Data Discovery and Assessment, Pilot and Execution, Your Path to a Successful Cloud Migration

Recorded March 11, 2018

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In today’s On the SPOT News Brief, Jay Leask and Craig Jahnke continue the Cloud Series with a focus on a four phase migration process: Discovery, Assessment, Pilot, and Execution. They even touch on the importance of user acceptance testing and automated governance to support end-user buy-in. Throughout each of these phases, Jay and Craig provide real-world customer examples which showcase the importance for each phase.

Next week on the podcast, automating system governance, and why it will increase user adoption, decrease risk, and simply put: save you money. If you have a topic you want us to discuss ping us on Twitter to let us know!

Full Transcript

Jay Leask – 00:00 – Start recording. Today is March 11th, 2018. My name is Jay Leask, and you’re listening to the Speed of Technology podcast.

Craig Jahnke – 00:18 – Hey, and this is Craig Jahnke, and I’m here with Jay for the on-the-spot podcast.

Jay Leask – 00:25 – Jesus Christ, you don’t go out on the fly well.

Craig Jahnke – 00:29 – I’ll tell you why I don’t go on the fly well. Twice we opened it with talk, and once you said, “On-on-the-spot,” and so then I called it the Speed of Technology podcast. Then you switched it and you said, “Speed of Techno-” … you talk about the speed of technology and you didn’t say podcast. And then you said, “Speed of Technology” podcast and I didn’t know where to go with it.

Jay Leask – 00:55 – Good morning. Today is March 11th, 2018. My name Is Jay Leask, and you’re listening to the Speed of Technology.

Craig Jahnke – 01:03 – Hey, this is Craig Jahnke. I’m here with Jay On The Spot podcast. Last week, we talked about crowd readiness. Today I think we’re going to talk about migration and what the [inaudible 00:01:15] assessment we decided we were going to go to the cloud, we picked a provider, now we’re ready to go. Is that right Jay?

Jay Leask – 01:21 – Well, just as a quick review, last week we discussed what we want to use. For example, you want to go to Azure Ias for all your needs or you want to go to Microsoft Office 365 software as a service. You know you want the commercial or the government edition. You’ve made all these decisions and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, give a quick listen to last week’s episode to kind of get a better feel for all of those things.

Jay Leask – 01:47 – So now it’s just click and go.

Craig Jahnke – 01:51 – Yeah. I think that’s right. Everything just … you pick your environment, there’s little wizards, you pick where you want to go and yeah, you just click it. No, unfortunately it’s not that easy. Usually we try to break things up into a plan, right?

Jay Leask – 02:05 – Yeah.

Craig Jahnke – 02:06 – We like to at AF Point have a discovery section where we discover what we’re going to do, do some kind of assessment on what we find, and then you know we ideally test that out and follow that up with a full execution. So a lot of phases there.

Jay Leask – 02:24 – Yeah. There’s definitely some things you want to plan for. So I think the first thing you really need to decide is this is no longer the era of moving everything at once. If you’re … for the sake of argument let’s say you’re moving to Office 365. Office 365 has a lot of tools for you to choose from. Are you moving your email first? Are you going to move your files? What about your collaboration tool like if you use SharePoint? Are you going to move that first? You have to make a decision of what is the easiest bang for your buck, the lowest hanging fruit, the thing that you can knock out first to show success so that the people who are writing the check are willing to come back to you and say, “All right, go to Stage Two.” ‘Cause if you try and do it all once, I mean you’re talking about multiple years and it just doesn’t work anymore.

Craig Jahnke – 03:17 – Yeah, no I agree and it’s interesting that you saying, “Writing the check,” right, ’cause that’s always the interesting part of doing the migration because ideally, as an IT professional, we want to be up on the newest and latest great systems to take care of … take advantage of any new features that come out and when you’re trying to sell that to the business, they don’t always see that. Once you make that sale, then you gotta kind just go [inaudible 00:03:42] through your data and see what you want to move, you know. Is it good data? Is it bad data? Is it old data? We only really want to move the stuff that’s going to have future benefit for us.

