1-Year Countdown to SharePoint 2016’s EOL | Where do I go from here?

Yes, the 1-year countdown to SharePoint 2016’s end-of-life has begun, but there’s good news! Microsoft will provide 5-year extended support, giving those who need to make a move some breathing room. For those of you that have been using SharePoint 2016 for intranet portals, document storage, collaboration, or the occasional public-facing website, it’s time to consider your upgrade paths. 

Each year the Nielson Norman Group awards the 10 Best Intranets, and last year, the average winning intranets’ creation time held steady at 1.4 years, the average since 2014. While the clock is ticking, now is the time to get ahead and start planning your intranet journey, and we have even more good news… you’re not going it alone! Many have paved the way before you, so you’re not going in blind, and there are many resources to help you choose that path that’s right for you.  



Where do we go from here? 

The First Fork in the Road 

The first fork you will face on your intranet upgrade path is choosing to stay on-premises or take to the cloud. This is the same for document storage solutions, though your public-facing websites that need to stay on SharePoint provide only one option, on-prem, even if “in the cloud” via Azure.  

Overall, the question is not, ‘should I move to the cloud?’ but why SHOULDN’T I move to the cloud? 

Only a short time ago, there were still quite a few unknowns, and many found themselves struggling to defend their migration to the cloud. Today, the default is it’s time to move to the cloud. In other words, you should have to justify why you’re not going to the cloud, not the reverse.  

That being said, there are still some genuine reasons why the cloud might not be right for your organization. The only two that we see as pivotal at this time are regulatory and/or investments in hardware that demands ROI. 



So, why is the cloud so great?  

Migration 

First, when migrating to SharePoint Online/Microsoft 365, the migration tools available are better than they have been before. In fact, Microsoft just released a new migration tool that is making migration easier than ever. Third-party options such as Sharegate and AvePoint provide even more robust migration toolsets.  

 

Integrations 

The cloud provides your team with tools and integrations that they know—like the office suiteas well as novel and powerful end-user-focused collaboration and productivity tools like Stream, the Power Platform, Microsoft Teams, and more.  

 

The Latest & Greatest 

Microsoft 365 is continually adding new functionality. As the digital workspace expands, you get all of these innovations and advanced feature set at your fingertips.  

 

Security 

Security is at the ethos of Microsoft’s cohesive digital workspace strategy. Microsoft 365 is built around three primary pillars: Windows 10, Office 365, and Mobility + Security. Microsoft is investing  $1 billion each year in cybersecurity and will do so for the foreseeable future. The DoD awarded Microsoft the JEDI contract to protect some of the nation’s most confidential classified information, further vetting its security.  

The many integrations in Microsoft’s offerings minimize your security exposure making Microsoft 365 a safe choice. Learn more about why Microsoft 365 is the right choice to ensure a secure digital workspace in our blog post 

 

Cost savings 

Let’s face it; managing and maintaining servers is a costly venture. Moving to the cloud will most likely save your organization a great deal from an infrastructure standpoint. This is also true for SharePoint on-prem in the cloud via Azure. Let someone else manage physical servers and scaling.  



3-prongs, you can’t go wrong 

Okay, this all sounds great, PixelMill, but some pieces of our intranet or digital workspace legally must stay on-prem. No problem! This is where the hybrid path comes in. Send as much as you can to the cloud and keep only what you must on-prem.  



Another fork in the road: 

Now you’ve chosen your first path. If you took to the sky via the cloud or chose the hybrid route, you’ll meet another fork in the road, modern or classic experiences.  

 

Modern vs. Classic 

The default answer is modern. If you’re not quite ready for modern yet, here’s a blog post that may change your mind. However, if you truly must stay on classic, this is entirely doable and supported by Microsoft. In fact, we’ve done it for several clients just this year. Similar to the cloud vs. on-prem conundrum, you should be defending why you need to stay on classic, not the other way around. 



A potential roadblock that’s a blessing in disguise  

We often hear that IT is a roadblock in the jump to the cloud. Many IT departments see moving to the cloud as losing control, but we actually see this as a huge opportunity for IT to refocus and deliver even more value to the organization. Moving to the cloud allows IT to refocus from bare metal to fulfilling your user’s needs.  



Final thoughts before you hit the road or take to the sky:  

This is not a time to panic. You’ve got time! If you’re on 2016 and this resonates with you, remember that you still have time to properly plan for your migration to the cloud, and we’re here to help you! This is a path that works, and many organizations have paved the way for you.  

 

Ready to start planning your next intranet adventure? Let’s chat today!  

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