What is SharePoint?
SharePoint is used by organizations to create websites. Virtually any device is compatible with SharePoint, and it’s a great way to share, store, and organize information. The only requirement is that a user has a supported web browser (Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Firefox).
As SharePoint 2013 has been around for some time, Microsoft has decided to facilitate the SharePoint 2013 end of life to bring users the latest integrations and capabilities through SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2019 services.
Theoretically, users do have the option to keep their current SharePoint 2013 server running unsupported. However, this does pose some significant risks and is certainly not recommended.
While it’s understandable that planning for an upgrade or migration project can be a burdensome task, it’s certainly worth considering the risks that will arise if no action is taken.
Risks of using SharePoint 2013 after the end of the extended support date
No technical support
After the SharePoint 2013 end-of-support date in April, users that have not upgraded will have to reach out to third-party vendors if they are looking for technical support. This is likely to be quite costly. In addition, platform utility will be affected because data integration will likely suffer after users can no longer make periodic updates and receive direct support.
During the period of support, Microsoft offers recurring security patches and updates to help deter cyberattacks from taking place. Without these periodic releases, users are more likely to experience breaches in their systems, and Microsoft will be unable to address any breaches that occur as a result.
Disruption of business operations
With Microsoft unable to provide support for failures after the SharePoint 2013 end of life, business operations are more likely to suffer. Typically, Microsoft will have a system up and running within a certain period following an issue.
But, without the support feature, users will have to rely on third-party vendors. This can prove to be quite costly and result in extended delays. Moreover, some issues may not be possible to fix at all.
Adding new features could soon become a challenge
Users looking to integrate new features will run into some implications as the obsolete version of SharePoint will have compatibility issues. The best approach is to switch over to SharePoint Online or upgrade to SharePoint 2019.
It is important to make migration/upgrade weeks (or even months) in advance of the SharePoint 2013 end-of-life date in April because SharePoint offers a variety of customized features that can take some time to switch over to a new platform completely.
Migrating to SharePoint Online
For those planning to remain on the SharePoint framework, the preferred approach is to migrate over to SharePoint Online before the SharePoint 2013 end-of-support date.
SharePoint Online offers a myriad of benefits to users, including straightforward ways to store, share, and keep track of information. External collaboration and communication efforts can be made with ease as SharePoint online connects with many outside customers and vendors.
SharePoint Online comprises both web and cloud-based technologies. It eliminates high data storage costs, subscription charges, and other SharePoint on-premises deployments.
The primary benefits of migrating to the SharePoint Online platform are:
- The ability to integrate with Microsoft 365 applications
- High-level security features
- Compatibility with mobile devices, so information is accessible on the go
- Easy external collaboration efforts with users
- HIPPA, FIMSA, and ISO27001 compliance, among others
- Ability to create document libraries for enhanced collaboration efforts
Upgrading to SharePoint 2019
If, for some reason, the SharePoint Online model does not seem to be a great fit, there is the option to upgrade to SharePoint 2019 instead. With SharePoint 2019, users can create their very own OneDrive personalized sites along with team and communication sites.
Team sites have received a modern upgrade that allows better discoverability among common tasks. For users more comfortable with the classic team sites, they are still available as well. In addition, SharePoint 2019 offers a variety of pre-made templates, so businesses can integrate what works best for their individualized needs.
There is also an option to use SharePoint 2019 on-premises or with a Microsoft 365 subscription. Searchability and integration options are both enhanced with SharePoint 2019. The integration options include Power Apps, Power BI, and Power Automate. The Power Apps and Power Automate integrations can be connected with on-premises data. All the features need to be configured through a data gateway.
The primary benefits of upgrading to SharePoint 2019 are as follows:
- E-mails can be sent from Apps
- Fast, easy creation of team and communication sites
- Site templates to assist with the fast building of sites
- Works with OneDrive and Next Generation Sync Client
- A hybrid app launcher that helps connect on-premises and cloud-based versions
- Farm administrators can easily access Public Updates by simply adding links to the SharePoint Central Administration Home Page
- Storing files up to 15 GB in document libraries
- Simplified sharing experiences with enhanced UI capabilities
Migrate/update the SharePoint 2013 service now
It’s imperative that some sort of action is taken before the SharePoint 2013 end-of-support date of April 11, 2023. This must be done to avoid potential risks, including cyber-attacks and system delays.
The recommended action is to upgrade to SharePoint Online. Alternatively, upgrading to SharePoint 2019 is a viable option.
Once the EOL day arrives, users will be responsible for contacting third-party support if they intend to continue using the 2013 version. The implications of continuing the service can prove to be quite costly, so it’s better to bite the bullet and start planning for a new integration/upgrade for the SharePoint service.
As previously mentioned, Microsoft SharePoint 2013 does have several customized features; therefore, migration projects could take anywhere from 8 weeks to 6 months depending on the complexity, so plan accordingly!
If you’re currently on SharePoint 2013 or in the process of moving to SharePoint Online, we’ve created a guidebook for you. Learn more about SharePoint Online, modern experience, and how Powell Intranet can help you build an effective intranet that goes beyond a simple communication site.