“Cloud computing has been at the forefront of human resilience against the pandemic. It has ensured business continuity across a range of industries.”
– Satya Nadella
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizations across the globe to rely on cloud technologies and services to ensure seamless remote work, more than ever before. According to IDG’s 2020 Cloud Computing Survey, 92% of organizations are “somewhat” in the cloud and the cloud computing spend over the last 12 months has increased by a whopping 59% from 2018. As more organizations switch from on-premise to cloud, the popularity of Microsoft’s SharePoint Online is surging. In a recent blog post, Jared Spataro, CVP for Microsoft 365, stated that the number of active monthly SharePoint cloud users is 200 million among which 100 million users were added to the service in the past 13 months.
It’s easy to see why there has been a massive exodus from SharePoint on-premise to SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online enables business users to access Microsoft’s latest features and capabilities while harnessing the benefits of the cloud – scalability, anytime anywhere access to information, and reduced IT costs. However, it is also worth noting that most benchmarking studies have identified employee resistance as the number one obstacle to SharePoint Online change.
Why SharePoint Application Migrations are Vital?
One of the foremost reasons for employee resistance and poor adoption of SharePoint Online is the unavailability of essential SharePoint on-premise applications and customizations in the cloud. In most organizations, the employees have huge dependencies on these. Such enhancements enable employees to perform their daily tasks better and faster, delivering enhanced productivity to the management. Consequently, employees expect the availability of familiar custom solutions in SharePoint Online. And this can be delivered only by meticulously planning for SharePoint application migrations.
However, in most instances, the management and IT teams spend a lot of time and energy strategizing for their content migrations, while SharePoint application and customization migrations take a backseat. It has to be remembered: just like content migration, migrating SharePoint custom solutions to the cloud can be a lengthy, complex, and tedious process. With a solid plan in place for the migration of SharePoint on-premise applications and customizations, organizations can ensure that employees can access their favorite SharePoint on-premise custom solutions with all their functionalities from day one after the move. This goes a long way in reducing employee resistance, ensuring high user adoption, allowing ROI maximization, and enabling successful implementation of SharePoint Online.
Checklist for SharePoint Application and Customization Migrations to the Cloud
Just like all other migration aspects, migrating SharePoint customizations and applications to the cloud should be well planned. Application migration plan should be created after in-depth assessment and creation of a detailed inventory for all custom solutions. While reviewing the existing custom solutions, the purpose and criticality of each application should be carefully considered. Similarly, technologists should judge whether there would be problems with their functionality in SharePoint Online. Apart from this, below are some best practices that organizations should follow while planning for application and customization migrations.
- Discover: The first step towards ensuring efficient migration of custom solutions involves carrying out a full analysis of all the SharePoint apps and customizations that are currently running on your systems. During this stage, you will come across many long-forgotten custom solutions. It’s essential to create an inventory of all the available apps and understand who uses them.
- Audit: Once the discovery of all existing customizations and applications is complete, it is time to make decisions. Segregate all existing custom solutions into – must-have, good to have, and not wanted categories. Investigate the usage and migration complexity of applications and customizations belonging to the first two categories. This analysis will enable you to determine which applications should be deleted, archived, migrated, or modernized.
- Strategize: Now that you have created a list of custom solutions to be migrated or modernized, it is now time to create a proper roadmap for both these approaches. The roadmap should be complemented by reliable estimates around time, effort, and cost.
- Transform: It is now time to tweak the codes of applications and customizations shortlisted for cloud migration. Unless the custom solution has been built using a No-code solution, it will involve re-coding and re-development. Have a different plan for other applications that need to be modernized or re-created.
- Implement: The final step is to move and implement all the selected SharePoint apps and customizations in the new environment. It is important to consider where customizations will be deployed and understand how they will interact with SharePoint Online.
However, even after such detailed planning and strategizing you will find that most on-premise applications and customizations built with the traditional coding approach will cease to work, either partially or completely, in the new platform. It should be remembered that SharePoint Online is centrally governed and continuously improved by Microsoft so most of your on-premise customizations and applications would not work on the cloud. The functionalities of the few that make it through might be affected when new updates are rolled out. The best way to avoid such a situation is to adopt a robust and adaptable No-code SharePoint application development and customization solution while developing application in On-Premise environment which makes the migration process smoother as compare to custom developed solution. Moreover, it also helps to quickly rebuild or re-engineer the business application in SharePoint Online environment.
Get over your Cloud Migration Challenges with QuickApps
QuickApps is an innovative No-code SharePoint application development and business process automation solution. With QuickApps business users can build SharePoint applications 80% faster to rapidly automate time-consuming business processes. Additionally, applications and customizations built using QuickApps are seamlessly supported in QuickApps for Microsoft 365. Further, AgreeYa’s industry-proven SharePoint migration services helps organizations rapidly and efficiently move applications built using QuickApps in On-premise to online faster than re-development.
With QuickApps and AgreeYa, organizations can ensure that their favorite SharePoint on-premise applications and customizations are available to the business users with all their functionalities from day one after the move. Get a Free Trial to watch QuickApps in action!
Associate Director – Product Development
Amit Gupta plays a key role in incubating and establishing best SharePoint practices at AgreeYa. He is closely associated with the Product Development and Delivery team and works to find new solutions based on Microsoft technology and optimize performance and responsiveness for our clients. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org