Migration to SharePoint 2013: business and IT factors to consider

By Alfred de Weerd posted 12-06-2013 13:21


Many companies and organizationsconsider migrating to SharePoint 2013 from their current 2010 or 2007 environment. Or better, they now that the transition is inevitable…, but what are the consequences?

Answering this question requires insight in all areas impacted by the SharePoint migration. A large number of organizations struggle on getting the picture complete. What I see is that there is a tendency to stay within the direct SharePoint scope. This means that some business and IT-wide factors are overlooked. However, these are the areas of greatest impact!

In this article I give a list of all areas of impact I came across in practice. This is not to say that the list is complete. I think every organization will have its own specific areas of impact related to the migration to SharePoint 2013.



If there is sound governance for the current SharePoint environment (and this means a lot more then a few rules of use), this is not a major point. When there is no governance, it would be a waste not to start maturing the environment now.


The licensing model has changed strongly for SharePoint 2013. One important change is that the search engine FAST is now included in the license. Licensing is complex, especially when specific conditions apply. Licenses can have a large impact on overall cost, so they should be evaluated.


Before use, SharePoint 2013 maintenance/administration must be set up, both functional and technical. Technical administration for the online environment is almost entirely with Microsoft

User friendliness and functionality

SharePoint 2013 is more user friendly then its predecessors, which is the result of many small improvements on the practical level. The increased user friendliness increases efficiency and user adoption. Next to these smaller improvements there are significant improvements on social computing, web content management, search et cetera. See

Skills & knowledge

The introduction of a new platform requires new skills for anybody involved. SharePoint is complicated, so this requires both training and practical on-the-job experience. Affected roles are at least:

  • End users
  • Administrators (technical and functional)
  • Analysts/consultants
  • Developers (here the impact may be biggest)

SharePoint development & deployment

When building SharePoint applications in-house, new DTA (development, test, and acceptance) environments are required. When you outsource the development, these environments may still be required. For in-house development, you will also need new development images, tooling and SharePoint 2013 specific development guidelines.


Security in this context includes integrity, availability and reliability. SharePoint online has strong security characteristics, but it is important to evaluate whether there are specific requirements for some areas. Also for the on-premise environment of SharePoint there are many new capabilities, which result in new security challenges.


Privacy plays a special role in the decision whether to move to SharePoint 2013 online or not. Formerly, the Patriot Act was an important reason not to move to the cloud for some organizations. Now NSA and other espionage scandals are added. It would be naïve to think that your online data is not analyzed by some agency. The question is: for which data this is no problem? And which parties and countries we trust?

Integration with other applications

Privacy considerations are also applicable for other applications, when their data is shown in SharePoint. It should be evaluated whether the integration can be implemented in a cost-effective way, if they fulfill functional and non-functional requirements and if security can be brought to the required level. This is not only the case for the online version, but partly also for on-premise.

SharePoint tools

For all tools in use with the current version of SharePoint (workflows, records management, case based working, but also smaller, user interface based tools) it should be evaluated if they are still available and supported in SharePoint 2013.

Migration of existing sites & applications

SharePoint 2010 sites that are not customized can be migrated fairly easy to SharePoint 2013. SharePoint 2007 sites need to be converted to SharePoint 2010 first. It gets complicated when sites have been customized, because the technical differences are considerable. One aspect is that it should be evaluated whether the applications can be rebuild using only OOTB (out of the box) SharePoint capabilities.

These were, very briefly, the factors I came across in practise. Each organisation is unique, however and if you have come other factors, I’d be interested to know. Each line would merit a post on its own (for which I lack the time), so if you have any questions on this, drop me a line.

#sharepoint #maintenance #SharePoint #Business-IT #Security #Migration #privacy #IT #business #licenses #governance


12-14-2013 10:18

Thanks Natasha! When I create such an article I will, although at this point, tooling is not my main focus

12-13-2013 10:32

That's a great article on migrating to SharePoint 2013. It really covers important points to consider before making the move. You say that each subject merits a post and I agree, but it can get overwhelming when there's too much information and that's a good overview of each subject. However, I would be curious to see what you have to say on SharePoint migration tools. I hope you would consider Sharegate if you do an elaborate article on that. It's always nice to have the opinion of field professionals. Again, good post!
Natasha from Sharegate