Overnight, the COVID pandemic has forced companies to reimagine how workflows can be performed remotely. In addition, as companies no longer require their employees to be in the office, a company’s employee pool is untethered from geographic locations. Both of these changes have accelerated the adoption of migrating data hosted on premise to cloud hosting environments such as Microsoft SharePoint.
Migrating data to SharePoint allows users to access data and collaborate from anywhere. The Microsoft OneDrive client creates a local copy of recently accessed SharePoint hosted files, resulting in faster performance than a traditional client/server environment. Once data has moved to SharePoint, our clients discover the many other benefits provided by this service:
- Revision Control – Previous versions of files are saved automatically and can easily be restored.
- Real Time Collaboration – Editing documents using online versions of Microsoft Word or Excel allow multiple users to edit simultaneously.
- External Sharing – SharePoint sites can allow access to users outside of the organization. This alleviates the need for sharing data via email, Dropbox or Google Drive.
- Business Continuity Planning – Having data hosted in the cloud eliminates the need for onsite backups and allows access to critical business data from anywhere.
- Multifactor Authentication (MFA) – SharePoint sites can be configured to require MFA for internal and external users, further enhancing security. (See our blog post on MFA security.)
For many of our clients, moving data from familiar onsite servers to cloud hosting was a daunting task with a steep learning curve. Many companies ask questions such as: How will this change impact user productivity? How can we ensure our data is secure? How can I control who has access to company data?
Make no mistake; migrating to cloud hosting should be done with care and forethought. A migration can be an opportunity for reorganization and to examine existing data and reevaluate what can be archived. To ensure a smooth transition while maintaining or enhancing security, the following need to be considered:
- Current business practices and collaboration
- Defining who should have access to which data
- Enforcing MFA authentication
- Restricting external data sharing to specific personnel
- A detailed implementation plan that includes user education, testing and ongoing support.
If all of this sounds overwhelming, it’s time to lean on seasoned professionals to facilitate the process and get a helping hand over the learning curve. Organizations may take on a process such as this only once. However, we have spent years helping our clients manage change. Learning more about how we can help your organization is a phone call away.