Is SharePoint Online the Right Choice for Your Organization?

Nearly every business organization, big or small, is increasingly moving to cloud computing, and the most preferred choice is SharePoint Online due to its many benefits, especially cost-effectiveness and less server management. However, the question remains, “Is SharePoint Online the right choice for your organization?” So if your organization is planning to migrate, than it’s essential to note down the pros and cons, to make a well-thought-out decision about whether it is the right choice for your enterprise or not.

Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of migrating to SharePoint Online.

Pros of SharePoint Online

  • Reduced Server Management:

SharePoint on-premises requires organizations to manage multiple SharePoint servers. SharePoint Online reduces server management by ensuring Microsoft handles everything in the Azure Cloud. Depending on your business needs, the backend of SharePoint Online is automatically scaled up or down so your business resources can be spent elsewhere.

  • Reduced DevOps Management:

To manage SharePoint on-prem, a host of IT professionals must upgrade the hardware and software components of the server regularly. They also have to make sure the maintenance doesn’t cause interruption to the SharePoint services. By migrating to SharePoint Online, your business eliminates the need to regulate and control the servers saving resources and money.

  • No Downtime:

As everything is hosted in the cloud, SharePoint Online doesn’t have any downtime as long as the users have an internet connection. This removes the need to worry about keeping every server up and running 24/7.

  • Cost-Effectiveness:

Every on-prem server must have the proper and paid licenses. Furthermore, covering the cost of the servers themselves increases the overall cost of maintaining an on-prem environment. Since SharePoint Online is hosted in the cloud, the number of users has no impact on implementation costs. SharePoint Online’s cost is a flat rate license hence significantly reducing the costs. Managing SharePoint Online also reduces administrative costs related to maintenance operations.

  • Long-term Support:

Microsoft announced that the extended support for SharePoint 2013 would end in 2023 after the mainstream support ended in 2018. This is not the case for SharePoint Online as Microsoft will continue to provide support as long as they provide the service.

  • User-Friendly UI:

SharePoint Online has an improved, and modern user interface with an enhanced focus on user experience and mobile use. The layout is also built with the actual users in mind rather than admins, making it easy to use.

  • Rolling Releases:

With SharePoint, users enjoy a rolling release model of new updates, improvements, and features compared to SharePoint on-prem where organizations have to use the point release model. Often the point release model requires the uninstallation of previous versions and installation of the newer version. For SharePoint, Microsoft releases new features regularly in a centralized way, and users get to enjoy the newly released upgrades much earlier. Moreover, some features might not be available for the on-prem version at all.

  • No Need for Upgrades:

It doesn’t require manual updates as all the updates are automatically installed on the SharePoint tenant server in the background. This allows the IT admins to focus on more critical tasks and frees the IT admins from the cumbersome process of manually moving their organization to the latest version of SharePoint.

Cons of Migrating to SharePoint

  • Security:

The risk associated with moving corporate data to the cloud can never be zero. Although Microsoft has been improving its cloud security features, there are still threats to data online. This is why it’s imperative to have data and content stored locally.

  • Internet Connection Dependency:

SharePoint Online is always dependent on an internet connection. In contrast to that, on-prem setups can work independently without an internet connection. This can also contribute to security because when you are off the grid, the chances of cyber attacks get lower.

  • Limited Customizability:

SharePoint cloud does offer some degree of customizability, but it is nearly not enough when compared to SharePoint on-prem. It only offers customizations to SharePoint Online infrastructure and ongoing updates. On-prem, on the other hand, has an unlimited level of customizability.

In the end, the deciding factor for migrating to SharePoint online is whether your business can benefit from this decision. Is the cost-savings benefit along with reduced server and DevOps management enough for you to take the leap?

Think critically about all the shortcomings and benefits of migrating to SharePoint Online. If you have some concerns or need guidance, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].

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