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PST Migration

Do we need to migrate all our PST files?

Even though Microsoft offers free tools to import your PST files into Microsoft 365, does anyone really relish the thought of migrating ALL of their PST files into Exchange online?

Probably not, because:

  1. You end up moving a lot of rubbish
  2. It will pound your network
  3. Users might not like it*

Having worked with hundreds of customers to migrate their on-premises email archives to Microsoft 365, PST migration is always the painful final phase that often gets brushed under the carpet for the aforementioned reasons.

The over-arching requirements for anywhere, any device data accessibility and centralised data governance, however, may be the final nudge to get your PST migration project ‘management backing’.

*The fact that the latest version of Microsoft Outlook does not allow users direct access to their PSTs will help remove any end user resistance to moving their PSTs to central location, from where they can be easily accessed.

Q: Is it acceptable to simply let PSTs wither on the vine, unmanaged?

A: Probably not. Since central IT may be unaware of the existence of PST files, they can be oblivious to their content. This poses a risk that crucial data relevant to investigations or litigation could be overlooked.

The reality is, it’s better for an organisation to be aware of any potential issues to manage risks effectively, rather than have personal copies of incriminating emails pop out of the woodwork at a later date.

Q: If we decide to migrate, should we filter out the rubbish before siphoning it into online storage?

At the very least it’s surely prudent to get a policy agreed that will define how you’ll manager your PSTs. And, if you decide to migrate, whether you should exclude the following:

  • Content that outdates your email retention policy
  • Folders marked ‘Personal’
  • Content that pre-dates your switch on of Journal capture
  • Duplicate PSTs

A PST migration project means bracing yourself for decisions about what to migrate and no-one likes decisions! But we like the advice from Craig Ball, a Texan trial attorney and certified computer forensic examiner:

‘To Preserve broadly is safe, but expensive. To Preserve carefully is safe and cost-effective”.

The truth is, any enterprise-level PST migration exercise – even if you gather up everything – is not easy and you may struggle with free Microsoft tools.

PST Migration Services

Want to carry out a mass PST migration? Maybe we can help!