When your company considers migrating to G Suite, you may think about what the actual process of getting there looks like and what things you’ll need to sort ahead. Let’s go through some of the key questions you may be asking yourself before making the move.
Who takes care of maintenance?
When you move to G Suite, you no longer have to worry about keeping servers running and updating your software. That’s all taken care of. It’s like moving to a fully managed apartment where you no longer have to worry about fixing the roof and all general fixes to the property. Sweet!
Getting ready to move
In whatever solution you were using before, you probably accumulated a load of clutter from years and years of working under the same system. If you’re moving to G Suite, you’ll likely want to sort it out and bin what you don’t really need beforehand.
You might think you have nothing to worry about when moving all your data files over. After all, the search is so powerful in Google Drive that it doesn’t matter how you organise your files. You’ll easily be able to find what you want. You have unlimited storage so there’s no danger of running out of space.
Despite all of the great advantages of moving to G Suite, it’s best to consider exactly what you need to move over. There may be legal and compliance reasons why you shouldn’t keep data longer than absolutely necessary. Or you may see the move as an opportunity to clear out unused or outdated files. Either way, this is a great time to tidy things up.
What about folder structure and access permissions?
When it comes to Google Drive, you need to think about how your data is structured, especially when moving to Shared Drives. These are drives that, as the name implies, are designed to be shared between teams, departments, projects, etc. Their access permissions are set at the top level of the drive and inherited by all folders within.
So, if you had a folder structure in your old file system with different permissions at different levels, these will need to be remapped into a new structure. This is a great opportunity to rethink how your files are structured and design them for the future.
Who takes care of forwarding email?
In addition to moving your existing data, we must consider what will happen to new email once you’ve migrated.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as forwarding email from the old system to G Suite, because you’re usually not actually changing your email address when you’re moving. So firstname.lastname@example.org on the old system, will still be email@example.com on G Suite. Even if we tried to forward from alex to alex, the message wouldn’t go anywhere!
In the digital world, the equivalent of your old address book is called a DNS (Domain Name System). This is simply a list of records that translates human readable addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org into a computer readable address, which points to the email system where you pick up your messages.
So when you try forwarding your email, the MX (mail exchange) record on the DNS still points to the old mail system and will only be changed to point to G Suite once a sufficient number of people in the organisation have been moved over.
In this case, what we do temporarily is use an alias address, say email@example.com that does have its MX record pointing to G Suite.
This way we can forward messages for firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com and they will get routed to Alex’s new mailbox.
At the appropriate time, the DNS will get updated, just like when your friends and contacts update their address books and databases, and then email will flow directly to G Suite and will no longer need to be forwarded.
These are some of the key aspects you should be thinking about ahead of your move. In my next blog I will talk about how easy working with G Suite really is.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can make the move to G Suite and enable a more productive and agile workforce, get in touch with our team of experts on +44 (0) 161 871 0330.
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