Why do we support SharePoint On-Premises?

We designed SharePoint Flex to be compatible with the many versions of SharePoint On-Premises, because SharePoint On-Premises has many useful features to offer, a wide range of customization possibilities, and helps to maintain the privacy of important information which is vital to the operation of many companies. Read on to learn why we support SharePoint On-Premises.

SharePoint CRM in SharePoint Flex

With the upcoming release of SharePoint Server 2019, many IT leaders will soon be facing a tough decision: upgrade to the latest version, or move to SharePoint Online?

The choice is not a trivial one. For many companies, SharePoint is a vital workhorse for internal collaboration and communication. Making the wrong decision could lead to significant organizational pain and lost productivity.

For that reason, it’s vital to carefully analyze the pros and cons of each solution, in light of your organization’s specific requirements. Despite the increasing popularity of Online, it may not be the best fit for every company.


Microsoft isn’t Abandoning SharePoint On-Premises


In recent years, Microsoft has made a serious effort to push more and more of its business solutions to the cloud, and SharePoint is no exception. At the same time, the company has also recently re-affirmed its commitment to its On-Premises solutions, and backed it up with the recent announcement of Server 2019. What exactly is going on here, and how should we understand Microsoft’s future plans for SharePoint?

The simple answer is that SharePoint On-Premises is here to stay. Microsoft understands that a wide variety of companies use SharePoint every day, in different ways, for different purposes. Thus, there is no single, perfect solution that’s right for all organizations, and it’s important to provide a range of options to fit their unique needs.


SharePoint On-Premises is the Right Solution for Many Organizations


While SharePoint On-Premises is not as “sexy” as the relatively newer Online offering, it remains the superior choice for many companies. There are a few key reasons why On-Premises is so compelling:

1. Complete Control Over Data and Infrastructure


SharePoint On-Premises gives you much more control over every aspect of your data management, workflows and infrastructure.

Gartner analysts Karen M. Shegda and Jeffrey Mann conducted a comprehensive analysis of the differences between SharePoint On-Premises and Online. One of the most notable differences was how much less customizability was available in the Online software.

For instance, SharePoint Online does not give users full access to the back-end infrastructure, which means they are limited to designing workflows without code. This is a major limitation for companies that require highly specialized custom workflows.

Another shortcoming is the lack of sophistication around document and content management. While Microsoft has been gradually introducing more powerful tools in this area, capabilities are still not up to par with On-Premises – especially since companies have no control over the servers themselves.

While some companies might be satisfied with the basic degree of control provided by Online, organizations that require more customizability will do better with On-Premises.

2. High Switching Costs of Moving to Online


Many companies already have a substantial operational investment in SharePoint On-Premises. If that describes your organization, it might not be worthwhile to make the switch to Online. This is especially the case if you have integrated external customers and contractors into your existing systems.

Fundamentally, the choice between On-Premises and Online is a business decision, and must be evaluated in terms of ROI. Even in cases where Online presents clear improvements over On-Premises, overly high switching costs can make it fiscally unfeasible to make the transition.

And in many cases, On-Premises might actually be the better value over the long run as well as the short run. Here’s why:

Many people have the perception that Online is more adaptable than On-Premises. So they assume that even if the switch is painful in the short run, the increased flexibility will pay off over the long run, since future switching costs will be lower – like ripping off a band-aid quickly rather than slowly.

However, this is a misconception, because Online is in fact less adaptable than On-Premises over time. With On-Premises, you have an opportunity to re-design the system every time a new version is rolled out, but that’s not true for Online. After all, you can re-image a hosted solution like On-Premises, but you can’t re-image Online. So when you move to Online, you actually have to engage in more thorough planning to make sure you’re choosing the right plan, buying the right number of seats, and investing in the right capabilities.

In other words, while Online might be more flexible for users due to cloud-based features, it is actually less flexible from an IT perspective. So moving to Online not only involves high switching costs today, but also sets you up for higher switching costs tomorrow.

3. Allows You to Keep Sensitive Data In-House


Many companies need to store content on their own servers for data protection reasons. These organizations will find SharePoint Online very limiting, as they will be forced to keep critical documents and information outside of the system.

Organizations might need to keep data in-house for a number of different reasons. Some organizations, like medical research companies and government contractors, might be required to protect confidential information as a matter of law. Other companies might simply want to protect their own proprietary knowledge, or have contractual commitments with specific customers to safeguard sensitive data.

Regardless of the reason, if data privacy is an important concern for your organization, then it is likely that SharePoint On-Premises will be the better choice for you.

One-Size Never Fits All


At the end of the day, SharePoint On-Premises and Online are two very different solutions, and what’s right for one organization might be a terrible fit for another. The important thing to realize is that this is not a simple matter of picking the newest or more popular technology, but is a deliberate choice that depends on your organization’s specific needs.

This is the reason why, contrary to what some might say, SharePoint On-Premises is not going away. It is simply too useful to too many organizations. After careful consideration, you might decide it’s the right solution for you as well.

Get a free personalized demonstration
Get a demonstration