Mastering your move to the cloud

Caroline Wigley
Tags: Cloud Office 365

You’ve read the blog posts and the eBooks, and now you’re ready to take the next step. You’ve decided that using an integrated, end-to-end online productivity suite is for you. Having set your sights on the cloud, the next question is, How do I get there?

Data migration can be the most daunting aspect of your cloud journey, but it needn’t be taxing. With some careful planning, it can be a painless manoeuvre, and you’ll even find some opportunities to make enhancements to your existing data along the way.

Below, we outline four steps to planning the move:

Discover your data

The first step to mastering migration is to identify what you want to move. For most businesses, this will include email boxes and stored Office documents, but you must also identify data that integrates with on-premises applications, and see what would be involved in exporting it.

Over time, many companies lose visibility of their files and records as employees store them on different network drives, local computers, mobile devices, and even removable storage. They may even have stored them on multiple existing online services. Now’s the time to find and collate that data.

Inventory your infrastructure

Successful cloud migrations include an understanding of the infrastructure the business is migrating from. Document all your user accounts including the number of email inboxes along with their size. Create a full account of your network settings and endpoint configurations.

Take this time to understand what other parts of your infrastructure are moving to the cloud. Are there any internal intranet sites that you want to migrate? How will your cloud-based productivity suite need to integrate with on-premises systems during and after the migration?

Define your destination

Now you can build a clearer picture of what your cloud environment should look like when you arrive. Plan how you’ll define your user permissions and privileges. How will you authenticate those users? What will your folder and file structure look like, what applications will use those files, what business processes will those applications support, and how? Understanding these things will help you prepare your data for flight before the migration.

Set up your schedule

After spending some time on the steps outlined above, it will be time for lift-off. There’s no need to move everything at once. Even when handing off your data to a trusted, reliable third-party provider, the process can be a little nerve-racking. Plan the migration in stages, so you can test each move after completion and see if any parts of the migration process need altering.


Migration is a little like moving house. It’s one of the most stressful activities that people can engage in. That’s why smart companies hire some outside help to ensure a smooth and simple transition. Cobweb has 20+ years of experience helping small- to medium-sized businesses migrate to cloud environments, such as Office 365.

Contact our experts for a migration consultation and enjoy peace of mind from the beginning.

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