York Region: SharePoint Migration: SharePoint 2010 to 2019

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The Regional Municipality of York is the governing body for Southern Ontario’s York Region. With over 1.2 million residents, 54,000 businesses and 650,000 employees, York Region is one of Canada’s largest regional municipalities.

The municipality prides themselves on fostering a healthy and productive workplace for all employees and their motto is “Working together to serve our thriving communities – today and tomorrow”. As such, they recognize the importance of implementing IT solutions that help them create the workplace they desire and empower them to accomplish the goals they set out to achieve. Crucial aspects of their IT infrastructure that fuel this process rely heavily on the Microsoft SharePoint platform.

 

SharePoint 2010 end of life spurs necessity to migrate

The municipality depends on Microsoft SharePoint for significant document management workloads, hundreds of critical Nintex workflows, sensitive data management and collaboration intranets. However, running SharePoint Server 2010, with Microsoft’s end of support date for SharePoint 2010 fast approaching (the original date of October 13th, 2020 was extended to April 13, 2021 in response to the COVID-19 crisis), a failure to act quickly and migrate to a modern, updated version would expose them to severe risk and limit their potential to maximize ROI of their SharePoint platform.

Specifically, the upcoming end of life for SharePoint 2010 meant that their existing platform would receive no further updates, no more support and, crucially, no more security patches. This would expose the organization to unwanted risk through the heightened possibility of failing to comply with evolving standards and regulations and the potential to not pass compliance audits. Furthermore, with Microsoft centering their focus on the cloud and, in turn, positioning SharePoint as the content management and intranet platform within Office 365 and working in close tandem with Teams and OneDrive, migrating to a modern SharePoint 2019 environment had the potential for the organization to leverage the cloud far more effectively and to truly modernize their workforce – making the most of the entire Office 365 suite of cloud-based business apps.

Ultimately, failing to migrate would end up being more costly in the end. Maintenance costs for aging hardware would likely increase, implementing security measures to make up for the lack of patches and updates would result in further added costs and innovation would be stifled. The upcoming end of life data for SharePoint 2010 spurred the necessity for York Region to migrate to a modern environment that would set them up for future success.

Migrating from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2019 with a hybrid cloud and on-prem approach

The Regional Municipality of York partnered with MRS to migrate from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2019.

Some of the key considerations for York Region’s SharePoint migration process were:

  • Ensuring that hundreds of Nintex workflows for document creation and approvals (and accompanying data) were available and continued to work seamlessly on the new platform
  • Balancing a cloud, on-prem and hybrid approach, determining which content and information should be stored in the cloud or on-prem and ensuring adherence to policies and best practices for information stored in the cloud
  • Ensuring a seamless transition that minimized downtime and didn’t interrupt employees’ tasks
  • Laying the foundation for a broader corporate rollout of the cloud

With the MRS SharePoint team managing and executing York Region’s SharePoint migration processes, the municipality was able to upgrade to SharePoint 2019 smoothly and securely with all critical business functions uninterrupted.

Now and for the foreseeable future, the municipality is set up on a secure, supported environment and has a modern, stable platform for their intranets, critical Nintex workflows, knowledge management and collaboration. Furthermore, they are now able to tap into the potential of the modern SharePoint platform and all new features and innovation that Microsoft has introduced and is continuously updating, such as a more modern and responsive UI out of the box, advanced search functionalities, AI, Microsoft Teams and more.

Ultimately, with the move away from a quickly expiring SharePoint environment and the complex migration process behind them, York Region’s IT department feels alleviated from the pressures of running an outdated and out of support system while business users, moving forward, are able to leverage the modern features of SharePoint 2019.

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