Top 3 Challenges In Migrating Users to Office 365
Of all the data you migrate to Office 365, user identity may be the most important. This is how you keep your users connected to all their important information as well as make sure you have appropriate user roles and security in your new environment.
Unless you’re starting a completely new installation, you’ll be migrating identity data from Active Directory. This presents three main challenges:
1. Selecting the right identity model in Office 365
You can choose from two different approaches, or models, to managing identities in Office 365. The cloud-only identity model maintains user accounts only in Azure Active Directory. The hybrid identity model retains user accounts in your on-premises Active Directory installation as well as in Azure AD.
Cloud-only can be easier to manage, while hybrid identity means users don’t have to keep track of where the data they’re accessing resides; they can use the same credentials every time. Hybrid identity relies on synchronization to ensure consistency between premises and cloud identity, but changes in the cloud are not replicated to the local server.
For most organizations, hybrid identity is probably the better choice, as it makes the user experience much more straightforward. However, it makes IT support more challenging, as any disruptions in synchronization will cause the identities to get out of date.
In the hybrid model, it’s also important to continue to monitor identity changes in both environments; otherwise, a hacker could set up an identity in the cloud that isn’t replicated to the premises and escapes detection.
2. Cleaning up any problems in your Active Directory installation
If you have inconsistent or flat out wrong data in your current identity management system, you’ll want to clean it up to avoid migrating those problems over to the new environment. This includes making sure users have unique email addresses and values in critical attributes are accurate.
3. Consolidating user identity data
In addition, the identity data in Active Directory may not be the complete set of data you want to migrate to the cloud. You may have important user identity information in other platforms that should be integrated into AD for ease of maintenance.
Correctly handling user identities is one of the most critical tasks in an Office 365 migration. Prescient Solutions offers support for Office 365, beginning with installation and migration, and continuing with ongoing support, including monitoring and help desk services. Contact us to learn how our services can help you make the transition to Office 365.