms of content migration. For example, this report will help you detect big content databases and the site collections with the largest storage size.
The Farm Dashboard allows you to drill deeper and explore all the web applications in your environment, the number of subsites, and the storage consumption per site collection.
Keep in mind that subsites are not recommended in Cloud architecture. Instead, it is recommended to use hub sites to propagate the same navigation, search, look and feel, and permissions structure.
Finding Unsupported Custom Solutions and Features
Farm Solutions are the most common On-premises way of customizing your environment and adding required functionalities. Be aware that migrating custom solutions to the Cloud is not an option, and you will need to ensure that new customizations are supported by Microsoft 365. Use the SPDocKit Solutions report to detect all the potential road blockers and make an informative decision on their destiny in your migration project.
For more details on which features rely on these specific solutions, try using the System Settings -> Solutions and Features report. This report will also inform you of the scope of the farm and site collection solutions’ impact.
Detecting Unused Content
When we were creating the analytics and usage section of SPDocKit, we wanted to help you dive deep into your content. With this set of reports, you can purge stale and unused content and make sure that you are shifting only the important stuff, saving the entire company money and time.
Among other things, SPDocKit provides:
- Complete SharePoint architecture down to the file level
- A detailed list of sites that haven’t been used or accessed in a while
- The total number of active subsites per site collection
- A list of all subsites by size and number of visits
- Inactive subsites, lists, and documents
- The largest documents in your environment by extension, author, and last usage date
- Document and file usage by extension
- A storage metrics report with detailed info on file size and number of versions for each document
These reports can easily be shared with content owners or sent directly to their mailbox in an Excel or PDF version. Content owners are the ones that know best and should decide on how to proceed with these findings.
Finding Unsupported Workflows
Another thing that will require your undivided attention is SharePoint workflows. Using the latest set of SPDocKit workflow reports, you get a detailed inventory and answers to multiple questions in just a couple of minutes:
- List of all farm workflows by platform and information if they are custom or not
- List all SharePoint 2010 Workflows that are retired
- Track workflow activity, find the number of active instances, and the last activity for all workflows so you can remove unused ones
- List of all workflow associations, including sites, lists, and content types
Based on the usage, decide which SharePoint 2010 Workflows will need to be rewritten for Power Automate and allocate enough time to shift them properly.
The same principle can be applied to all other SharePoint workflows. Don’t migrate automation flows you are not actively using. Decide which technologies you would like to promote in the Cloud. Power Automate is becoming an increasingly popular no-code tool for powerful process automation and is Microsoft’s recommended technology of choice.
Detecting Infopath Forms
Similar to Workflows, InfoPath Forms is a technology in which Microsoft is no longer actively investing. They are still supported in Microsoft 365, but it may change any time now. Also, any InfoPath Forms using custom code are not supported in Microsoft 365 due to reliance on sandbox solutions, which have been deprecated in the Cloud.
Migration may be just the right time to think about using Power Platform instead. Use SPDocKit’s InfoPath Form Services reports to detect how many form templates you have and what amount of time will be needed to migrate or re-deploy them properly.
Permissions Reporting and Cleanup
Migration to the Cloud is also a good time to clean your house regarding security and permissions. The Cloud offers new security structures, such as Microsoft 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams, that ease administration. You need to analyze the current permission structure and decide what can be transformed into teams and groups.
Here is a step-by-step process:
- Detect all objects with unique permissions in your site structure. Folders and subsites with broken permission inheritance are good candidates for new groups or teams.
- Ensure you are not transferring SharePoint groups that are not being used or users with no permissions. Use the Cleanup reports in SPDocKit and easily remove all unwanted principals.
- Create detailed permission matrix reports to back up the current permissions structure.
- Detect all users with privileged access, especially site administrators, to coordinate migration activities with them.
- Use SPDocKit queries to detect lists with more than 5000 items. Use analytics reports to validate which of them are actively used so that you can migrate only the active ones.
Auditing User and Admin Activity
Whenever you doubt whether to purge or not to purge something, you can always use SPDocKit’s contextual audit reporting. Audit reports will help you detect the last activity, the content level where it happened, the user who performed it, and the date when it happened.
Of course, the principle of “leave the unused content behind “does not apply to content preserved for legal and compliance reasons. For those purposes, take time to get acquainted with sensitivity and retention labels in Office 365.
The Next Steps: Microsoft 365 Governance and Maintenance
Once you have a clear idea of the migration tasks waiting, make sure you set the timeline transparently and include all content owners and decision-makers in time to make this migration easier. Of course, with Office 365, new challenges will arise, but SysKit has got you covered there as well.
Try SysKit Point to ensure high Microsoft 365 governance and security standards after the migration is over. Let your resource owners be a part of the governance processes by establishing automated access reviews and content lifecycle management.
We are organizing a new online webinar pinpointing the next steps after cloud migration.
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