SharePoint and Microsoft 365 are widely used and very popular platforms today; more and more companies now use them to improve workforce productivity, manage their content, and enable team collaboration on projects.
However, many organizations face the challenge of choosing the right deployment strategy to meet their strategic business objectives – should they opt for an on-premises or cloud deployment? A hybrid deployment strategy is one option that can offer the best of both worlds to businesses.
This article gives a comprehensive overview of hybrid deployment strategies for SharePoint and Microsoft 365.
What is a Hybrid Deployment Strategy?
A hybrid deployment strategy is a combination of on-premises and cloud-based services that enable organizations to take advantage of the benefits of both. In the case of SharePoint and Microsoft 365, a hybrid deployment strategy involves integrating an organization’s on-premises SharePoint environment with Microsoft 365 cloud services.
Let’s discuss why a hybrid SharePoint deployment strategy should be considered.
Why Consider a Hybrid Deployment Strategy?
The debate over which SharePoint and Microsoft 365 deployment strategy is better has raged on for quite some time. Moreover, the debate also caught the attention of IT experts when leading Microsoft officials claimed to develop SharePoint 2013 with a cloud-first approach, implying that Office 365 (now Microsoft 365) users will be able to access the updated features sooner than their on-premises counterparts.
While both on-premises and cloud services have their benefits, a hybrid strategy aims to provide users with the best of both worlds.
There are several reasons why an organization might consider using a hybrid deployment strategy for SharePoint and Microsoft 365.
Here are some scenarios where companies would prefer using a hybrid deployment approach:
Compliance requirements: Some organizations may have regulatory compliance requirements that require certain data to be stored on-premises, which is why a hybrid approach is often the go-to deployment choice for these companies.
Legacy applications: Organizations with legacy applications or systems that cannot be migrated to the cloud may find it necessary to maintain an on-premises environment.
Scalability: A hybrid deployment strategy lets organizations take advantage of the scalability and flexibility of cloud services while still maintaining control over their on-premises environment. Thus, it empowers them with the benefits of both approaches.
Cost: Every IT and non-IT company wants to cut costs where it can. A hybrid deployment approach provides cost savings by allowing organizations to use cloud services only when necessary and avoiding the expense of a full-scale migration to the cloud.
Types of Hybrid Deployment Strategies
There are various types of hybrid deployment strategies for SharePoint and Microsoft 365. Your organization’s specific needs and requirements determine which method is best for you.
Some of the most common types of hybrid deployment strategies include the following:
- Hybrid Search: A hybrid search strategy allows an organization to search for content across both on-premises and cloud-based SharePoint environments. This approach is helpful for businesses that have their content spread across multiple locations.
- Hybrid OneDrive: A hybrid OneDrive strategy enables users to access files stored both on-premises systems and in the cloud using a single interface. This approach is beneficial for companies that are already in the process of or are aiming to migrate their SharePoint data to the cloud.
- Hybrid Sites: This hybrid strategy lets you create SharePoint sites that are connected to both on-premises and cloud-based environments. This is an excellent approach for companies that need to maintain some content on-premises for compliance or other regulatory reasons.
- Hybrid Extranet: In a hybrid extranet approach, you can create Microsoft SharePoint sites that are accessible to external users while still maintaining control over your on-premises environment. It is a very good deployment strategy for businesses that need to collaborate with partners or customers.
- Hybrid Workflow: A hybrid workflow deployment strategy enables an organization to create workflows that span both on-premises and cloud-based environments. The hybrid workflow deployment approach is best for companies that need to automate business processes that involve both on-premises and cloud-based systems.
Best Practices for Hybrid Deployment Strategies
Every industry and service has some best practices that help organizations leverage the true power of the service, tool, or product. It’s the same case with hybrid SharePoint and Microsoft 365 deployment strategies.
Here are some of the SharePoint deployment best practices that you should follow to ensure an effective platform deployment that meets your business goals.
Define Your Objectives
Whether you want to buy a new tool, upgrade or migrate from a legacy platform, or execute a software deployment, planning is the first step. And the first step in the planning stage is all about identifying and defining the objectives you aim to achieve from your endeavor. It is critical to help you understand the why behind your decision to choose an approach. Moreover, it will ensure that you choose the right one and successfully measure its success later on.
Plan Your Architecture
As part of the planning phase, it is a hybrid SharePoint deployment best practice to carefully plan your hybrid deployment architecture. The goal is to ensure that your strategy meets your goals; you should consider security, performance, and scalability aspects as part of this plan.
Consider Your Network Infrastructure
Hybrid environments thrive when they function on robust network infrastructures. It ensures that you can transfer critical enterprise data securely and efficiently between your on-premises and cloud-based environments.
Ensure Data Consistency
Ensuring data consistency is a crucial part of hybrid apps. It is vital that your data integrity and consistency are maintained between your on-premises and cloud-based environments. You can achieve this by using data synchronization tools or by implementing strict data management processes.
Implement Strong Security Measures
A hybrid deployment strategy might set into motion new security risks. Therefore, it is essential to implement robust security measures to protect your data. These measures include access controls, encryption, and monitoring.
Employee training is also another critical best practice before executing a hybrid SharePoint and Microsoft 365 deployment strategy. Your team must be familiar with both on-premises and cloud-based SharePoint environments. Therefore, you need to provide adequate training and support to ensure that your staff can work effectively in this new environment.
Benefits of Hybrid Deployment Strategies
Some of the best practices we have just mentioned might sound like you’d need to put in some work, for example, training your employees for a hybrid environment, etc. But all of this is necessary to gain the advantage of executing hybrid SharePoint and Microsoft 365 deployment approaches.
Here are some of the leading benefits you can expect from using a hybrid deployment strategy.
- Flexibility – A hybrid deployment strategy allows organizations to take advantage of the benefits of both on-premises and cloud-based environments, providing flexibility and scalability.
- Cost savings – A SharePoint and Microsoft 365 hybrid deployment strategy offer cost savings by letting organizations use cloud services only on needs basis. This allows you to avoid the cost associated with implementing a complete migration to the cloud.
- Compliance – As mentioned earlier, hybrid deployment strategies enable organizations to adhere to regulatory compliances by being able to keep specific data on the premises.
- Reduced complexity – If you plan to do a complete migration to the cloud in the future, a hybrid deployment strategy can help you reduce the complexity of the eventual cloud migration by allowing you to take a phased approach.
A hybrid deployment strategy for your SharePoint guide and Microsoft 365 platforms is a powerful way for you to take advantage of the benefits of both on-premises and cloud-based environments. By carefully planning and implementing a hybrid deployment strategy, organizations can achieve flexibility, scalability, and cost savings while still maintaining control over their on-premises environment.
Nevertheless, it is imperative that you follow the best practices for hybrid deployment strategies. Once you combine these best practices with the right deployment approach, a hybrid deployment strategy will help you improve your business outcomes and drive greater efficiency levels at your organization.
Xavor is a proud Microsoft Gold Partner. We offer Microsoft 365 and SharePoint services to our clients. Contact us today at [email protected] to learn how our expert team can help you devise a robust hybrid deployment strategy for these two incredible platforms.