Newer companies who are cloud native are starting to emerge in significant numbers. Now imagine that a cloud native company are being acquired by a larger organization. But this larger organization is still on-premises based. Do you take that company back on-premises or do you migrate to the cloud?

Regardless of if it is tenant to tenant migration, on premise to cloud, or from the cloud and back to on premise environment. Understanding how you perform the final migration is essential.

  • What kind of data goes where?
  • What kind of information do you want to migrate?
  • What do you want to refactor repurpose or remove?
  • Should we let the users perform the migration themselves?
  • User by user or department by department?
  • Or do we as IT department do it on behalf of our users?

#Capture the flag

I like to communicate the file migration process as a type of game. Planning the attack or migration of the files should be considered as teamwork. Some specialize in locating information, understanding what kind of data is out there, while others maintain and install the migration services that are going to be used.

It’s also essential to review the migration logs. Here you can find out what kind of issues that have occurred to improve the remaining migrations.

This is also something you want to do, as we would like to see that the CEO’s information has been migrated successfully and without errors. As part of this teamwork to the end users and stakeholders, information and validation of the data transfer is very important. Corporations with stock information and sensitive information often have rigid routines for who and when people have access to the information. The essence of migrating data is having access to them (duh!).

Make sure that someone in the captured the flag team is responsible for informing the stakeholders who will having access, when they have access and what they have access to as well as informing once the accesses have been revoked.

This process could be done both for OneDrive for business migration and for teams in SharePoint online. The recommended steps are to take the home folders from the on-premise environment and migrate them to OneDrive for Business or a tenant to tenant migration first. This is because there is a one-to-one mapping. That means one folder or one OneDrive for business goes to 1 users OneDrive for business. This gives the team some time to get experienced on the process and reviewing logs that are produced during the migration. Once finished, you tackle the shared folders.

#Deathmatch AKA Free for all

There’s nothing wrong about stating that the information owners should copy or move the data themselves. The problem is that we often don’t provide any learning material and not informing the end users what the potentials are, we don’t provide them with sufficient time to clean up their mess, and most importantly, we don’t set an expected timeline that is realistic.

Companies who expect the end users to do the task themselves often over evaluates their employee’s skill set to deal with complex datasets. And how do you even import? PST files from your shared folder into your shared team members shared mailbox? For how long period of time should you accept that your first line support receives questions regarding the file services? And most important of all, when are you going to free the resources? In your on-premises environment, removing the data so you only have the files stored one place - which is one of the biggest benefits of the cloud migration anyway?

Many decision makers. Having this strategy are reluctant to set an end date for when they are deleting all the end user’s file in the on-premises environment.


Of course, we at Fortytwo are here to assist you with tools, scripting, and experience from dozens of previous migration jobs. Make sure you don`t go into the same pitfall as everyone else. Because smart organization learn from their previous mistakes. We bring knowledge gained from others mistakes to the table.

Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to LinkedinShare to PocketCopy URL address
Written by

Alexander Solaat Rodland@alexanderrodland

Microsoft MVP and Principal Cloud Engineer

Related Posts

Subscribe to our email newsletters

Stay tuned to our latest content with the ability to opt-out at anytime. We will not spam your inbox or share your email with any third parties.