6 Jun · 5 min read
Before we talk about migrating to Microsoft Sharepoint, let’s first ask this: what is SharePoint?
SharePoint is a powerful communication and collaboration platform created by Microsoft that enables organizations to work more efficiently and effectively. Microsoft SharePoint is a single ‘sharing-point’ for sharing data among various users. It’s a single space for content management of data for companies. Companies can design and create sites and give permissions to people depending on their business requirements.
To make it simpler to understand, let us take the example of Lego. We all know about Lego blocks – we can build many different structures from them. We can build trains, ships, houses and more from our imagination. SharePoint is a platform similar to Lego Blocks. It is a product by which we can build niche things like Content Management Systems (CMSs), Document Management Systems (DMSs), Intranet and Extranet Portals and much more based on our requirements.
If your business is considering an upgrade or migration, it’s important to ask if it’s a true business need, or simply being driven by an IT team that wants to use the latest technology. There are costs associated with adopting and learning to use technology, and it’s important to make these decisions carefully.
Now let’s see some reasons to migrate to the latest version of an application or platform like Sharepoint:
First, it is difficult to maintain old versions of a technology like Microsoft SharePoint. There is a lack of people who have experience or knowledge of Microsoft SharePoint 2003 because there were fewer Microsoft SharePoint experts back then. Experienced professionals want to work with the latest versions.
Second, upgrades provide increased support for newer technologies like improved browser support, device support and office integration. In multi-device environments, there is increased pressure to provide support for mobile devices and options which were not supported or considered in the past.
Third, because of increasing expectations for technology user experience and growing options, IT needs to be more responsive and should speed up upgrade cycles.
Here are the top reasons why you should move to Microsoft Sharepoint.
Better End User Experience
Microsoft SharePoint 2013 has significantly changed over what it was in those previous versions. The interface is cleaner. Sharepoint has simplified the design process with some major enhancements. Users can easily customize current and global navigation menus directly via drag and drop of menu items.
Some of the other changes include easier sharing and permissions management, cross site collection, enhanced task management and aggregation, and themes and accessible design experiences for many developers and end users.
Enterprise Search Portal
One of the biggest issues that a user faces when it comes to handling huge amounts of data is in spending a lot of time trying to find documents and files within the system. No matter how good the info architecture is, stuff doesn’t always get placed in the right spot. SharePoint’s improved and much better search and subtle improvements like ‘view library’ and ‘send’ options enable users to discover information much more quickly with quick document preview in the web browser.
The latest Microsoft SharePoint makes it easy to maintain the earlier SharePoint engine. Users can easily get the new add-on called Workflow Manager, which has the capability to run its own server. SharePoint provides support for workflows such as ‘approval workflows’ that improve document processes and visibility and can even remind users that they still need to provide feedback. Also, users can leverage information from the corresponding database for Service Bus and the Workflow Manager itself. Workflow creation is also pretty easy due to the Task Process Designer Canvas.
Enterprise Social Networking
Social networking plays a key role in SharePoint teamwork and it aids in flexibility by bringing in more functions to help you create community sites without paying extra. It includes the ability for users to tag, bookmark and rate content. #Hashtags are a newly introduced social tagging feature. Socializing is possible through My Sites and Community sites, which act as forums for users to communicate via discussions on topics.
Sharepoint Mobile App
With the migration to mobile, it was necessary for Microsoft to create an app for tablets and smartphones. Microsoft announced that a SharePoint app is coming soon for iPhone, Windows 10 and Android. Some of the new features include: users can check site activity, navigate using quick launch and see recent files, connect to sites and portals, access the people they work with, and use multiple accounts.
Improved Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence (BI) continues to grow in SharePoint’s latest versions with improvements across MS Excel client, MS Excel services, PerformancePoint and Visio services. The in-memory capabilities of Excel client now allow business users to pull data from various sources and build amazing sheets in minutes. Sharepoint BI brings deeper business insights and analytics of big data reports. It also brings tight integrations between Sharepoint and Excel.
High Level Of Security And Integrity
Users will always find a way to get their job done. And during work, if security gets in their way, they will find another, likely less secure way to get their job done. When their work information is sensitive or regulated, security is a major concern. More than 200,000 organizations worldwide use SharePoint, which means approx. 190 million users. So, Security is one of the key areas of investment in the new SharePoint. MS SharePoint provides easy access to critical data through intranet, extranet, and public-facing applications. It can help you manage permissions for apps, sites and docs.
As you can see, SharePoint is a very large platform that can assist organizations in many areas. It is important to have a general understanding of the different products and all main features before migrating to Microsoft SharePoint. The migration project is not without its own set of difficulties and pitfalls. So if there is an update to such core technology, you need to take good care and plan for it well.
The article was first published here