Migrating new versions of technologies such as Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint, Office 365 and Windows enables organizations to reap important benefits, including enhanced reliability, usability, manageability and security.
Yet the migration process to new application platforms and operating systems can be complex, time-consuming and arduous.
Risk factors for compliance, governance, and productivity abound, especially when consolidating and moving critical applications and data across on-premises, cloud and hybrid environments.
Minimize risks with best practices
Organizations can minimize risks and business disruptions by following migration best practices.
Too often, however, they may fall victim to common mistakes that impact the project’s success. With more than a decade of experience migrating millions of mailboxes and users and data, Quest Software has identified five common migration mistakes and offers tips on how to avoid them.
Five Common Migration Mistakes—and How to Avoid Them
- Poor Planning – Companies often plunge into major migrations without reviewing existing environments (e.g., users, DLs, groups, public folders, etc.) as well as what needs to be moved (e.g., data stores, users, mailboxes) and what doesn’t (e.g., unused accounts, stale data, empty mailboxes). Assessing application and browser compatibility and preparing for the move are crucial, especially when dealing with Office 365, Windows 7 and Active Directory migrations.
- Underestimating User & Organizational Impact – Another common yet potentially critical mistake is underestimating the migration’s impact on users and operations and failing to analyze all access points. For example, any Active Directory migration should start with an analysis of all applications, processes and users requiring access to ensure that appropriate resources/applications will be available when the migration takes place and afterwards. It’s imperative to make the move by identifying workflows, mailboxes, programs and/or other pieces of infrastructure before they are impacted. It’s also advisable to schedule resource-intensive migration tasks for off-peak hours to lessen the impact on production systems, end-users and productivity.
- Lack of Coexistence Strategy – Failing to provide seamless coexistence between existing and new systems is a frequent oversight, which can lead to service disruptions, lost productivity and increased business costs. Coexistence is essential, particularly with Exchange, Notes and GroupWise migrations that typically are deployed in phases.
- Migration Insurance Policy – Performing regular backups is commonsense yet frequently companies falter when it comes to having an extra measure of protection to avoid data loss during a migration. Having a full backup and recovery plan in place is paramount, so data can be restored quickly and easily if something goes awry during the migration process.
- Failure to Focus on “post-migration” Management – Concentrating on execution without paying attention to optimizing the new environment is a common pitfall. Executing a world-class migration necessitates robust project management, but ongoing reporting, auditing, recovery and monitoring are essential to ensure the new system is compliant, available, secure and efficient.