Preparing for a File Share Migration to SharePoint 2016

Another frequent questions we get asked is around planning for migration of content and for migrating files to SharePoint 2016.  A solid plan is an essential.  As a company we need to understand the amount of data that is being migrated to ensure there is enough space in SharePoint for it. With this blog post we explain 6 key steps that need to be considered as part of your plan.

1 Network Files Content Analysis/Eliminate the Deadwood

In its simplest terms, this audit is designed to leave any outdated or unimportant content behind in the old system. Moving to SharePoint is a great opportunity to look at the information you have and migrate only that which you really need. This is pretty commonsense but reducing the scope of migration is something a lot of companies fail to consider.  A lot of files will be duplicated, some may no longer be valid, some will have file extensions that won’t be supported within SharePoint. Allow nominated users time to look at the content their department is responsible for and archive or dispose of duplicate content. Drawing a line in the sand will make for a smoother transition.

Be strict with what you want to keep; the most effective way to reduce the hassle of migrating content is to migrate less.

2 File Types

SharePoint is an excellent place for storing Office documents You should also be aware that there file extensions that aren’t permitted in SharePoint; you can find the those extensions not supported here.

3 File Size Within SharePoint 2016

10Gb is the new soft limit for file sizes in SharePoint 2016. Any files larger than this will not be able to be accommodated so take this into consideration when considering your content.

4 New SharePoint Site Structure

Part of your file shares to SharePoint migration strategy should involve an information mapping activity. First of all consider how you wish to structure your content in SharePoint. Your file shares are already stored in a hierarchy of folders and this can be used as the basis for the structure of your new site.

From this, we will help create a migration plan which will contain which content goes where. Please think about how you wish your information to be captured and stored, for example, by department, by business activity, name etc.

5 Document Tagging

Folders cause a major headache, so document tagging is a better solution for classifying documents. Have a look at our post 10 reasons not to use folders in SharePoint. (Simply put this means assigning keywords which are used and familiar to your organisation).  This allows views to be created that will only show documents with a certain tag/keyword.  This makes searching much more powerful and useful especially if a document previously was located in different places.  Consider the terms that you use most often within your business that would allow your documents to be tagged. Example:

Document Owner (example: list of Departments like Accounting, HR, IT)
Document Audience (example: Department names, types of employees like Full-time, Part-Time, Contractor)
Document Type (example: policy, guideline, procedure)
Document  Status (example: draft, approved)
Document  Expiration Date

6 Consider Permissions at Every Step

Create a list of all users who will require access to the new site. Then map which areas of the site they will require access to and the permission level they will require. We would recommend you keep this very simple, and just use the three main groups, owner, contributor, and read only. It is better to lock down from the start and then open later to ensure your sensitive data is protected. Do limit the number of site owners to only a few individuals.