Jay Leask – 03:55 – So the big term that’s talked about a lot in migration is ROT, redundant, obsolete and trivial data. The other term that we use a lot is dark data. Following the 80/20 rule and that may be scientific, that may be just simply following the 80/20 rule, we have come to the realization that 10-20 percent of your data is what you know you have. It’s your project work. It’s your proposals. It’s your contracts. You know that data exists. The other 80-90 percent of your data, you have no idea what it is. It could be lunch menus from the ’90s. It could be someone’s DVD collection “Backed up” so that it doesn’t get lost. It could be a very large mp3 collection because your network is from the ’90s and well back in the ’90s we used to, well not me of course, but people used to download their music to their work file and put it in their personal drive and that way they would have access to it at all times.

Craig Jahnke – 04:49 – Yeah so you gotta run scans against that data and that in and of itself can be an ordeal if you have a lot of it. I mean we talk to customers all the time that have terabytes and petabytes worth of data. It takes a long time to scan that data and you gotta write … either use a tool or write some pretty good scripts to scan it and export that information and put it into CSV files or something that you can then run reports on and see what you have.

Jay Leask – 05:13 – The other thing that you might be looking for is what type of data do I have that is in that 10-20 percent. Do I have classified information that I don’t want to go to the cloud or if it goes to the cloud, I want it to be really well locked down. There is a public sector consulting firm that when they moved to the cloud, they moved to Office 365, they didn’t really do much in the way of data analysis and a couple weeks in, they got a phone call from one of their principals and the principal was freaking out because their compensation plan was publicly accessible. Well there are tools like Office Graph and Delve, which show you, “Hey this person that you’re doing work with has these files shared and well, when you and them and then this third person all … when I look at all three of you, you all might be interested in this document over here, even though you’ve never looked at it.” It’s a really useful tool, until you realize that your data’s not secured properly and that compensation plan is available for all of the underlings to see.

Craig Jahnke – 06:16 – Yeah no I’ve seen that. I’ve heard examples light that, especially I’ve seen in sales organizations where the admin or other people keep all their receipts and the things that they use to do expenses with so I’ve seen files where just have a list of every sales person with the corporate credit card number right, which if somebody found could be horrible for business doing all that kind of stuff. So yeah we really want to make sure we’re putting safe and secured data when we move it.

Craig Jahnke – 06:47 – The other thing we want to think about is who might be using this system right? Who are your stakeholders and how are they going to use this system? What training do they need? What kind of new things will be important to them and how do we get them on board ’cause you know really ROI and any kind of move like this and system that you do have is how much you gonna use it once you get there?

Jay Leask – 07:09 – Absolutely. So whenever we are working a migration project with one of our customers, the first thing that we do is talk to them about who their stakeholders are. It’s one thing to help them understand the broader sense, “Who are your stakeholders? Who are your customers and that is pretty much the entirety of the business.” But then to help them understand the value of engaging those stakeholders, so creating some sort of a stakeholder group where you interact with these people on a regular basis, you make them part of the migration process, you find out what business problems do you have today because if you don’t figure that out, you’re just going to end up moving those business problems to your new platform and you’re not really solving any problems for them. You might be saving a few bucks on infrastructure or skillset that you need to keep everything going, but are you solving anything for them or are you just making them learn a whole new system?

Craig Jahnke – 07:59 – Yeah it’s actually interesting because Tony Robins I like to listen self development stuff all the time. He has a line in there, “When you go from relationship to relationship, the one thing that you do is you bring you with you, right?” So you bring all your bad habits and stuff and you don’t want to bring that to a new system and make your users just not unhappy ’cause ideally you want to bring them to a new system that works better and they’re willing to change for that, and you want to involve them and get their input so they buy into it.

Jay Leask – 08:29 – If you have a small stakeholder group that represents one percent of your overall organization, if you can get them to buy into it, then when they start using it and sharing information about it, people that are in their circles will start growing and it grows exponentially from there.

Craig Jahnke – 08:44 – Yeah. We keep talking about superusers so you want to look for those guys and office champions who will go out and promote the changes and help you really drive it in the organization.

