Published: 23 October 2020

Reading time: About 4 minutes

This year, more than ever, public sector organisations are considering moving their legacy data to the Cloud.

We know that circumstances mean that this has become more of a critical issue, but, while the pressure is on, organisations need to carefully plan for the move to another environment.

In this article we look at why, delving into five important questions to be considered when moving data to the Cloud to ensure a successful implementation.

  • Why are we doing this?

It’s important to take stock of why you are moving to the Cloud before migrating. Is it simply to make the data accessible for remote working? Is it because of a Cloud First directive? Maybe you are retiring a legacy platform? Whatever the reason, in the early stages it’s critical to reflect on the additional benefits a Cloud migration should bring to your organisation. It isn’t simply about moving the data from Point A to Point B, but taking control of the data to ensure you are reaping the rewards of your Microsoft 365 investment.

  • Do you need to move all your data?

Before starting a migration project, you must consider whether all the information your organisation holds is required in the new environment. Is it an important asset or is it old, out of date or duplicated? If that is the case (and it’s only through data analysis that this can this be discovered), think of the benefits which will be gained through cleansing this information before it is moved. Examples include huge cost savings as well as the enhancement of data quality, particularly relevant for public sector organisations today.

  • Does your data put you at risk?

Without analysing information before migration, your organisation could be holding data that puts it at risk. Examples include information which should have been deleted as it has passed the legal retention period, or personal/ sensitive information you should no longer be holding which constitutes a potential GDPR breach. In a modern workplace, data is indexable and searchable due to the new transparent way of working, so it’s important to think about security and permissions at this stage. Before migrating, you need to understand the potential risks so that, in the next stage, you can apply governance policies over the top of the information.

  • Have you prepared your cloud environment?

Now that you know and understand what data your organisation is holding, it is time to prepare for migration. Creating a file plan is the foundation of effective records management and mapping your online environment against this plan, and applying automated governance and compliance functionality within the platform, are key components. Processes here include categorising and classifying data, as well as applying retention and disposal schedules – all which make it easier to store, access and discard data once it is in the cloud.

  • Have you prepared your people?

The data and cloud environment are ready- but are your users? They will be used to the old (ungoverned!) way of working. You need to ensure you are ready for the transition to connecting people with data and make it easy for users to work well with data going forward. We always say a migration to Microsoft 365 mustn’t be IT-owned and led. The organisation needs to take responsibility and get business buy-in throughout.  An intelligently-driven migration strategy lessens the risk of user resistance which often causes any new IT implementations to fail.

If you want to know how to move legacy information to the cloud, all whilst reducing costs, mitigating risk, enhancing data quality, automating data governance and increasing user productivity, sign up for our webinar “3 Steps to success in Microsoft 365” on 26th November below.

3 Steps to success in Microsoft 365

26th November 2.30pm - 3pm

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