5 common mistakes when migrating to Office 365


Migrating to Office 365 promises your business numerous benefits. By moving to Microsoft’s market-leading enterprise cloud productivity platform, you can expect a huge step up from your existing IT infrastructure. First, Office 365 is constantly updated, meaning your colleagues have access to all the latest tools and upgrades right away. Being cloud-based and mobile-friendly, Office 365 encourages anytime, anywhere access and the resulting productivity benefits that leads to. You get some great collaboration tools thrown in, all with top of the range security. And these business benefits are backed up by studies. Forrester, a consulting business, estimate that migrating to Office 365 will give you an ROI of 165% and payback within just seven months.

That all seems very attractive, so if you’re one of the many companies making the move to Office 365 you’ll naturally want to make sure the migration goes as smoothly as possible. The last thing you want to do is start off with Office 365 on a bad foot. If employees find the new platform confusing, have trouble locating the content they used to work with or trip up on any other bumps in the road, frustration can build, making people less receptive to working with your new investment.

So, to help you avoid these difficulties, we’ve compiled a list of the five most common mistakes companies make when migrating to Office 365.

  1. Seeing the migration as an exercise for the IT department

It’s natural to see an Office 365 migration as the domain of your IT team. However, if you leave the project exclusively to them, you can expect to encounter many similar problems which arose in your previous technology platforms regarding engagement and adoption. It’s generally best practice to build a team of 80% non-IT and 20% IT people. Why’s this? Put simply, those non-IT people can give instant feedback about what they need from Office 365—where they need content to be stored, what content they do and don’t need migrated and what additional apps and tools they’d love to see. This approach also gives other departments a sense of ownership over the platform, further boosting your chances of successful adoption.

  1. Failing to do a thorough content audit

If your company moved from one office to another, would you expect everything from your old building to be lifted and dropped in your new office with no re-organisation? Of course not. You wouldn’t move a load of ancient paper documents you never use any more and store them in your shiny new archives – what a waste of time, space and energy! In the same way, migrating to Office 365 should involve an audit of your content. Decide what you need to keep and what you can afford to leave behind.

  1. Failing to map old content to the new environment

All too often, companies think of Office 365 purely as a cheaper, cloud-based version of SharePoint. Yes, Office 365 does include access to SharePoint Online, but it’s so much more than that. For instance, all users also have access to a ‘personal’ OneDrive for Business licence where they can sync content they’re working on to their devices. Similarly, you have access to awesome new tools for working collaboratively like Office 365 Groups or Office 365 Teams. Make sure you review the platform’s strengths and understand how you can map your content to it in a way that will make the most of Office 365.

  1. Not training people when migrating to Office 365

It often feels like companies believe that the mantra, “if you build it, they will come” somehow applies to Office 365. This misunderstands the fact that people only use platforms to do what they need to do; rarely will users ‘play around’ with other parts of Office 365 to work out what it can do for them. It is therefore of paramount importance that you take user training seriously. Employees should understand why you’re moving them to Office 365 and they should also be given tips on how to make the most of all its additional and powerful features.

  1. Choosing the wrong migration tool

There are many SharePoint and Office 365 migration tools out there, many of which do the same thing. So, how can you decide which one will help you most? When evaluating different platforms, ask:

  • Who’s going to use the tool?
  • Is the UI easy to navigate and attractive?
  • Does it give you the power to selectively choose which kinds of content to migrate?

Make migrating to Office 365 quick and easy

When it’s done well, migrating to Office 365 should be simple and fast. Your users should be using the new platform within a couple of weeks and not be forced to deal with unnecessary stress. We built our Lightning Migrator for Office 365 migration to help businesses like yours migrate to your new environment fast and with minimal hassle.


Ready to find out more about your hassle-free migration? Contact us today.  

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