Jay Leask – 08:54 – In addition to trying to solve their business problems, you also need to find out what’s important to them. So let’s say you have a marketing representative on this project. From a marketing perspective, do they care if the new system is branded in a certain way for them? Do they understand the branding capabilities of the new system? Do the end users want a Facebook-like tool for communications and what are their expectations or desires from an information architecture perspective? I guarantee they don’t know what information architecture is, but they know what a navigation structure is, so do they care if it goes by department or by capability? These are things that you really need to find out and when you’re doing a migration, that’s the easiest time to do it.

Craig Jahnke – 09:36 – Yeah I like the information architecture that you referenced that because I was just talking to a customer the other day. They want to move from Office 365 because the search doesn’t work good enough and they can’t find anything and I’m going, “Well moving on-premises to SharePoint 2016 isn’t going to fix that.” Their thought was they would have more ability to customize things. I’m like, “That’s your information architecture. If you can’t find it, it’s not because it’s not there. It’s you don’t have it laid out well enough and ideally search should be the last place you’re going to find stuff, right?”  It should be navigation. I should be able to go into my system and say, “Oh yeah. It’s here, here and here.” If I get more than three clicks into something and I can’t find it, that’s a bad thing, right, so I need to organize my content better. So you need to plan all that out so that it’s there when you get there. You don’t want to figure it out when users can’t find it.

Jay Leask – 10:27 – That’s right. So finishing up our discovery phase. The other two things that you want to talk to stakeholders about are what can they expect. “We’re doing a migration to Office 365. We’re going to move your email first. What’s going to change on your end is the mappings for your outlook app on your phone and we’ll help push that out. No problem. Phase two we’re going to move your collaboration system so SharePoint’s going to change. So when that moves, you’re going to get a whole new interface and you’re going to get the following new capabilities and we’re going to remove this capability because we found that it actually slows the system down and it’s not available in Office 365.” So you have to help them understand what can they expect and you have to help create a communications plan with them. Not for them. Frankly, again you’re working on a subset of stakeholders. You want these people to be your champions. They need to be part of helping you design that communications plan so that they are behind what you’re doing. I’ve been doing this for at least a decade now of change management, process management. If you can get them to help design that, you’re going to be so much more successful.

Craig Jahnke – 11:35 – Yeah that’s a good point. There’s so many people that leave communication plans until they’ve running the pilot, right, and executing and then they think, “Oh now we gotta train the user.” So getting out in front of that as early as possible greatly increased your chance to succeed.

Jay Leask – 11:51 – So let’s move into the assessment phase. We talked a little bit about it when we were talking about why you’re scanning your data where we’re trying to figure out what kind of content do we have, do you have redundant, obsolete, trivial data? Do you have sensitive content? Craig, I like the phrase you used OPD, other people’s data. What else are you looking for?

Craig Jahnke – 12:11 – So you alluded to it a little bit. Netflix collections, mp3s collections, but as a person who works a lot and sometimes I see people do this, not necessarily me, but they mix their personal communications in throughout the course of the day because a lot of times you gotta do stuff when other businesses are open, right? So I have found people that have put their mortgage applications in there, their health information in there, doctor’s notices, insurances claim forms, things that they gotta do during normal course of business that they don’t do, they’ll scan it and keep it. So you don’t want to move that one, because it’s not your data. It has nothing to do with your business. But two, a lot of that type of data contains personal information like credit card numbers, social security numbers and things like that, that you really don’t want to move.

Jay Leask – 13:00 – Yeah that’s absolutely correct. The other thing you’re trying to figure out, so when you’re looking at all this content, well now that we found … let’s say that we moved all the OPD, the other people’s data, let’s say we look at all the ROT and we’ve decided anything older than five years we don’t care about, anything between five and seven years that’s marked “financial” we’re going to archive it, these projects sites we want to move to this area, these contracts we want to move to this area, anything that was marked PII needs to get put into a special library that only HR has access to. Long story short, what we’ve moved into is from a standard lift and shift migration to a reorganization of content. Well when you’re talking about reorganization of content, what’s the easiest way to do that? Am I gonna write custom scripts? Am I gonna use a third party tool to move it and then once it’s in the new system, rearrange it? Is there a tool out there, by the way the answer is yes, that lets me filter content based on metadata and create migration plans to move it from the source to the destination in the right organization? So there’s all sorts of stuff around that that you can do.

