Your agency will need to migrate from SharePoint 2007 before Microsoft no longer supports the platform. But which current platform is best for you? Below we’ll compare SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online to see some of the benefits, and shortfalls, of each.
If you already have SharePoint on-premises, migrating to SharePoint 2013 is a straightforward process. Migrating to SharePoint Online will require more planning and migration time. In selecting between these options, take your current SharePoint environment into consideration. The customizations and third-party applications you currently have may not be supported by SharePoint Online, and you may need to purchase third-party tools to help with the migration.
Choosing SharePoint Online over SharePoint 2013 can help your agency save money on infrastructure. Hosting in the cloud also frees your IT personnel to focus on other organizational needs. The set licensing fee of SharePoint Online, as opposed to the upfront costs associated with purchasing SharePoint 2013 software, helps your accounting department better determine cash flow.
When looking at costs associated with SharePoint Online, take into consideration your current ISP bandwidth. Moving to the cloud may mean additional costs to assure you have the capacity to work in the system and keep upload and download speeds fast.
Security is a concern for every organization, and moving data to the cloud can be a worrisome proposition. In response, Microsoft continues to develop features to increase SharePoint security. SharePoint Online now features per-file encryption for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business files. This technology encrypts each individual file stored in SharePoint Online with its own unique key; each file update has an additional key. SharePoint 2013 gives agencies the ability to apply custom security measures; SharePoint Online does not.
The PerformancePoint Services business intelligence tool is available on SharePoint 2013, but not SharePoint Online. PerformancePoint Services allows you to monitor and analyze your agency’s data. PerformancePoint Services, along with Dashboard Designer, lets you gather content from multiple sources and display that information in custom dashboards and scorecards.
What To Do
While the need to migrate off SharePoint 2007 becomes more pressing every day, make sure your agency compares all features and technical requirements of SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online before beginning the migration process. Careful evaluation and comparison will help you choose the platform that best fits your business needs.