With the arrival of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016, every business searching for a new intranet solution should evaluate whether it’s worth it to make the switch. Far too many companies choose to update to the latest version of software products, just because they want the latest and greatest, without considering whether or not an upgrade is truly the right choice for them.
This newest version of SharePoint does have some perks, of course, but it isn’t for everyone. Below are the top reasons why you shouldn’t make the move to SharePoint 2016 – if any of them sound familiar, you should think long and hard before greenlighting a migration initiative.
You’re Worried About Cost
Your business should do a thorough cost-benefit analysis before deciding to upgrade your intranet. The true costs of migrating to SharePoint 2016 may be much greater than you anticipated, including purchasing or upgrading licenses, moving your data and content, and training employees to use the new system.
Since SharePoint 2016 isn’t radically different from the SharePoint versions that came before it, those new features may not be worth the time, money and hassle required.
If you’re uncertain whether SharePoint 2016 is the right intranet solution, it’s better to abstain from upgrading until an industry consensus about the software has materialized. Although it’s tempting to be an early adopter, especially if initial feedback is positive, early reviews can fail to account for major issues that only emerge after the software has been in use for some time.
So if you’re on the fence, there’s no harm in waiting to see if the software is stable and useful, while waiting on feedback from other businesses about their SharePoint migration experiences.
You Want a Single-Server Installation
Previous versions of SharePoint let you install the software on a single server. This capability has been removed from SharePoint 2016. Instead, you will need to install SQL on another server, which means that you’ll need at least two servers to get SharePoint 2016 up and running. However, as a fix to this issue, your business may be able to use cloud server installation instead.
You Use SharePoint Foundation
SharePoint 2016 will no longer feature SharePoint Foundation, a free on-premises SharePoint deployment with limited capabilities that is used by many small businesses. Although Microsoft is considering different options to accommodate SharePoint Foundation users, there are no guarantees that SharePoint Foundation will be available in future versions of the software. That said, if your company is already a paying SharePoint customer, this will have little effect on you.
You Need Business Intelligence Capabilities
Business intelligence capabilities are another major feature that is lacking from SharePoint 2016. The unpopular BI tools – including Power View, galleries and subscription – will be removed in the future and has not been updated in this new release. Users will be redirected to Power BI, an Office 365-based product.
Also, applications like Excel Services, as well as the BI tools that it includes, are being removed from SharePoint Server and placed in Excel Online in Office Online Server instead.
Your Workflow Is Customized
If your employees use a lot of third-party software applications when working with SharePoint, you should definitely wait awhile before making the switch. Many tools might be incompatible with SharePoint 2016 or will require license fees to upgrade them. In addition, if you have unique requirements for your intranet and you’ve spent a lot of time and effort into personalizing your SharePoint settings, consider how long it will take to upgrade or replicate these in SharePoint 2016.
Although SharePoint 2016 shows promise, there are still legitimate rationales not to make the upgrade, as we’ve seen. You should weigh these reasons against the new benefits that SharePoint 2016 will offer, including improved speed and scalability and leveraging the power of hybrid intranet solutions.
If you’re still unsure, check out the SharePoint 2016 in a sandbox environment and give it a test drive before making any decisions. Microsoft has made our task easier by providing a trial SharePoint 2016 environment on Azure. Ultimately, only you can say whether upgrading to SharePoint 2016 is the right choice for your business.