Craig Jahnke – 14:08 – Yeah and I hate to say this, but some of that takes time, right? So we now need to lay out a timeline of what we want to move and when we do it, so typically I recommend that we move small, easy to move stuff first to get an idea of how difficult our migration’s going to be and then we’ll get into that as [inaudible 00:14:30] it, and then picking out the things that are more important to move after that, the business critical stuff, right? We want to make sure that we get everything down first before the critical. Based on the size of our data, we want to have a reasonable timeline so we can schedule out resources and stuff for how long that’s going to take. So start some planning on that. Realize that you just can’t move … you know I have customers that come to us and say, “Oh we have Four Terabytes of data and we need to move this by the end of the month because that’s when our box or our Dropbox licenses expire and we want to move it into Office 365 so we can take advantage of some savings there.

Jay Leask – 15:07 – The other thing that you need to think about is timeline. So during the assessment, this is when you’re going to start gut checking that three month timeline your leadership gave you. A lot of these migration projects we’re told, “You need to move to Office 365,” or, “You need to move to the cloud and you need to do it by March 31st.” Well now that I’ve done the assessment, I’ve spoken to the stakeholders and identified their requirements, I’ve figured out what content can and can’t go, now you can push back to leadership and say with an educated opinion, not just random thoughts, “Hey, it’s not going to be done in that time. Here’s why, but here’s what I can get done in that time,” and you can work with leadership to make sure you’re hitting what’s really important to them, but you’re giving them an educated response as to why you need to move forward the way you’re moving forward.

Craig Jahnke – 15:59 – One things that you really need to consider about, a lot times people from really old technologies to newer technologies to SharePoint 20 … not really old but they’ll go from SharePoint 2013 to Office 365 and that’s not really a huge deal. It takes time if you have a lot of data but I still have customers that are going from SharePoint 2003, SharePoint 2007, and that takes a little bit more effort because we may have to upgrade our technology to something newer before we can actually move it to Office 365, especially if we’re using tools. A lot of tools don’t go back that far to go to Office 365 so we may have to do a stepping stone process to get to Office 365 and not, as we’ve talked to you before, just be able to pick it up from where it is [crosstalk 00:16:47] and shift it into the cloud.

Jay Leask – 16:50 – You have to consider and that’s a great example. The other thing that, again, we talked about it was stakeholder engagement. Let’s continue this down the threat. In the assessment phase, if you come up with a plan, part of what you’ve discovered with your stakeholders is well, what did they care about? So now you need to think about from a user adoption perspective, which is the right group to move first? Which of their content is the right content to move first and if you’re going to do a standard migration, how is that going to affect how they use the system? How am I going to enable them to be successful without making them log into four different systems, three different ways, using two different methods? You have to consider their steps if you’re going to be successful there.

Craig Jahnke – 17:33 – Yeah ’cause we always say, the more complex you make a process, the least likely your users are to use it right so if I have to do something and it takes me four or five steps to do it, I’m going to go outside the normal system and find an easier way to do it. So if you’re in the process of this type of like a hybrid migration as you said where it’s in two or three places, I might just start using Dropbox or just email instead of waiting for the new system and then I am going to be less likely to want to be trained on the new system because I’m just going to go with the systems that I’ve created and work from there.

Jay Leask – 18:08 – So whenever I talk about pilots with my customer, the first thing I try to make clear is we are talking about creating a small … not creating, but utilizing a small representation of their data to do a couple things. We want to validate the assumptions we’ve made in our migration plan. When we move content using filters, does it move the way we expect it to? We want to validate connectivity and the effect it has on network. Great example here is we have a customer who in 2017 did a pilot migration with us. All they did was the discovery assessment and pilot and what we found during the pilot, they were moving from 2010 on premises, SharePoint 2010 on premises to SharePoint online. What we found with them was their network connectivity was really bad, they simply didn’t have good connection speeds, but the other thing that we found was that their single server SharePoint farm where SQL and the web front ends and the application servers were all on the same 4 gigabyte server, did not have the ability to handle the migration process and the everyday work load at the same time.

