Whether it’s for intranet, extranet, collaboration, document sharing, or workflow, Microsoft SharePoint plays a critical role in many organizations.
Since SharePoint’s first version in 2001, Microsoft has released new versions every 3-4 years with each version offering new capabilities and increased performance and stability.
With SharePoint Online (part of Office 365), Microsoft has dramatically increased the update cycle so that new capabilities are released much more rapidly. With the recent release of SharePoint 2016 on May 4th, the classic on-premises version will once again be functionally equivalent to SharePoint Online and offer enhanced hybrid configuration options for organizations not quite ready to make a complete move to SharePoint Online.
SharePoint 2016 provides a connected platform to enhance the way people work, with specific improvements in cloud integration with Office 365 and Azure, deployment and management, mobile, compliance, and security. SharePoint Server 2016 provides users with a familiar, consistent view of information, collaboration, and process. At the same time, your IT organization can benefit from the enhanced manageability of an integrated platform that meets the needs of the business.
With SharePoint Server 2016 providing the foundation, organizations can rapidly advance communication, collaboration, and innovation, while securely extending those capabilities to their partners and suppliers.
Since SharePoint 2016 was released, many organizations reflect on the desire or need to upgrade. Many of those that rely on SharePoint remain on older versions of the platforms because they don’t see a benefit to upgrading, they feel locked into their current version due to customizations, third-party solutions, or simply because of the large number of sites or a massive amount of data stored in SharePoint. But, more than anything, they simply don’t know what direction to go (online, on-premises, hybrid) and how big the effort will be to upgrade.
At Centric, we’ve worked with many clients that have faced these exact scenarios and have asked us some very challenging questions…
- Does the new version have enough significant improvements to make upgrading worthwhile?
- Should we stay on-premises or go to SharePoint Online?
- We have a lot of customizations. How well with those migrate to the new version?
- How do we know if our SharePoint farms are upgradeable?
- How will we transition our users to a new version?
- How long will an upgrade take?
We start by understanding your current use of SharePoint and how it’s built and deployed. We partner with you to understand your pain points and your short-term and long-term goals for SharePoint. We use our proven tools to take a detailed look into your SharePoint farm(s) to determine their readiness to be upgraded, and we recommend, based on your business drivers, the best upgrade path for your organization.
Finally, we work with you to build a plan for upgrading and provide recommendations on how you can use the new features and capabilities of SharePoint to see an increased return on the investment you’ve made in the platform.
Typically, a SharePoint Readiness Assessment takes approximately 2 – 4 weeks, but it could be more or less depending on the size and complexity of your SharePoint implementation. In the end, you’ll have the knowledge you need to determine if a SharePoint upgrade makes sense for your organization.