Ensuring a Smooth and Successful SharePoint Migration for Your Business

SharePoint is a core component of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, providing businesses with a robust tool for managing and consuming their file data. Whether you are already utilising a version of Office 365 or Microsoft 365 licensing, SharePoint should be the foundation of your file data management and collaboration infrastructure. Nevertheless, migrating to SharePoint can be a complicated process, requiring meticulous preparation and planning. In this article, we will examine some key steps that can guarantee a seamless and successful SharePoint migration for your organisation.

Reviewing Licensing Options & Requirements Before Adoption

SharePoint is a licensed product and it is crucial to understand your licensing options before beginning the SharePoint adoption process. Ensure the licences you own include sufficient storage entitlements and enable the features you require to satisfy the capabilities required by your organisation. SharePoint is intended to be extended with additional capabilities and is much more than a simple file repository. Microsoft has released products and features which can automatically classify your data, identify potentially sensitive information, manage how data is shared within your organisation and with external stakeholders, analyse and extract knowledge from large sets of file data, apply logical groupings to file data with consistent search and branding experiences for users.

A resource like M365 Maps is extremely helpful for identifying which licences are required to meet the needs of your organisation. Step-up licensing that bundles together compliance and security enhancements are able to be purchased in addition to the core licences. 

Understanding Your Current Data Structure & Mapping to SharePoint

Prior to starting your migration, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of your current Information Architecture and how it aligns with SharePoint. If an Information Architecture does not exist, it is recommended to create one. The document should encompass understanding your current and target file data structures, data owners, naming conventions, file retention and lifecycle policies, file consumption and collaboration workflows, compliance requirements and your organisation’s needs regarding sensitivity labelling.

The limits that apply to a SharePoint platform depend on the licences you own and are detailed on Microsoft Learn. It is important to keep in mind that these figures define the upper bound and in practice, consideration needs to be given to both the current state and the future use of the platform. For example, although a library may technically contain up to 30 million files, placing any more than about 80,000 in any one library will limit growth without impacting the ability of the OneDrive client to successfully sync data.

Appreciating the Value & Importance of Your Data Before Migration

Your data is an asset, and it is crucial to comprehend its value prior to starting a SharePoint migration. Many organisations retain data for much longer than they are required to and incur cost penalties for doing so. Taking the time to understand if a group of files is still relevant to your organisation means you may be able to archive or discard a significant portion of your data and simplify migration work.

Ensuring SharePoint Supports Your Collaboration Needs

It is important to understand how file data will be accessed and by whom, as this informs the design of the Document Libraries that hold the files, as well as the security and collaboration policies that describe restrictions placed on how files are shared and tracked once users outside the organisation are granted access.

SharePoint is designed to support collaboration, so it is essential to identify your users and their workflows. Ensuring sharing and collaboration policies are not too restrictive can create greater awareness of how documents are being shared when coupled with Microsoft Purview for data loss prevention.

Comprehending Your Security Needs During Migration

Migration of data from one platform to another comes with risk. Understanding and classifying these risks will assist you to design a migration pipeline that ensures data is kept encrypted both at rest and in transit, minimising exposure if data is intercepted. Encryption should be part of a larger information protection strategy for your organisation, ensuring only those parties that are authorised gain and maintain access to your data.

Gaining visibility over the security controls in place and the current configuration of these controls is an important part of any new platform adoption, and one which should be completed prior to importing any data.

Proactively Managing Organisational Change During Migration

A SharePoint migration can introduce significant changes to your organisation, and it is important to be proactive with messaging and dispersal of information to ensure successful adoption. End user communication must be targeted and address the changes introduced to people’s workflows with the transition to SharePoint. Training delivered in time with migration activity is an excellent way to ensure information is front of mind when it is required and gives confidence to users of the new platform which in turn reduces the burden of support.


In conclusion, a SharePoint migration can bring substantial benefits to your organisation, including improved collaboration, better data management, and increased efficiency. By dedicating time to prepare for your migration, you can guarantee that your transition is smooth and successful, maximising the benefits of this potent platform.

If you're interested in learning more about SharePoint and how it can benefit your organisation, consider reaching out to a certified expert who can guide you through the process. The right support and preparation can make all the difference in ensuring a smooth and successful migration.