#HowTo Migrate from SharePoint

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With the upcoming turn of the decade, a once heavily-relied on tool, SharePoint 2010, will reach end of life (EOL). It won’t completely “turn off” or be unusable, but any organization brave enough to continue using it is at risk of multiple problems.

You see, when SharePoint 2010 reaches its EOL on October 13, 2020, Microsoft is no longer responsible or liable for ensuring the software runs securely, nor will the company be reachable for anyone looking for customer support. If an organization runs into a problem: their system administrators are on their own to find a fix.

If this sounds extreme, it is. Just three years ago, the Association for Intelligent Information Management found more than 40% of organizations were still using SharePoint 2010, and many of those organizations have made customizations that can’t be moved easily, adding to the challenge of migration. But every organization still using SharePoint 2010 can turn this negative situation around by looking at it as the stimulus to implement a far better system with intelligent features.

For organizations about to take the plunge into a new content services platform, there are a few questions to consider to find the perfect fit for your organization. 

What do we currently use SharePoint for?
Before looking into any other content services platform, establish what SharePoint is currently used for — likely document sharing, record keeping, collaboration, and automated regulation checks. Answering this question helps organizations ensure that any new platform they consider has the bare minimum of features and capabilities they require.

What do we want to do that we currently can’t?
SharePoint is an on-premise solution, so it has usability and accessibility limitations that are frustrating for users accustomed to using consumer-grade applications. Plus, in the ten years since SharePoint was first implemented, there have been significant changes in the technology world. These new technology upgrades include leveraging AI to categorize content with metadata outside of the file type and knowing the last time it was opened, which makes for a more powerful and targeted search function.

Also, mobile-enabled workflows alongside a mobile- and desktop-friendly user interface makes life easier for employees to keep processes moving via alternate devices when they’re away from their computers.

These are just a few examples to get an organization thinking about what kind of usability, security, and collaboration features they’d appreciate having in a new content services platform to optimize efficiency while continuing to meet any and all industry regulations.

What do other people think of these options?
Historically, the IT department was charged with implementing content services systems after gaining buy-in from stakeholders across several departments. While it is still important for the platform chosen to best accommodate as many departments as possible, potential buyers need to look to outside sources and review sites to garner a holistic view of how each potential platform stacks up. 

Organizations should consider formal reports from respected, expert organizations such as the Gartner Magic Quadrant or Forrester Wave Report, reports where objectivity is key and transparent analyses are expected.

It is also important to look into how the platform is perceived on review sites such as G2 to see how other companies of similar size and in similar industries feel about how different platforms align with their needs. With so many content service platforms available today, these resources allow organizations to be more knowledgeable and get the bigger picture before narrowing down the selection to then take to internal teams for consideration. 

To cloud or not to cloud - that is the question
Considering whether to move from an on-premise system like SharePoint 2010 to a cloud-native system can be daunting. Not only will it involve a substantial migration, but to some organizations, adopting a system hosted in the cloud can be nerve-wracking since they won’t physically host their documents and systems. 

There is simply nowhere else to look other than to the cloud. It provides a host of advantages including constant security patches, bug fixes, and updates; unlimited scalability for growing organizations; more room for innovation and personal productivity; and so much more — all without major system interruptions.

Even if an organization elects to continue working with SharePoint, some form of migration is inevitable as they would need to migrate to the next version; but then they would be in the exact same position in another three years when the next version hits end of life. 

Companies should consider sparing themselves the headache of a future full of migrations by undergoing one migration to a cloud-based system to bring them into the 21st century and give them a competitive advantage.

As SharePoint 2010 reaches its EOL, organizations still using it must start to consider their next steps carefully. They need to decide whether a true cloud-based content services system is for them, how important ease of use and collaboration are, and how they can start delivering benefit to their users without doing this.

The decision to change systems is being forced on these organizations — but this also provides a perfect opportunity to take control of the future of information management and not simply repeat the mistakes of the past.

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