Deployment rationalization is the process of bringing all stakeholders in a content/collaboration migration initiative together to jointly prioritize and optimize migration project planning. For large-scale enterprise migrations to Office 365, rationalization is a critical success factor for effectively addressing complex content and collaborative app deployments.
Our previous post, Comprehensive SharePoint Deployment Assessment: The First Step for a Successful Office 365 Migration, provides an overview of the pre-migration assessment step. This post explains how rationalization, as the next step, takes the detailed deployment profile from an assessment and transforms it into an optimized Office 365 migration project plan.
Deployment Rationalization Benefits
To understand the business benefits of rationalization, it’s useful to consider its relationship with assessment. CASAHL’s Pre-Migration Assessment service uses discovery and analysis tools to produce detailed and comprehensive inventories of content and app deployments. The assessment report provides expert guidance based on analysis involving more than seventy deployment attributes. It also includes complexity and scale ratings that make it possible to develop realistic and fact-based migration project plans.
Even with detailed deployment insights from an assessment, however, enterprise-scale deployments are rarely simple propositions. Although it’s possible to automatically inventory and migrate relatively basic file collections, for example, most enterprises have very large and complex deployments that are distributed across multiple locations and that may manage terabytes of content and tens of thousands of sites and apps. Enterprise-scale deployments also typically involve internal and external stakeholders including, for example, professional services providers assisting with operations and app development.
To address these post-assessment challenges, CASAHL’s rationalization service provides an Office 365-based migration project workspace called DART Dashboard that makes it possible for all migration stakeholders to securely collaborate, working with detailed insights from a deployment assessment, and to develop prioritized and optimized migration project plans. DART Dashboard makes it possible to easily:
Get and keep all migration stakeholders on the same page, based on a comprehensive assessment of the source deployment(s)
Communicate with users to gain their input on migration priorities and to enable them to identify resources that can be archived or deleted, reducing the overall migration project scope
Review content and app deployment blockers identified during the assessment phase and assign remediation responsibilities
Organize migration projects into waves, ensuring the highest-priority and most useful resources are migrated first
Assign and track budget commitments
Monitor and manage overall migration project status and progress
CASAHL’s rationalization service offers several business benefits for enterprises migrating to Office 365. First, it facilitates buy-in from all migration stakeholders by offering the ability for them to provide input and ensure their valuable content and app resources are modernized and migrated. Rationalization makes it possible to easily capture personal preferences that can’t be inferred from an automated assessment.
The rationalization service also facilitates a smooth transition to Office 365. Valuable content and app resources are identified and prioritized into project waves for migration, so users have familiar resources available to them when they start using Office 365. Migration stakeholders who use DART Dashboard also gain hands-on experience using Office 365 to manage the migration process, providing them an early opportunity to learn about Office 365 apps and services.
Community building is another important business benefit of the rationalization service. The DART Dashboard workspace is an ideal way to keep migration stakeholders actively engaged in the migration project, ensuring that migration plans are developed by the people most familiar with the legacy deployment and business needs. Secure global availability via Office 365 means enterprises with geographically distributed teams – including external partners and service providers – can easily stay coordinated on migration priorities.
DART Dashboard Details
To begin a quick tour of some of the DART Dashboard user experiences, here’s an example of the Dashboard view of deployed repositories (on-premises SharePoint sites in this case):
The repositories view provides a complete listing of deployed resources along with repository details including owners, recent activity details, and a variety of other attributes. Dashboard users can drill-down to review more repository details and take migration-related actions, as suggested in this marketing department example:
This Dashboard view provides general repository details and the ability to further drill-down into usage history, SharePoint objects contained in the repository, and resource complexity scores assigned during assessment. Using the tabs at the top of the view, it’s also easy to explore fine-grained repository details, create and execute user surveys, review migration decision considerations, and see overall project details for the selected repository.
The repository-level Details tab uses Excel Online to present all the repository details collected and analyzed during assessment.
The embedded workbook includes sheets for a wide range of repository details including sites, lists, usage history, complexity scores, remediation impact considerations, deprecated sites, users, solutions, app elements such as legacy web parts, event receivers, and much more. By leveraging Office 365 and Excel Online to maintain a single source of truth about the content and app deployment details, DART Dashboard ensures all stakeholders work with the same deployment details and stay coordinated on migration decisions.
The Decision tab displays current repository migration plan (e.g., to migrate or archive the repository) along with migration status and parameters. From this view, it’s easy to explore additional details such as the start date and status of the migration wave to which the repository has been assigned.
To further accelerate migration projects, DART Dashboard provides the ability to define high-level rules that can be used automate a wide range of migration activities. Migration project managers can also create and customize rules. We’ll provide more details about automating migration actions with DART Dashboard rules in a future post.
Although this post has only provided a brief tour of DART Dashboard and its role in CASAHL’s rationalization service, it’s clear that migration projects starting with comprehensive pre-migration assessments and continuing with deployment rationalization have significant benefits for enterprises seeking to modernize and migrate complex SharePoint deployments to Office 365. For more details on the migration project steps following rationalization, please explore our Fixed-Fee Migration and Application Recomposition services, or contact us for additional details.