9 Things to Consider When Building Your SP 2010 Migration Plan

The 12-month countdown has officially begun; Microsoft announced the official date for the end-of-life for SharePoint 2010. Rest assured that on October 13, 2020, SharePoint 2010 will not cease to exist. However, there are some serious reasons why it’s becoming past time to start planning your migration strategy. We encourage you to take this announcement as an opportunity to bring your organization an upgraded solution that will make your team better, stronger, and more efficient collaborators. How do you plan for a migration like this? Here are 9 significant things to consider when building your migration plan. 

  1. Consider Your Options 

    We strongly recommend taking the time to educate yourself on your options. Microsoft provides ample documentation on the migration processes, as well as what your options are in your upgrade path.  

    Upgrading from SharePoint 2010  

    Overview of the upgrade process from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013     

    Overview of the upgrade process from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2016 

    Overview of the upgrade process from SharePoint 2016 to SharePoint Server 2019 

    Upgrading from SharePoint Server 2010 directly to Office 365 using the SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT)  

  2. Consider Your Content 

    This is the perfect time for a content audit. If you’re on SharePoint 2010, it’s safe to assume your solution has been in use for quite a while, which means you likely have a fair amount of content to consider, much of it not worth a migration. We strongly advise against simply doing a lift and shift. User Adoption is directly correlated with quality content. Take the necessary time to properly determine what you have, what you need to keep and migrate, and what you can cull. There are many great tools on the market to help you with this like Microsoft’s free Migration toolSharegate DesktopAvepoint DocAve Migrators, and more. In fact, Microsoft recently announced that you can now migrate directly from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint Online. In the past, you had to do this in a multi-step process going to SharePoint 2013 first. It is still a multi-step process to upgrade your on-premises servers such as from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2019. You must first upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013, then upgrade from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2016 and then from SharePoint 2016 to SharePoint 2019. 

  3. Consider a Phased Rollout 

    You might not necessarily need to migrate everything at once. Our clients often have several branches of their SharePoint solutions including a portal, team collaboration spaces, and custom solutions. In some cases, it might make sense to start with one component like your portal, and then migrate other pieces once you’ve gotten your feet wet. Introducing new features in a phased rollout plan via such a hybrid approach also gives your team time to acclimate and avoid overwhelming them.  

  4. Consider the Cloud 

    This is a great opportunity to move to the cloud. For those who have resisted the move to cloud, we understand there may be regulations that hinder you from moving completely, but perhaps, as we discussed above, you could consider a phased/hybrid approach and move some things to the cloud now while leaving the regulated items on-prem. You’re likely to see large savings with a move to the cloud. Plus, you’ll be making better use of your licensing investment, and you’re going to get the latest and greatest in feature set.  

  5. Consider What’s Changed 

    This is your time to rethink your strategy. The portal that you built on SharePoint 2010 is anywhere from 5-9 years old. Suffice it to say, a lot has changed in this time. It’s a time not just to migrate, but to upgrade. And when we say upgrade, we mean the user experience. Don’t just upgrade the platform, give your team more effective tools. Rethink how you’re offering the portal components and presenting content to your users. Communication and collaboration strategies and technologies have evolved greatly since the release of SharePoint 2010, most of this improvement seen only in cloud offerings such as Office 365 and SharePoint Online.  

  6. Consider Somethings Aren’t There 

    The features that you used, including the way you built customizations (full-trust and sandbox solutions) may not look like, function, or even exist as you knew them when you built your original solution on 2010. You’re going to have to rearchitect the way you build these solutions for your upgrade. You will also have to evaluate new options for those features that are deprecated, and ensure you have the proper licensing for the new solutions available. 

  7. Consider Your Licensing  

    Speaking of licensing, we highly recommend you evaluate your options and ensure that your licensing meets your expected functionality and requirements. 
  8. Consider The End-User 

    The bottom line is your solution is there for the end-user. People inevitably fear change, so help your team accept this easier by feeling prepared. After all, you’re building this plan for real people who need to use this daily, so helping them ensures you get the most out of your investment. SharePoint has significantly changed from 2010 and your end-users will need new training and governance for successful user adoption. Create a rollout plan and user adoption campaign that includes training. Communicate what is coming, why the change is happening, and how it will help them do their job. Create a training site for them that leverages Microsoft Learn which offers free online training tools, and hands-on learning resources for Microsoft products. Ensuring your team feels prepared will result in a more widely accepted solution. 

  9. Consider & Empower Your Champions 

    Pilot groups are a great way to get champions on your side. Investing in a user adoption campaign that empowers your champions is key to success.   

The final thing to consider is the reality that the deadline exists. On October 13, 2020, support ends. Set realistic deadlines for your migration that give you space for delays or issues so you don’t find yourself on an unsupported platform. If you choose to ignore the end of support—which we strongly discourage—you put yourself at a huge risk. No more support means no more security patches. Being on a supported platform gives you and your team peace of mind, assistance if something does go wrong, and access to all the new features and opportunities that are coming down the line.  

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t know where to begin? Or are you ready to jump headfirst and upgrade your digital workspace? No matter where you are on your migration path, we’re here to help you build a strategy you can stand behind. We would love to chat with you about your upgrade plan and help you confidently take your digital teamwork to the next level.

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