Jay Leask – 19:17 – So for them, by doing the pilot, we found out that one, in order to move their content in a timely manner, we weren’t going to be able to count on the standard move it over your DSL line process and two, we want to make sure that we beef up their server to be able to handle the work load. So for them, we’re going to build a new SharePoint 2010 server that’s going to handle all of the migration work load, pushing that work load on their primary server so they can continue to do their job. The other thing we talked about them is what options do the cloud providers have? For the terabyte-and-a-half of content they have, they can drive ship it, literally take a backup of their content, send it to Microsoft, Microsoft within a couple of weeks will get it uploaded into SharePoint and now we just have to do an iteration, and incremental that is, pull the data that’s changed since that backup, and move that. Now we’re talking about a couple gig of the total terabyte-and-a-half. So there are a lot of options you need to consider and that you’re validating during the pilot.

Craig Jahnke – 20:24 – Yeah and just because you might have a big pipeline to the cloud doesn’t necessarily mean that the cloud is willing to take it at that speed too, because a lot of the cloud providers will have throttling limits and you can’t exceed those unless you reach out and talk to them and maybe negotiate something to let them know. But if you just turn on the fire hose, for example, without actually giving them any heads up, they’re going to throttle that and there’s only a limit of so much stuff that you can move at any one time so you want to be preparing for that.

Jay Leask – 20:55 – Yeah when you’re moving into a multi-tenant system where multiple customers are in there, it’s the cloud providers job to slow you down a little bit to make sure you aren’t killing the processes of the other customers in your system and that’s absolutely a really good point.

Craig Jahnke – 21:10 – The other thing you might find if you’re moving to something like SharePoint is that you have solutions or branding or something like that in theory that should have just transferred but they don’t necessarily do so. This is an opportunity to find [inaudible 00:21:21] things that might break and fix them and have a solution for fixing them and remediating issues now so that you know how to handle them when you make your full execution.

Jay Leask – 21:32 – Yeah when we do migration as a service project for our customers, our pilot will have one to two to three iterations, depending on the level of service they’re looking for and what we’re doing is we’re validating those assumptions, making modifications, running the test again, and really trying to streamline the process to make sure that the communications are very clear, what you can you expect, how’s it going to happen, what’s the timeline going to be?

Craig Jahnke – 21:57 – But I would say one thing that we were remiss in talking about is having your end users test your pilot, right? So again we talk about user adoption is so important to getting ROI on any system that that’s when you want to do your pilot testing, right and go through and have people look at it and go, “Is this really going to work as a solution,” and make any of those changes that you’re going to make too.

Jay Leask – 22:17 – You’re right. You have to have a plan for user acceptance testing. One of the things [inaudible 00:22:21] does is we validate the number of files and size but you also want to have user acceptance testing. Well part of … let’s say you changed your information architecture as part of this migration. So you moved content that used to be in Group A. Now Group A is split over Groups A, B, and C. User acceptance testing is the best way to make sure it did what you expected.

Craig Jahnke – 22:41 – Now I know industry’s best practices is to do production acceptance testing and wait until you move everything, but truly tried to, or at least that’s what I’d seen it be, we really try to encourage testing all along the way and make sure your users know what they’re getting when they get there.

Jay Leask – 22:57 – Speaking of when they get there … so you have a couple of different options. You can move it all at once. I mentioned the drive ship out to the cloud. That’s going to be an all at once kind of thing. You move everything, you’re good. You can move things over a series of maintenance windows. With that customer in South America, that was their first gut idea was, “All right well we’ll move a little bit each week during the maintenance window and then people are already expecting that.” I’m like, “Sure. Let’s do the math on that one. Based on your speed to the cloud and the amount of content you have, that’s going to take three months. Are you comfortable with that?” All right, well maybe that’s not as good an idea for this particular customer.

