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SharePoint On-Premise vs Online

Is SharePoint Online the Optimal Choice? Compare It with On-Premises in This Detailed Guide

In the realm of modern technology, business leaders can utilize the untapped potential of their available resources. By integrating communication and collaboration tools, they can now achieve much greater operational efficiency and work effectively with teams worldwide. One such technology is SharePoint, which has affected a myriad of businesses in the long run.

While SharePoint remains one of the most effective platforms for creating robust digital workplaces since its launch in 2000, there is no doubt that it will continue to grow in popularity. Since SharePoint went online in 2010, a considerable discussion about SharePoint On-premise vs. Online has confused organizations when deciding between the two setup options.

The blog is intended for organizations planning to digitize their operations using SharePoint-based intranets and for existing SharePoint users looking to upgrade to a more compatible version. Using this comprehensive SharePoint On-Premise vs. SharePoint Online comparison, you can choose the one that best fits your organization’s needs and goals.

First, let us introduce SharePoint and its versions.

What is SharePoint?

A web-based collaborative platform introduced by Microsoft, SharePoint acts as a centralized and secured space for organizations to manage and share information and effectively collaborate on it. Certainly, it helps you create a private intranet portal that can be accessed from anywhere, and all you need is just an internet connection and a browser. Its ability to create modern site pages, widgets, and libraries, and the way it integrates with different productivity applications, makes it suitable for organizations of all types.

As SharePoint evolved through many versions and updates, it has been quite an interesting journey. From an On-premises solution that requires an on-site setup and hardware, the latest version of SharePoint is entirely a cloud-based platform. Although every organization has its own uniqueness, choosing one of them can sometimes be challenging. Let us critically analyze both solutions simultaneously and see which works best for your workplace.

SharePoint On-Premise

SharePoint On-premises is a server-based collaborative platform that needs on-site installation, i.e., the required setup is installed, hosted, and managed within the organization’s local network. Although organizations must bear the initial installation and maintenance cost, the in-house system gives excellent control over their data and customization.

Unveiling SharePoint On-premise benefits:

  • Organizations can leverage its scalability and flexibility
  • Offers enhanced data control and security to organizations
  • Integrates seamlessly with existing systems and resources
  • Highly customizable to fit your day-to-day needs
  • Provides greater compliance adherence for regulated industries

SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online is a cloud-based version that facilitates organizations to keep their data in cloud servers. Indeed, organizations using SharePoint online do not have to bear the cost of heavy infrastructure, and it also saves them a lot of additional expense of maintaining a team of in-house IT experts.

Explore SharePoint Online’s advantages:

  • Subscription-based model free of infrastructure costs and manual installation
  • Provides a robust security infrastructure handled directly by Microsoft
  • Offers more streamlined collaboration and uninterrupted information sharing 
  • Automatic updates to ensure organizations stay up-to-date with the latest features
  • Microsoft manages the backend infrastructure flawlessly, so no in-house IT teams are required

SharePoint On-Premise vs Online: Prominent Factors Showcasing the Contrast

Over the past few decades, SharePoint has emerged as a stalwart for organizations looking for a robust platform that supports effortless management of content, teams, employees, departments, and projects, all from one place. It goes without saying that choosing SharePoint is not the biggest decision you need to make. What matters more is choosing between the available SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-premise alternatives. Read on further to examine the two of them, analyzing what sets them apart and revealing their unique abilities. Let us navigate the differences and take a closer look at SharePoint’s On-premise vs. Online version.

1. Specialized hardware

Creating the infrastructure to set up the SharePoint servers is the primary challenge you must face while opting for a SharePoint On-premise solution. It requires purchasing various specialized hardware and a team of IT experts to maintain the On-premise installation. However, while considering SharePoint’s Online version, organizations can simply rely on Microsoft Cloud server for business hardware management, offering promising scalability accessibility.

2. Updates

Keeping up with Microsoft’s latest features and improvements is vital for organizations to utilize their SharePoint environment fully. Regular Updates help you effectively address bugs and glitches, ensuring the performance, longevity, and security of your SharePoint solution. While SharePoint On-premise requires companies to manage updates, patches, and troubleshooting tasks, the Online version offers users with an automated process to execute regular updates and patches.

