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SharePoint: Online or On Premises

Which version of SharePoint is right for your needs, or should you combine the two?

One of the core reasons for migrating to SharePoint Online is cost.  Specifically, the reduced infrastructure costs that you get by moving to your data and applications to the cloud rather than hosting them on premises.

An on-premises SharePoint farm requires substantial investment in both physical infrastructure and IT resource to manage it.  With SharePoint Online, the cost of the infrastructure is built into the licensing fee, which simplifies and in most cases, reduces the costs.

A cloud based infrastructure brings more benefits beyond cost such as flexibility.  Some of the most common issues with SharePoint are related to server performance during peak usage – cloud technology scales to meet demand which means less slow down.  Cloud infrastructure also improves one of the key drags on SharePoint which is file management.  Backups are automatic and it’s possible to roll back any changes when an error occurs.  Aside from addressing one of the key performance issues that users face, this also improves security and reduces the SharePoint support overhead.

Reducing Resource for Management

In addition to the resource that is dedicated to managing server infrastructure, the simplified upgrade path once your business is using SharePoint Online also brings longer term benefits.

Updates to on Premises versions of SharePoint involve complex IT projects migrating from SharePoint 2010 to 2016 requires extensive development and testing to take advantage of new features without disabling older ones.  By comparison SharePoint Online has been developed with a different architecture to traditional versions.  The core application is separated from apps and extensions, so customisation continues to work during the rolling upgrade of the main application.

Can you stick with On Premises SharePoint?

There have been rumours for many years that SharePoint 2016 will be the last on-premises version of the platform, but there are still feature gaps between 2016 and Online that mean it is better for some use cases.

One of the main reasons for sticking with On Premises SharePoint is data governance, you may need to host your data on a physical server in a specific location.  Another may be that there are custom features that you need to run your application, or specific workflows that are not supported online.

Some organisations opt for a partial migration that helps to reduce their reliance on local infrastructure and benefit from greater flexibility and integration with Office 365.

Combining Online and On Premises

A partial migration to SharePoint Online  custom configuration of where data is stored, coupled with Single Sign On across cloud and local versions of the platform through Azure Active Directory allow a seamless experience for users to be able to access information.

This hybrid cloud solution for SharePoint has many cost benefits including being able to reduce the size of your local farm, and as a result, the cost of maintaining it, although it does create some other problems with licensing in that users will need to have two licenses to cover the local and online versions.

If you want to have the flexibility of SharePoint 2016 without the need for expensive infrastructure, it is possible to virtualise your SharePoint farm and host the application in the Microsoft Cloud – our fully qualified Azure consultants can help you to achieve this.

Talk to Us

At Valto, we’re committed to helping our clients get the IT Strategy that works best for their needs.  Talk to us about how we can help you make better use of SharePoint whether you choose on premise or Online.

Call now on 03335 779 009

Next Steps

If you’d like to find out more about SharePoint can work for your business or how Valto can support your IT Strategy, please get in touch today.