Jay Leask – 23:38 – You can move things behind the scenes so you’re moving a bunch of content, you’re putting into a system nobody has access to, and then you do what we call an incremental migration, a last check you do everything that’s changed from when it was originally migrated to that last moment before you want users to get into the system. You do that and then you switch everyone over. So you have a bunch of different options there.

Craig Jahnke – 24:02 – Yeah and a lot of that might depend on other things, right, because one of the clients I’m working with recently, it’s just an exchange migration so we’re moving from exchange on premises to an exchange online, about 20,000 users. How do we want to do that? Well it can’t be all at once because Microsoft’s best practices only moving a couple of thousand as a cut over, so you gotta set up a hybrid and pick the way that you’re going to do that. Now you probably could do quite a bit at a time, but internally they decided that they only want to move about 250-300 users, which seems low and like it would take a lot of time, but it’s an acquisition so we’re acquiring a new company, we’re bringing them into our organization, still not a big deal until we decided that, “Hey we’re going to give everybody new laptops and new hardware, new desktops and we’re going to have to provision those.” Our IT team can’t provision more than 250 in a week so there’s other considerations you need to take into consideration on how you’re moving. How fast can you get users transferred over to the new system? It might not just be going in and changing their permissions or changing their login information. You might be giving them new equipment in which case that’s going to really take a long time.

Jay Leask – 25:18 – Yeah I think one of the things you’re really hitting home on Craig, is sometimes even though you have the skillset to do it yourself, you may not have the time to do it yourself and that’s where a partner that can help you, maybe work with you on it while you’re provisioning the hardware and the accounts and doing a part of the migration, they can partner to do the other part of the migration.

Craig Jahnke – 25:42 – So what I hate to steal from another industry in another commercial that I’d seen, but I like to think of Farmer’s Insurance. I don’t know if you see the commercials, you get that where you’re at in Washington, D.C., but their tagline is, “We know a thing or two ’cause we’ve seen a thing or two,” right? And I think all the migrations that we’ve done at [inaudible 00:26:03] and as our previous careers at different consulting agencies, not just use but the organizations we work with have seen a lot of things that a lot of people wouldn’t think that could happen during the course of a migration and most organizations are only doing migrations of this sort once every three to five years, if they’re doing them that fast, and a lot of them doing only do it every 10 years, so there’s a lot of considerations, a lot of hiccups that could come along the way that you … even though you have highly skilled people, it may not be things that they’re used to seeing, and a lot of times they also got other jobs that they have to do, right? T

Craig Jahnke – 26:42 – hey have their day jobs and the migration might just be part of that. So you know, making sure that you have the right people in the right place with the right bandwidth to do this kind of job really becomes challenging for some organizations and as you said, when they might want to look for a third partner to either help them or a tool or something like that.

Jay Leask – 27:01 – So Craig, continuing down that process, we talked about it in the pilot, validate and remedy solutions, you want to do that here too. Just because you’ve completed the migration, doesn’t mean it was successful so you have to not just do a content validation, thousand files to a thousand files, but especially if you’re doing any kind of reorganization, user acceptance testing and that stakeholder group that we’ve talked about is going to be the first step in making sure you’re going to get user acceptance when you roll this out.

Craig Jahnke – 27:33 – Yeah and with the pilot you’re only doing a small subset of the organization. Right now you’ve got … you’re moving everything so you’ve got more potential issues that can come up and need to be remediated. But again it’s making sure everything got moved, your 100 gigs to 100 gigs and people can find it and it works where they click it, it’s where they expect it to be and kind of that seamless transition that you want that your users start from day one knowing how to use their system and it might take them a little bit to ramp up, but you want a very quick ramp up and get them using it as soon as possible.

