Enterprises today are grappling with a major dilemma concerning the SharePoint intranet portal that facilitates many of their day-to-day functions and houses nearly all of their corporate data: stick with an on-premises solution or migrate to the cloud?
Although an on-premises SharePoint solution might give you more control over the intranet portal’s back end, migrating to the cloud will give your end users the same SharePoint functionality, save your enterprise money and intelligently position your business for future SharePoint advances.
To help you determine whether a SharePoint cloud migration is right for your business, let’s look at the top 10 benefits you’ll gain from making the move:
- Subscription-based pricing: There are big costs associated with any major IT resource, especially when that resource is an intranet portal as robust as SharePoint. With SharePoint Online—the cloud-based version of Microsoft’s intranet portal—you no longer have to pay one lump sum to use this powerful business service. While you might have to pay a recurring subscription each month, the price is dramatically lower than the on-premises version, and will help you save on maintenance and infrastructure costs in the long run.
- No infrastructure needed: When utilizing SharePoint Online, you are accessing software as a service as you would be with any cloud solution. This means that the software provider, in this case Microsoft, is housing the entire infrastructure on its end and letting you access it from your office. This saves you money on the costs associated with building and installing the infrastructure. It will also save money on upkeep and free up the time your IT department would spend maintaining the system.
- New features and updates faster: One difficulty on-premises SharePoint users have is keeping the tool current as Microsoft releases new features or a new version of the intranet portal altogether. To continue to leverage the solution’s full functionality, end users must upgrade, which is normally associated with a fee. Not only is upgrading costly, it is also a considerable undertaking for your IT department. With SharePoint Online, Microsoft handles all upgrades on its end, meaning you’ll have access to new SharePoint features and versions the minute they are released, with absolutely no work required on your end.
- Smaller storage footprint: Migrating to the cloud reduces your overall storage footprint in two ways. First, as a migration best practice, you’ll want to slim down your system by deleting unusable information and archiving any data that might be old yet important. This alone will help lessen the room your day-to-day operations and content are taking up on local hard drives. Second, since you’ll be moving to a cloud-based solution, all of the data that is created from that point on will also be stored on Microsoft’s cloud server. This means your data will be automatically backed up and protected by Microsoft technicians, and will no longer have to be stored on-premises—once again freeing up room in your data center.
- Made to grow: When you make the decision to grow your enterprise, your technology and infrastructure shouldn’t hold you back. When choosing to migrate to SharePoint Online, you’re choosing flexibility. As your business grows, you’ll be able to scale your SharePoint resources up to meet demand and avoid making new hires that are more costly. Likewise, if you’re looking to slim down and find that you don’t need as much storage space, for example, you’ll be able to scale down and save money. Again, all of this is handled on Microsoft’s end, which makes the process easier for you and your IT department.
- Ease of setup and use: Since Microsoft is handling everything on the back end—to the point where certain functions such as the developer dashboard aren’t even available to SharePoint Online users—setup is a breeze. There are a number of preconfigured settings from which to choose and getting started is as easy as logging in. This makes SharePoint Online the ultimate plug-and-play solution for intranet portals.
- Simple security: Today, most CIOs are hyperaware of cybersecurity. While your organization has its own security protocols when it comes to your network infrastructure, your IT staff can breathe easier knowing they won’t have to tackle the massive project of getting a robust intranet portal solution like SharePoint to fit into an existing security scheme. Their time and resources can then be reallocated to keeping your systems Online and ensuring that the connection to your SharePoint cloud-based solution is seamless and always Onlineavailable.
- Backup and redundancy: When housing an intranet portal on-premises, your IT department needs to work double time to keep everything running smoothly. If one server goes down or needs to be taken offline for an upgrade, a duplicate server must run in its place. Rather than having your IT department duplicate its efforts in this mode, hand over that responsibility to Microsoft with your migration to the cloud.
- Ready for the future: Over the past few years, Microsoft has slowly begun taking down support servers for old versions of its operating systems such as Windows XP. We can expect that trend to continue with Microsoft’s legacy SharePoint versions and, in fact, experts believe Microsoft will soon move to SharePoint Online only, meaning your on-premises solution might become a legacy solution in the next five years. By migrating to the cloud today, you position yourself for seamless upgrades in the future, and protect your business from losing Microsoft support.
- Easy migration: Migrations are difficult, especially when moving from on-premises to the cloud, or when jumping from an older SharePoint version to the newest. Not only are they difficult on a technical level, but the will also eat up much of your resources during the process. However, with a trusted third-party vendor like AAJ that employs experts in cloud migration, your move to the cloud will be as easy to accomplish as maintaining your intranet portal in the cloud once it’s on Microsoft’s servers.
If you’d like to learn more about SharePoint cloud migration, click here to view our on-demand webinar titled “SharePoint Cloud – How to Execute an Easy Migration.”