Is SharePoint Obsolete?

September 1st, 2022 by Yvonne Harris

Intranet IT Marketing & Comms

Despite the growing belief that SharePoint is outdated, we are here to tell you that’s far from the case. Microsoft continues to roll out new solutions and features for the web-based, collaborative platform.

Before we dive into why SharePoint itself is far from obsolete – there is one crucial thing to note; yes, some SharePoint On-Premise versions are retiring.

If you work in manufacturing, healthcare, or finance, you are likely running an on-prem version of SharePoint. If so, you’ve probably been told to migrate to the cloud because extended support will soon be halted. On that note, here is some important SharePoint on-premise information to remember:

  • SharePoint 2013 extended support ends April 11, 2023
  • SharePoint 2016 and 2019 extended support ends July 14, 2026
  • On-prem versions are limited in their plug-and-play options and no-code integrations

So, is SharePoint obsolete? No, but you should migrate to SharePoint Online and complete your Microsoft digital workspace to enjoy all of SharePoint’s newest integrations. Running without support will leave your organization at risk for security breaches, incompatibility with new updates/features, and even system failure.

SharePoint is alive and effective as ever

If you want a platform that allows you to manage documents, collaborate both internally and externally, and access your files from any device, SharePoint Online might be the ideal solution. It’s simply a platform that provides more value than SharePoint on-premise versions.

Below are a few examples to support the merge from SharePoint on-premise to SharePoint Online.

Microsoft will take care of the tedious stuff

With SharePoint Online, Microsoft will take care of any updates and upgrades. There are automatic upgrades integrated with the cloud-based version. All that’s needed is for you to purchase a license. Microsoft takes care of the rest. No more dealing with patches or budgeting for periodic upgrades from your IT guys.

Enhanced security

SharePoint on-premise requires you to store data on your company servers. However, the online version stores data on the Microsoft cloud. Microsoft’s cloud storage solutions are highly effective because there’s a limited number of passages for data to go in and out. Moreover, data is encrypted in all vulnerable spots.

For data to come in or out, one of two things must be happening. Either a client is actively communicating with the server, or a file is being moved between data centers. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely for a cybercriminal to be able to intercept the information.

Files aren’t just safe upon movement. They are encrypted even when sitting in storage files, and there are two types of encryption SharePoint uses. The first is BitLocker, which acts as an umbrella that protects all information stored on a disk. The next is per-file encryption, which protects each file with encryption keys. Every key is coded and stored separately from the files themselves.

Collaboration

In times of uncertainty, SharePoint is the ideal collaboration platform. For example, say you have one project member working from home and another working in the office. With SharePoint, both members can collaborate effectively as if they’re still working together in person because the platform integrates with mobile devices, Mac, and PCs.

Additionally, common resources and applications can be stored in one central location for optimal productivity.

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Will Microsoft Teams or Viva replace SharePoint?

So we know SharePoint isn’t obsolete, but on-premise versions are reaching their end of life. However, there is still confusion about whether Microsoft plans to retire SharePoint completely and replace it with Microsoft Teams or Microsoft Viva.

Microsoft Teams

Since the growth of Microsoft Teams during the pandemic, some have been comparing SharePoint vs Teams and wondering if Teams will replace their intranet.

Is Microsoft Teams a viable option to replace SharePoint? The short answer is no.

You shouldn’t plan to replace SharePoint with Teams completely, but it might be a good idea to integrate the two.

SharePoint has many of the necessary features to operate as a successful company intranet. With Teams, administrators have far less control and capabilities. For example, Microsoft Teams does not allow users to publish articles, but SharePoint does.

You’ll get the best of both worlds by using the two together. SharePoint is the ideal platform for file storage, document management, and top-down internal communications, but Teams tend to work better regarding communications that require more back-and-forth dialogue. For instance, while SharePoint allows collaboration within documents, Teams is great for both group and individual communication.

In addition, branding is important for any corporate structure, but Teams falls short when it comes to having an intranet that meets expectations. Having SharePoint onboard will allow users to customize workspaces based on individual groups (i.e., sales, marketing, administrative). You will want a complete SharePoint intranet solution like Powell Intranet for full personalization and branding.

Microsoft Viva

Another reason people wonder if SharePoint is obsolete is because of the buzz surrounding new feature launches like Microsoft Viva.

Microsoft Viva was launched in 2021 and groups some existing functionalities with new features. It comprises five modules housed in Microsoft Teams: Viva Connections, Learning, Topics, Insights, and the newly launched Viva Engage.

Viva isn’t designed to replace the SharePoint intranet but to act as an add-on to your intranet. It complements your intranet and improves the digital employee experience in the new hybrid work world.

The future of SharePoint is bright

While SharePoint on-premise is getting less focus these days, it doesn’t mean SharePoint is becoming obsolete. There is a ton of value in cloud-based platforms. This includes their ability to be secure, collaborative, and efficient.

New feature launches from Microsoft are enhancing SharePoint further.

At the same time, SharePoint has limitations. It can be difficult to design and deploy a SharePoint site that both employees and IT love. Personalization and customization are difficult and time-consuming. Native SharePoint lacks engaging features organizations so badly need and is not a complete intranet solution.

So what is the solution? A third-party intranet, like Powell Intranet, built on SharePoint Online will give you the modern, employee and business-focused intranet you need. We’ll make it easier and quicker to build and launch your intranet. As a Microsoft Gold partner, we ensure you get the most out of your Microsoft 365 investment and benefit from all SharePoint offers.

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