Jay Leask – 28:09 – And then let’s talk about the users. So whenever we do migration as a service, we make sure our customers are thinking about training. If you’re moving from SharePoint 2013 to Office 365 and SharePoint Online, what new features are your users going to get? They’re going to get groups. They’re going to get teams. They’re going to get planner. What kind of information do you have prepared so that when they jump into Office 365 for the first time, they don’t lose a week down the dark hole of new features. Microsoft has created a lot of materials. For example if you go to,, there’s a whole series of things that you can push out to your users to help them be successful. But maybe you need a training partner, someone who can help you create things that are specific to your organization. Now I don’t do training but our public sector CTO, it is a formal training person and so there are a lot of things that you can do that you have to do to make sure they’re successful.

Craig Jahnke – 29:13 – Yeah and especially if you’re doing a reorganization. What we do for a lot of clients is add, or talk them into adding, a site for training, for help, a really good one where you can kind of go and say … especially like for something like Office 365, “Where do I go for teams? What do I do if I want to add a new document,” and just create a help section for specific needs for people to use with big icons that let them know what they’re trying to do and little tutorials so you know, as much help as you can get them to do the things themselves so they don’t have to keep filing help desk tickets to say, “How do I move a file? How do I copy a file? How do I send it somebody?” You can have … those are all over the internet for you to be able to gather and there’s actually some pretty cool online training tools that you can just filter … you can just plug right into Office 365 that help people to figure out what they want to do.

Jay Leask – 30:07 – Once you’re there, how do you make sure all of the old problems that you had in the previous system don’t perpetuate themselves in the new one? Traditionally in SharePoint you have problems called SharePoint Sprawl or Site Sprawl or Content Sprawl. Well if you want to avoid that, you have to build a set of processes in the new system that not just restrict what users can do, but then enables them to do what they need to be successful.

Craig Jahnke – 30:34 – Yeah, no we have some great tools that basically allow users to make requests and then on the backend of that you put in your policies around the system like a new site so we do that a lot. It’s through [inaudible 00:30:50] automation. I can go as a user. I can go in fill out a form and say, “I need a new site. I have a new project that I’m going to be working on. These people need to be involved in it and this is the kind of content that we’re doing to create.” You hit submit and it goes to an automated system that looks at who you are, what you want, and makes determinations based on that kind of thing to give you a new site.

Craig Jahnke – 31:14 – If you’re a manager and it’s a standard project and you need a standard project site, that might get approved automatically and just send a notification to IT to let them know that it happened. It’ll show up on a report that they can run, you know maybe weekly to see new sites generated and you’re good to go. If it’s a low level employee and he says, “Okay I need a site that’s externally facing ’cause I want to share information with a third party,” you know that might get rejected outright or forwarded to IT so that they can get more information on what to do with that. Or I’ve seen other people where they say, “I need a new publishing site ’cause I want to share information to the entire organization,” and that might get routed to somebody to contact them from marketing to make sure that they lay out things that are within corporate guidelines and help them create the best site that’s appropriate for end users to find information.

Jay Leask – 32:07 – Yeah earlier I mentioned that this is no longer the age where you can simply kick off a huge project to migrate everything and 18 months later you’re done. You gotta do it piece by piece. Well the same thing goes for your end users and what they expect to be able to accomplish. This is no longer the day and age where you can simply cut them off from being able to do something because you will end up in a shadow IT situation where they’re using an unapproved tool to manage their content and day to day work. Well what happens when you do that? You’re now open to lawsuits because you don’t know where all your content is. You can’t find it, you can’t protect it, you can’t be sure that that server in that IAS system is protected so that when there’s PII on there, you know how to handle it.

Craig Jahnke – 32:54 – Well and the other part of that, and we had this conversation offline, was what are we trying to do with that, too? We want to take the burden off of IT and what’s interesting about that is, IT really hates to give up control. They complain all the time about the end users requesting information, requesting new sites and all this and they’re constantly in this fire fighting mode, but we want to take the burden off IT as much as possible so that they can do things that are more strategic to the business and coming up with solutions that enable end users to do things as specifically drive business goals, which is increase sales and reduce costs. So we want to make them … free up their time to do that and allow end users to do things more strategically and automate systems as much as possible.

