This blog is the second of a series about content migrations to Microsoft 365

Being able to work and collaborate in a safe manner on a secure device. A promise made by Microsoft 365 and a huge prerequisite to deliver this promise. To realize this promise your employees need to be able to collaborate on all that content on those dreaded file shares. An accumulation of company data that has grown over the years which nobody bothered to clean or restructure. …and now it’s up to you to move it to the cloud.

The first blog of this series was about acknowledgement that a change is about to happen, document wise.

This blog explains to you why it is important to understand the motivation of the imminent transformation.

The story so far

Contoso has a desire to make the move to Microsoft 365. You’ve been hired by Contoso to design the collaboration solution architecture. One of things you need to do is migrate the content on the file shares to Microsoft 365. You realized that this content migration enables an actual business transformation that you need to manage. You need to design the future state for Contoso from a collaboration perspective. To do that you need to know the motivation behind the imminent transformation.

Identify motivationMigration framework Motivation

Great! Your stakeholders are aware that a content migration is a major change. The next step you and the stakeholders should do is identify the motivation behind this transformation. In other words the vision and goals, and what effect this content migration has on the business. In short: “What are we trying to accomplish and why?”. Once we have established this you are ready for the next question:  “How are we going to accomplish this?”.


Imagine the Chief Executive Office has received a report that collaboration within Contoso is difficult at best due to processes not being streamlined. This results in a delay in time to market, quality of work and thus dissatisfied customers and employees. In general this is costing the company money. In ArchiMate you would model this something like this:

The CEO therefor wants to:

  • Improve the quality of work
  • Lower the overall costs
  • Streamline processes
  • Improve customer satisfaction

The result should be improved collaboration and higher employee satisfaction. There you have it: these are the drivers for your change!

In real life this is imporant. With Microsoft 365 you have the ability to actually improve the quality of work. To do this people will have to organize their work differently. Processes need to be re-aligned. This means change. People, euhm, dislike change. Change costs money. Now you have a real chance of improving the quality of work. The goals have impact on the future state of you design.

If, on the other hand, the motivation of this transformation was solely to cut down on hardware cost you are most likely going to design another future state, or at least another migration strategy.


I have discussed the importance of perspective in other blogs (see section useful links). From your perspective, as an architect or migration expert, you are interested in getting them 20 million documents into Microsoft 365. From the perspective of the Contoso CEO the goal is an increase in profit and improved time to market. Other goals are improved collaboration and a higher employee satisfaction. There is also the end-user, the guys and galls that are actually going to use the solution YOU designed. Their goal is just to do their job, preferably in a more efficient manner.

Future state

Now it is up to you to design the future state. The collaboration solution architecture you need to design must meet the motivation goals we discovered. You also have to keep in mind the different perspectives. The end-user may have a different view on what ‘improved collaboration’ means that the CEO. So your design must not only meet the identified goals but must also meet the different perspectives.

So: go talk to people (that matter)!

Lessons learned (hopefully)

The things I tried to get across are the following:

  • In order to create – any – design it is imperative that you truly understand the motivation behind the change at hand
  • ArchiMate is a language that helps you describe your architecture at different levels (e.g. Motivation, Business, Information, Technology)

In the previous blog(s) the following topics where discussed:

  • Content migrations aren’t merely a copy-paste action from a fileshare to e.g. SharePoint Online
  • Content migrations are part of a bigger (transformation) plan
  • Content migrations are very doable if you take a couple of things into account
  • A properly executed content migration is an enabler for transformation your business


What’s next?

In the following blogs I will explain:

  • Migrate content to Microsoft 365 – Designing the future
    • This blog is about your design for the stakeholders. This is about the business layer in ArchiMate
  • Migrate content to Microsoft 365 – Plan your migration
    • This blog is about identifying the activities necessary and working accordingly
  • Migrate content to Microsoft 365 – Automating your migration using ShareGate
    • This blog is about how to use PowerShell to automate your migration
  • Migrate content to Microsoft 365 – Automated analysis
    • This blog is about how to use Microsoft SQL Server and SSIS to automate your results

Useful links



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