Choosing Between SharePoint Server On-Premises, SharePoint Online or SharePoint IaaS
Your key takeaway: Focus on your business objective with SharePoint.
That’s advice from Kyle Davis, a research director for technical professionals at Gartner Inc. He was recently in San Diego addressing “How to Choose Between SharePoint Server, SharePoint Online and SharePoint on IaaS.”
The session focused on knowing what you need SharePoint to do and finding the best deployment option to match your business needs.
Gartner, known for building out the decision frameworks that help enterprises make big decisions that affect the bottom line, has taken a deep dive into the three ways you can implement SharePoint at your organization.
As we discussed in our SharePoint 2016 blog, the majority of SharePoint users are still on-premises (Gartner estimates 70%), and thanks to their investment, they can’t easily make the switch.
Nevertheless, Microsoft has dictated at multiple conferences that their focus will remain on SharePoint Online, the Office 365 iteration of SharePoint. They’ll still support SharePoint Server environments, but their push to the cloud is a hard one and they expect businesses to follow them there. And now that we’re talking cloud, what cloud is best for your company? Dedicated? Shared? The third option of hosting your SharePoint Server with a cloud provider has led organizations to dread making a decision about the future of their SharePoint.
But Gartner is here to help.
The technology research firm has configured 29 factors that should be considered when deciding the fate of your SharePoint investment. Davis discussed a few of them in his recent session.
Using Gartner’s SharePoint Decision Matrix to Plan Your Deployment
Compliance and privacy. Plenty of industries have strict regulations that handcuff them from venturing too far outside of their in-house environment, and even if a vendor can meet these requirements, it still becomes a question of trust.
Data Sovereignty. While large offerings like Office 365 are far too ambiguous in their fine print about where your data may live, plenty of dedicated cloud providers can be perfectly clear about your data location at all times. This remains a sour point for international clients who prefer their data to be nearby or, at the very least, in country.
Scalability. This is another piece of the SharePoint puzzle that loses its way a bit with Office 365. Search performance can only go so far in a multitenant environment like Office 365, and companies want to avoid capacity management issues at all costs. Luckily, SharePoint on IaaS can provide a rapidly scalable environment that grows with your business as needed so on-premises deployments aren’t your last resort.
Disaster Recovery. Microsoft is once more ambiguous in what recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) their services offer. IaaS providers can lay out a very strict Service Level Agreement that makes sure your Business Continuity Plan is accounted for and recovery options are in place. This is one space where SharePoint Server on-premises will not be enough for a fail-safe like offsite recovery.
Customization. You won’t have much luck finding a customized solution that’s supported in SharePoint Online, but there are some workarounds like third-party web parts or apps. SharePoint Server and SharePoint on IaaS provide full functionality and dedicated servers that make it easy to add unlimited customizations and create the deployment that best fits your needs.
Match Your SharePoint with Your Business
When the dust clears, there are benefits and setbacks to each deployment. All that matters is what your business needs. For instance, you can save on costs with Office 365, but if it doesn’t meet the functionality requirements your users need then that cost is mitigated. SharePoint Server on-premises may seem like the best way to hold onto your investment at the moment, but with changes coming to the cloud first and your team staying limited in their SharePoint expertise, it could all catch up to you. SharePoint IaaS won’t come cheap, but it can keep you up to date with priority response support for any issue.
At Fpweb.net, we’re happy to meet each of the Gartner decision matrix requirements thanks to our dedicated (private) hosting environments and deep SharePoint expertise. Contact us today and learn how we can move your business forward.