Jay Leask – 33:47 – So Craig let’s try to wrap this up here. We talked about the discovery assessment pilot and execution. The last thing we need to do is decide what do we do with the old system? We didn’t move content, we migrated it so there’s still a copy of the content in the old system and if we did do some kind of ROT analysis, we probably didn’t migrate everything so there’s definitely a question of how much content did we leave behind? What if we missed a file that’s really important? So how do you sunset that old system?

Jay Leask – 34:17 – A lot of our customers I see moving to like a six month archive process where the old system is in read-only mode for six months and then we flat out archive it off, but yeah what kind of best practices have you seen around?

Craig Jahnke – 34:30 – Yeah I’ve seen what you’ve talked about, we’ll just make it read-only, right, and then we only need to move it if somebody specifically goes looking for that. I’ve seen customers delete as much of that ROT data as they could. They archive it out to file shares so if they need to find it or other disks and that kind of thing so basically it always falls on IT to maintain it and come up with a plan, but we only give people access to it as a need to only access it and a lot of times, you know, you can go that entire wait period and not have anybody request it or it’ll just be one person and luckily you can find it. But then you need to shut that off as soon as possible because you don’t want your end users going there. You want them going to the new system and a lot of end users are going to go to the old system as long as you let them.

Jay Leask – 35:21 – Yeah. The other thing that you haven’t mentioned, which has been very kind of you, is cost. So if you do leave that old system up for 6, 12, 18 months in read-only mode, what are you paying for licensing to keep it there? Do you have a license agreement that lets you do that at no cost? Great. Then that kind of model’s appropriate. But if your license is up, expired, do you want to drop tens of thousands of dollars to keep that going for another six months? So you have to think of a means of archiving that data that allows you to get missing files if that’s important to you, but that doesn’t cost you a lot of extra money because that was part of the point of moving to the cloud.

Craig Jahnke – 36:00 – And that’s so often that we hear the request to move to the cloud because hey we’re using another provider like Dropbox or Box, or that kind of thing, and we need to go there by this date because I want to be able to end those licenses. So you can get extensions on that but you’re right. It’s just more money you’re shoveling away into a black hole if you’re not using it.

Jay Leask – 36:22 – Now we’ve been talking awhile about moving your data. There’s another option that you might consider. If you are not sure of what to do but you want to get success in the cloud right away while you’re working on that discovery and assessment, you might take a new workload, a new process, something that you don’t have a solution for today and put that in the cloud so you can start to build interest and success on that new solution before you start trying to convince your tens of thousands of employees to prepare themselves for the cloud.

Craig Jahnke – 36:57 – I’ve seen that a lot. I was just talking to a customer yesterday in Phoenix where that’s what they’re going to do is a new internet system and then once they get people using that, worry about bringing their old data up to the cloud. So that is a good approach. You want to get user adoption. You want ROI, you want people to be using it and then making those request to say, “Hey I need to access this data because I need this data here so I can do these work flows,” and that kind of thing so really good approach is to just start using it and see where that goes. But you want to do that with a plan too and I’m thinking that’s a future podcast episode where we can talk about planning to get the most out of your Office 365 or cloud environment.

Jay Leask – 37:39 – All right. Well I think that was plenty of talking your ear off and listening to us talk. I’m curious if you’re listening to us, what are you thinking? What works for you? What have you tried and hasn’t worked? So reach out to us via email, comment on the blog, Twitter, whatever is easiest for you. You tweet, use the Twitter.

Craig Jahnke – 38:03 – Use the Twitter.

Jay Leask – 38:04 – Reach out to us, let us know what you think and we’ll be happy to include your comments in our upcoming episodes.

Craig Jahnke – 38:11 – All right thanks for listening to us today and now for something completely different, don’t forget to set your clocks ahead if you haven’t already done so.

ANNOUNCER – 38:48 – This episode is brought to you by Jay Leask and Craig Jahnke, two guys who like to talk technology and live in a connected world. The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers only and in no way do they represent the opinions of their employers, their customers, or their wives. This has been an on the spot podcast production.




Photo by Ethan Weil on Unsplash

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