With the newest iteration of Microsoft SharePoint 2019 coming in the latter half of 2018, many companies are starting to put together their plans for the future. While we’re still waiting to see exactly what new features and functionalities will be offered, there are some things every business can do to get ready. Below, we’ve listed a few ideas to help you get ready.
Understand why you’re migrating
First and foremost: Does it make sense to take the plunge? As any savvy business owner knows, spending money for the sake of spending doesn’t make good financial sense. When you think about migrating to SharePoint 2019, ask yourself what are you trying to accomplish? Are you looking to upgrade from a much older version (like 2010)? Perhaps there are features around security and integration that you’d like to take advantage of. Whatever your reasoning, it’s good to understand your own requirements to justify your investment.
Define the how
If your governance plan has gotten a little lax, migration presents an opportunity to start fresh. Depending on the amount of data to be moved, you might just move files and folders into brand new sites. Or you might opt to do copy your existing databases into a new farm (as with 2013 to 2016). If you’ve got a bevy of customizations, you’ll need to find the path of least resistance.
Update your governance
If your governance has gotten a little lax, now might be a good time to update it. Governance is a document that defines the rules of engagement, or how your company will use the SharePoint platform. Your governance should answer some key questions like, “Who controls access control?” or “How and where should sites be created?” By putting together your governance before you even create your site, you can begin socializing it with your team.
Begin stakeholder management
Speaking of socialization, now is the time to begin talking with your company about upcoming changes. Stakeholder management, or involving all the people who have a stake in migration, is one of the key tenants of project management. For larger organizations, it’s a good idea to gather your SharePoint power users into a working group. They can help you avoid many of the pitfalls that come with migration and not understanding your entire environment.
SharePoint 2019 comes with the promise of new features. Sometimes, these new features take the place of custom solutions—other times, they open the door for more customization. While you’re pulling together your migration plan, now is also the time to think about those “nice-to-haves.” Are there workflows you could implement to help expedite a paper process? Is this the time to finally look at upgrading your look and feel to match your corporate branding? If you need a little help with understanding both what is coming and how to maximize your investment, it might be beneficial to work with a SharePoint consulting firm like eSoftware Associates
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