If you’re using an on-premises intranet solution like SharePoint, you might be considering migrating to Office 365 and SharePoint Online. Since the prices of Office 365 are based on per-user fees, and you’ll have less on-site infrastructure to worry about, there’s a lot of buzz about potential cost savings.
Still, Office 365 isn’t a cure-all for every business. After reading the following pros and cons of SharePoint Online, ask yourself: are you willing to give up an on-premises solution and be comfortable in the cloud?
Nowadays, SharePoint’s latest features are all released through Office 365 first. Advanced functionalities like the Office Graph and Delve have already reached Office 365 users but aren’t yet available to those working with SharePoint 2013 and may not ever be. Using an on-premises solution means that you’re now on a slower release schedule for the best features.
Migrating to Office 365 gives you peace of mind that your system will have lots of uptime: more than 99.9 percent. Office 365 provides ready-to-go intranets, like OneWindow Workplace, so you’ll minimize the hassle during setup and installation. Plus, you’ll have Microsoft technical support for any problems that you come across.
Office 365 has tools like Skype for Business, the Yammer social network, virtual machines, screen sharing, file sharing, file management and a terabyte of storage on OneDrive. From the Office Graph, which uses machine learning technology to find the best content for a specific user, to the card-based search feature Delve, Office 365 has a lot of attractive features.
An on-premises SharePoint solution provides control of both the front and back end for your organization. By moving to the cloud, you’ll only get front-end control, which could disrupt your business’s continuity.
When Microsoft rolls out updates to SharePoint Online the latest changes could break the business-specific customizations that you’re used to and that you’ve worked hard to build. So although the latest features are available through Office 365, you have to keep up and make sure that your organization is in line with them.
If you find that working with Office 365 is a slow and painful experience after migration, you may need to increase your bandwidth with your Internet service provider. Make sure you consider this before making the move to ensure user satisfaction and ultimately that your business can achieve the promised productivity gain.
If you’re concerned about the security of your data, one option is a hybrid solution, like SharePoint 2016 and Office 365, where you keep sensitive information on-premises, but less sensitive material can be moved to the cloud. Be sure to evaluate the value you could realize in the next one to five years with a hybrid solution. Meanwhile, if you’re worried about the future of SharePoint on-premises, don’t be: Microsoft is assuring on-premises users that they will still have this product well into the foreseeable future.
In the end, the deciding factor for migrating to Office 365 should be whether you can live in the cloud. Is the cost-savings benefit enough for you to take the leap and give up the ownership, customization and control of your on-premises solution? Whether you stay with your on-premises intranet solution or migrate to SharePoint Online, think critically about the benefits and drawbacks for your business before making your final decision.
Learn how to transform your organization by channeling your important business activities through this single cloud-based platform. Download our white paper, The Business Value Of Office 365 To The Enterprise. If you’re looking for a company to help you migrate to SharePoint Online, contact Portal Solutions today to schedule a free consultation!