3. Backups of Data

Preventing the loss of data, version updates, and compliance documents is essential, specifically for companies working in a regulated environment. And knowing that your business-critical data is safeguarded by regular backups is very reassuring. How does this work with the two SharePoint versions? When organizations choose the On-premises version, they have full control over data backup processes and are responsible for strategizing, scheduling, and managing backups. While the Online version offers fewer controls to users, it comes with a simpler and more automated backup process.

4. Storage

In terms of data storage, the On-premise solution stores data in physical servers, allowing organizations to create and manage their own data centers. However, with SharePoint Online, the data gets stored in the cloud-based infrastructure offered by Microsoft’s data center. The former enables you to choose from a wide variety of scalable and flexible storage options, whereas the latter allows you to distribute your data globally in Microsoft’s data centers, ensuring redundancy and improved availability.

5. Security

Apart from collaboration, a company intranet is primarily used to organize and centralize company information. Although both versions offer promising security standards and access controls, they differ in the way they are implemented in terms of communication channels, data repositories, and collaboration tools. On-premise solutions give organizations direct control over their data’s physical location, allowing them to build custom security configurations and tailor access controls to their specific requirements. SharePoint Online, on the other hand, provides automatic deployment of security patches and updates, as well as advanced threat detection and response mechanisms to keep your workplace safe.

6. Cost and licensing

Each organization has its own financial strategy and operational needs. As organizations usually have a fixed budget, it is worthwhile to ask the question of SharePoint On-premise vs. Online within the context of cost and licensing. An On-premise solution incurs an upfront cost, requiring you to spend on licensed software, hardware, and additional infrastructure, whereas the online solution is a subscription-based model, making expenses predictable. Also, the added cost of maintaining an in-house IT team is also required for the former, while you do not need to worry about ongoing maintenance, support, and updates for the latter.

SharePoint On-Premises vs Online: Is SharePoint Online a better option for your organization?

What are the main factors to consider when choosing the right SharePoint version? Well, we have critically compared SharePoint On-Premise vs. SharePoint Online and evidently, both the versions come with their own positives and negatives. While they carry distinct advantages, you can use them to shape your experience of having a full-fledged collaborative solution.

On-premise solutions are most suitable for organizations working with strict regulatory frameworks that wish to have direct control over their intranet infrastructure for security, scalability, and customization. However, organizations looking for a smoother intranet experience and operating in a hybrid or remote working environment, with collaboration and business process streamlining as their core aim, must opt for the Online version of SharePoint. Indeed, the cloud-based architecture, automatic updates, and reduced IT management and security burden make the Online version an obvious choice for many businesses.

It is nearly impossible to conclude the ongoing SharePoint Online vs. On-premise discussion without evaluating the organization’s unique circumstances. However, it is imperative for organizations to consider their financial resources, technical capabilities, growth plans, customization demands, and security requirements before embarking on a digital transformation to ensure that their goals are met.

Criteria SharePoint Online SharePoint On-Premise Better Choice
Cost Subscription-based model, predictable operational expenses, lower upfront investment Higher upfront costs for hardware, licenses, and maintenance SharePoint Online
Deployment Cloud-based, hosted by Microsoft Self-hosted within organization’s data center SharePoint Online
Scalability Easily scalable, adapts to changing user needs Scalability requires careful planning, hardware procurement SharePoint Online
Customization Limited customization within defined boundaries Extensive customization to align with unique processes SharePoint Online
Security Robust security with compliance certifications Greater control over sensitive data but demands vigilant security management SharePoint Online

BizPortals 365: A SharePoint-based intranet tailored to your needs

Adapting to all your unique business requirements, BizPortals 365, a SharePoint-based intranet solution, offers highly customizable solutions for modern business leaders trying to transform digitally. In addition to offering unparalleled collaboration features, BizPortals 365 intranet also integrates well with Microsoft 365 productivity applications to complete your workplace experience. It helps you collaborate and communicate with your coworkers, teams, and departments while sharing information, documents, project or task status, and more, even in a hybrid work culture.

BizPortals 365 is suitable for businesses of all sizes and offers a platform that works well with SharePoint’s Online. Indeed, it is possible to upgrade the existing SharePoint version or migrate to a SharePoint environment, even from a completely third-party solution, depending on the organization’s preferences. In addition to pre-migration planning and post-migration challenges, our team of Microsoft-certified experts is available to address every aspect of migration with care, guaranteeing a smoother migration process overall.

Take advantage of the latest SharePoint versions to seamlessly transfer data, enhance security, and take advantage of cutting-edge features. Let us upgrade your digital workplace today!

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