August 5, 2020 Zachary Kitchen

Tips for Putting Your Data in the Right Place When Migrating to Microsoft 365

There was already a major move to cloud platforms even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The stay-at-home orders just drove home the point of how important it is to use services that allow your business to operate from anywhere.

One of the most popular cloud solutions for businesses in Houston and throughout the world is Microsoft 365.

The platform combines multiple productivity tools into one monthly service. And while many companies move to Microsoft 365 for the hybrid cloud version of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook, it has several other tools to power a 21st century cloud-driven workflow.

It’s important to understand the different tools in Microsoft 365 and how they all connect, otherwise when you migrate data, you can end up doing in a way that isn’t very efficient. 

You can think of all the different data “buckets” in the platform as different filing cabinet drawers. When you’re filing paper files and just put them all in the same drawer without any organizational structure to it, it becomes much more difficult to find what you need. 

When migrating data from on-premises servers, individual computers, and other cloud systems into Microsoft 365, you want to think of the organization in the same way. If you just save all your files into OneDrive, it’s like putting them all in the same drawer, and it’s going to be much more difficult for your team to find what they need.

Knowledge workers spend approximately 2.5 hours each day just searching for information.

The Right Way to Migrate Data into Microsoft 365

Let’s take a look at some of the different data buckets you can use in Microsoft 365, which will help in understanding when to use each one.

  • OneDrive: Online file storage, each user is assigned 1TB of storage
  • SharePoint: Connected to groups and teams, makes sharing data dynamic
  • Teams: Central communication hub, organized by teams, departments, projects, etc.

Companies have many different types of data that’s used in different ways. For example, each user has files they usually access regularly, and occasionally need to share. Departments may have files they keep between team members as well as those they share with the entire organization.

These tips will help you accommodate your different data types and migrate data to the area of Microsoft 365 that makes the most sense.

Individual Data to OneDrive 

Employees will have any number of files on their hard drive that they use for their work. Some may be “in progress” documents that aren’t shared until they’re finished. Others may be personal “cheat sheets” they’ve made themselves.

This type of individual data is best migrated to the employee’s personal OneDrive cloud storage account. This allows them to keep them easily assessable, but they don’t get into the way of anyone else. They’re also easy to share via a link as needed.

Internal Department Data to Teams

Let’s take a look at the HR department for this next example. They’ll have certain data they use internally that is either confidential or that would not be of interest to anyone else.

This can include:

  • Employee evaluations
  • Payroll records or time-off requests
  • Logins and links to payroll tax websites

This is all information that can be secured in Microsoft Teams. 

Teams allows you to create a group channel and it can be either public or private. If it’s private that means files shared within that channel are kept private as well.

Teams uses a connection to SharePoint, and when you create a new “team” and make it private it automatically provisions a SharePoint site for that team, which has the same level of security.

Another feature that makes this the perfect place for internal department information is that you can create tabs in Teams with links to often used files, websites, forms, and other assets. Each person on the team can access these shortcuts.

Sharable Company Data to SharePoint

Let’s stick with the HR department. Besides their internal documents, they also have external documents that they need to share with others regularly, like the company employee handbook or a vacation request form.

Having to email these whenever they’re requested is inefficient. Using a SharePoint site is much more efficient and creates a “self-serve” environment for often requested files.

Migrate any sharable resources like employee forms, sales brochures, company newsletters, etc. to a department or subject specific SharePoint site. What this does is allow that department to create a webpage that delivers information dynamically.

SharePoint sites can be used to share information within your company or outside your company. A few ways this can be used for sharing files include:

  • Industry-specific sites for clients to download marketing content
  • HR department site for employee forms
  • Company site with newsletters and company-wide announcements
  • Sales department site with downloadable price lists
  • R&D site with product data sheets and use instructions

Get Help with a Smart Migration from Digital Crisis

Don’t risk migrating your data to Microsoft 365 or any other cloud platform the wrong way! Our team of experts can not only ensure your data is migrated smoothly, but that it goes where it needs to for peak efficiency. 

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 713-965-7200 or reach us online.

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