As an organization running MOSS 2007 or SharePoint 2010, I am sure by now you must be on cross roads whether to move to SharePoint 2013 or jump to SharePoint 2016. And going by CIO’s pattern of early adoption of Microsoft’s products, they generally prefer to adopt one version behind the latest and greatest. But SharePoint 2016 has challenged the conventional thinking and emerged as far more stable version of the product.
Why consider SharePoint 2016 ?
- Cloud Readiness – Microsoft did provide cloud integration features in SharePoint 2016 in the form of a CU. But that has its own set of limitations when configuring search or authentication. SharePoint 2016 has been designed from ground up to support hybrid configuration. Which means, Microsoft has laid the groundwork for admins to move much of their dedicated environment out of the server closet. Use this as an opportunity to start exploring the cloud, because it’s coming. Fortunately, SharePoint 2016 makes it a little easier.
- Identity Management – With SAML support for SharePoint 2016, Identity Managaement (other than Active Directory) has been easier than ever. And with popular tools like Azure Active Directory, Okta & PingIdentity, SharePoint 2016 provides easier integration. The most imporant win here has been easy roll out of SharePoint to external users in extranet scenarios.
- Clean Migration – Governance is no longer a luxary for SharePoint 2016. It is necessity. The only option to move to SharePoint 2016 from legacy SharePoint version is database attach method where content is upgraded to every intermediate version until it is upgraded to SharePoint 2016. E.g. WSS 3.0/MOSS 2007 –> SharePoint 2010 –> SharePoint 2013 –> SharePoint 2016 . While it is good to move everything from legacy SharePoint to SharePoint 2016, use this opportunity to evalute what needs to move to SharePoint 2016. This can be solutions you installed you don’t use anymore or those Word documents from 1996. Prepare an inventory of what not to migrate before you move to SharePoint 2016.
- Mobile Interface – Use the SharePoint Mobile App to access your content on SharePoint 2016. Get your intranet in your pocket with the SharePoint mobile app. With easy on-the-go access, the SharePoint mobile app helps keep your work moving forward by providing quick access to your team sites, organization portals and resources, and the people you work with – across online in Office 365 and on-premises. You can see site activities, get quick access to recent and popular files, and view and arrange lists on your team sites. It will not only make you look cool in front of your executives but would increase the end user adoption for SharePoint and leverage this opportunity to get that BYOD strategy approved.
- Office Add-Ins – Yes, the erstwhile SharePoint Apps that are now called Office add-ins. Considering the level of customization you may have done on your existing MOSS 2007 or SharePoint 2010 envirionment, this is the right time to consider converting these custom solutions to SharePoint Apps. Supporting customizations on legacy versions of SharePoint has always been painful for Admins and developers.
- No SharePoint Foundation – Not all bad news is bad news. You can safely retire that one small foundation farm created for proof of concept but ended up as content management system having data more critical than your mainframe processing 2.5 million transactions per hour.
As a influencer or decision maker, it is imperative to consider migration to the latest version of SharePoint if you are running MOSS 2007 or SharePoint 2010. You have the following deployment choices while considering to move to SharePoint 2016
- SharePoint 2016 On Premise
- SharePoint 2016 on Azure
- SharePoint 2016 On Premise hybrid with Office 365
Each deployment model has benefits and limitations and each is driven by the business need, available budgets and your IT strategy. If you are interested in knowing your SharePoint 2016 readiness, please touch base with me using the contact me form.