CEO Today is a monthly magazine with news, insight and features specifically aimed at CEO's in the global business marketplace.

It’s Time to Stop Putting Off Data Migration

Anyone who has undertaken an intranet migration will know they are not always simple and can be fraught with issues from the logistics of transferring all historical content, to retraining and gaining employee engagement. It’s why businesses are often reluctant to undertake data migration unless absolutely necessary. However, ignoring the potential benefits can leave your enterprise IT lagging behind, running up costs and preventing greater efficiency in the future. To tell us more, CEO Today hears from Richard Acreman, Partner at WM Reply, below.

Right now there are a number of tangible reasons your company should be seriously prioritising data migration. The long-term gains will undoubtedly more than make up for the short-term discomfort associated with the process, and thanks to constant developments in this field, it might not actually be so painful after all.

The numbers add up

Improvements in migration processes is one of the reasons forward-thinking companies are exploring migration possibilities for their collaboration tools, such as moving from Jive to Office365. The Microsoft suite is already present in many organisations, so bringing their collaborative tools all under the same umbrella makes sense, both in terms of engagement and cost.

On the subject of cost, it’s worth pointing out migrating your data from Jive to Office365 doesn’t come for free, but importantly the cost saving on licencing fees could easily see you recoup your money within the first three months of switching over.

Move it or lose it

Aside from capitalising on opportunities to improve efficiency, there are also occasions when data migration becomes a necessity. This may well be the case for many businesses after Microsoft’s announcement regarding a major change to Yammer.

As of 16 October 2018, all Yammer subsidiary networks associated with one Office 365 tenant will be automatically merged into a single network, reducing administration costs. However, any data in a merged network will be lost with only the chosen, primary network retaining its data. Once this happens there’ll be no way of recovering lost data, so it’s vital you get the migration ball rolling.

Hence some proactive developers have created an automated migration tool to aid businesses carrying their data over to a single network. The automation of this task not only saves on time and cost, but also provides an opportunity for a bit of data cleansing and the option to double down on Yammer adoption.

The added benefit of migration onto one single network or platform is it helps to promote a ‘one team’ philosophy, reducing information silos and making it even easier for employees throughout a large organisation to connect and collaborate seamlessly.

Playing the long game

Less immediate, but still relevant is the fact that SharePoint 2010 will become unsupported in 2020. The software will still be usable, but there will effectively be no support provided by Microsoft for any issues that arise. While this may seem a way off, the reality is a migration of a big intranet could take anything up to 18 months to complete – so the time to consider it is now.

Also, if the SharePoint upgrade from 2007 to 2010 is anything to judge by, employee adoption of the new software isn’t going to take place overnight. Planning well in advance will allow for employees to familiarise themselves and get up to speed with any changes over time, avoiding a company-wide shock to the system once the current iteration ceases to be supported.

It’s easy to make excuses to put off migration on a considerable scale. But when, as is the case this summer, the many reasons for undertaking such a process are staring you in the face, it would arguably be foolish not to take notice and make the necessary changes. After all, in a business world where change is constant, standing still is the same as falling behind.

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