Understanding Power Users Demonstrates the Importance of Migration Analytics

When it comes to migrating into or between cloud collaboration platforms, understanding your source content is key. While many organizations might feel comfortable saying they already know what their storage solutions contain, it’s often the case that the nuances of this issue go unnoticed. Cloud FastPath Analytics exists specifically to remedy this problem, and with proper pre-migration analytics, organizations can make migrations more predictable, manageable, and ultimately more successful.

And, as much as the nature of the files you’re migrating, the way in which users horde and make use of content is essential to migration planning. As your migration is dependent on user behavior–and building a successful migration is dependent on moving files in a way that doesn’t derail user activity–having a firm grasp on the composition of the source content and how users individually share those files can be the difference between migration victory and migration catastrophe.

One of the most common (and most crucial) examples of this is pinpointing exceptional end users, also known as power users. The concept of a power user is simple–an end user who either owns a large number of files, a major portion of content, who shares a large amount of content, or is frequently shared with. Power users can often own or control own or control as many as dozens or even hundreds of files as other users in your organization, and being able to identify them is extremely important.

A Brief Introduction to Power Users

As previously stated, the definition of a power user isn’t especially complex. On top of this, identifying them with Cloud FastPath analytics is actually quite easy. However, understanding what might make a power user a power user can be the crux of migrating them successfully.

The most basic and obvious reason that an individual might be considered a power user is simply that they create and compile a large amount of stuff. In this situation, you can divide your exceptional users into two categories: those who have a large number of files and folders, and those who have a large amount of content. While you might imagine that these two things go hand in hand, all too often they don’t. It’s entirely possible to have a user who owns thousands and thousands of files, but–because the files are smaller–has roughly the same amount of content as other users within the organizations. On the other hand, you might encounter users who have a few massive files or a significant number of medium sized files which ultimately add up to an exceptional amount of gigabytes or terabytes.

More often than you might expect, the reason for a large amount of files or a substantial number of GBs or TBs has little to do with a user’s personal behavior. In storage environments where enterprises have to pay for each account, admins might designate a given user’s account as the go-to place to store archived content or other expired files in order to save money. As we’ll discuss in the next section, it’s crucial for admins to know whether this is the case, as it will dictate how accounts are divided up and moved into a new storage environment when it comes time to build the migration.

The other major consideration with regards to your exceptional users is sharing. Do you have a user who doesn’t necessarily own a large amount of content, but has a huge number of files shared with them? This is something your IT personnel will need to discover and make note of. Often times, users who are in departments that frequently collaborate with other sectors of an organization (such as marketing or human resources), will have access to a greater number of files than the average user through sharing, and retaining access to all those documents is essential to their and your business’ success.

Why Do I Need to Identify Power Users

IT and system admins will often be aware of power users and their accounts well before they conduct migration analytics simply because it’s likely a user with an exceptional amount of content will either be in contact with admins regularly or just appear on the radar due to the sheer bulk of their storage. Still, IT can’t be comfortable relying solely on intuition in terms of their organization’s power users, and having more than just the gist of who’s a power user or why that’s the case can go a long way to making sure a migration works out and that those users are able to hit the ground running once they’re migrated.

The overarching reason for this is rather basic: with cloud platforms like Box, Office 365, Dropbox, or Google Drive it’s not uncommon that there will be limits to how much content or how many files and folders a given seat or site can store. If a user’s content exceeds the limit for a seat or a site, then simply moving that person over to your new cloud environment is not going to work out. As power users are usually more active with their files, it’s unlikely that they won’t be among the first to notice when something goes awry.

In situations where a user’s seat is also designated as a repository for something like archived content, IT can migrate those files to a separate location within their cloud storage solution (or excise them if they’re ultimately deemed irrelevant), which will often leave the power user with a standard amount of content that can be neatly slotted into their new cloud site. However, this only works if IT has done their research, identified the user, and analyzed what content they own. With Cloud FastPath analytics, migration teams are able to rank users by how much content they possess, and, thus, compile a list of those exceptional users and accounts that will require special consideration during the migration. Unfortunately, it’s shocking how many businesses have simply looked at an alphabetically organized list of all their users, and carelessly migrated them in that order, leading to errors throughout the migration, and even problems in the new environment, which can potentially affect all users’ ability to access what they need.

Users who own a large number of files but not necessary a large amount of content are also important to identify when planning and scheduling a migration. While they may not run into the same challenges as those users whose amount of content exceeds the limits of a seat in the cloud, these users will ultimate take much longer to migrate than others because of limitations on how many files can be migrated and synced per second set by both source and target. As such, recognizing when in the project these users should be scheduled—and ensuring that they’re in the loop about how long their individual migration is taking—is essential.

Similar consideration is required for those users who have a substantial number of shared files, though the reasoning is slightly different. In this case, IT needs to pay close attention to the permissions of all the files that have been shared with a user, and ensure that those permissions are either retained or properly updated to reflect new storage conditions. Should IT fail to recognize when a user has had a great number of documents shared with them, they’re less likely to scrutinize that user’s permissions, which can lead to the individual losing access to necessary files once the migration is complete.

Cloud FastPath Analytics Helps You Manage Your Power Users

There’s no one strategy to migrating power users in the same way that there’s no one way that all organizations should structure their cloud storage environment. The key to success, however, lies uniformly in proper analytics and robust communication. With Cloud FastPath analytics, your migration team will ultimately have everything they need: a diverse range of metrics, an easy reporting model, and a detailed rundown of migration progress that ensures you can thoroughly understand user content and behavior.

If you’re looking to see how many individual files or total content a user owns, CFP easily displays it:

Dashboard showing file size owned by one individual user

Dashboard showing the number of files owned by specific user

Interested in how many files users own relative to other users, so that you can ascertain how much of your organization’s content is specifically owned by your power users? Easy to comprehend percentages and graphs created by Cloud FastPath analytics are immediately at your disposal:

Analytics of power users of the storage system

CFP also helps IT quickly determine the amount of files where there is sharing on a per user basis. Identifying users with a high level of collaboration makes changeover and communication easier.

Amount of files being shared for each user

With Cloud FastPath Analytics, understanding source content is simple. The tools at your disposal via the analytics platform ensure that IT can efficiently view and analyze all of the accounts that will be migrated, and strategize on how the exceptional cases should be divvied up or restructured. Through frequent and detailed conversation with these users, project teams can further understand the nature of the content in their accounts, and keep them abreast of the migration’s progress, while getting consistent feedback about whether the chosen approach is working or whether adjustments must be made.

Cloud FastPath Analytics helps you better understand your content, structure a complicated migration, and better work with your users.