The end-of-life of Microsoft SharePoint 2010 doesn’t have to throw an entire organization into chaos. Companies that have already started planning for the phase-out are probably in a good place right now. However, businesses that haven’t yet developed a plan have a lot to consider before the sun sets on the document management and collaboration platform on Oct. 13, 2020.
One major consideration is whether it’s time for organizations to abandon legacy, on-premises solutions (such as SharePoint) and move their content management, record keeping and collaboration processes to the cloud, which is far more agile, efficient and scalable.
In this eWeek Data Points article, David Jones, Vice President of Marketing at AODocs, discusses the five key points companies should consider as the prospect of a “heavy lift” migration looms when SharePoint 2010 becomes obsolete.
Data Point No. 1: Microsoft soon will no longer support SharePoint 2010 with updates and security patches, creating security risks and compliance challenges.
SharePoint 2010 won’t just automatically shut off in October, nor will it be unstable. However, Microsoft will end support for it, which has quite a few implications. For one, Microsoft will no longer be responsible or liable for ensuring SharePoint 2010 will run securely, meaning customer support will not be available. Secondly, without system updates and security patches, organizations are highly vulnerable to data breaches. Microsoft has already warned customers of the potential risks if they fail to migrate away from the platform. Finally, in addition to the obvious security risks, companies face the potential for penalties due to the lack of regulatory compliance and the costs associated with the maintenance of outdated hardware and software.
Data Point No. 2: Migrating to SharePoint 2013 may not be the best option.
While it seems like a logical choice to migrate from SharePoint 2010 to the most recent version, it actually isn’t as easy as it sounds. In fact, the migration path is curvy at best. To get to SharePoint 2019, you’d need to move to 2013 first, then to 2016 and finally to 2019. With each migration, the potential for error, mishaps and data loss grows, not to mention the need for extensive manual labor and end-user training. The bad news doesn’t stop there. SharePoint 2016 and 2019 typically can’t run on the same hardware that supported SharePoint 2010, so you’ll also need a better server.
Data Point No. 3: Moving to SharePoint Online is equally painful.
SharePoint was as an on-premises solution -before the cloud existed. Because of this design, all non-cloud-native systems struggle to keep up with modern, evolving technology and enterprise content demands. Microsoft understands this, which is why they’re trying to move their customers to their cloud-based service, SharePoint Online, or to a hybrid of SharePoint servers and SharePoint Online.
While Microsoft has created a content migration tool to help those organizations ready to move to the cloud, the transition can be challenging. SharePoint Online is more expensive than SharePoint on-prem servers, doesn’t offer the same breadth of features and is a completely different architecture which means that all customization and third-party web integrations will be lost. In addition to the expensive licenses, the implementation, optimization and maintenance of SharePoint Online will take a large bite out of the IT budget.
Data Point No. 4: A cloud-native and flexible approach to collaboration and information management is more in line with how we work now and in the future.
Considering whether to move from an on-premises system like SharePoint 2010 to a cloud-native system can be a daunting thought. However, a content services platform that can be adapted to address the specific document management use cases and requirements of modern enterprises makes sense. Not only are cloud-based platforms capable of “future proofing” and growing with an organization, they are also more secure, agile efficient and far more cost effective. From a resource perspective, the cloud provides an additional host of advantages including regular security patches, bug fixes, system updates and plenty of room for innovation and productivity.
Data Point No. 5: The flexibility of the cloud allows for AI-enabled collaboration and document management.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making a big impact in the workplace, and more and more organizations are realizing the benefits of deploying AI to help automate, simplify and improve functions within their organizations. Many enterprises are already using AI within their document management systems to automate content classification and organization, as well as to help detect fraud and minimize data security issues.
Google has already made great strides in AI, and through its integration with G Suite it boosts the productivity of content services by enabling the extraction of text from images, allowing identification and tagging of a picture’s location, and even detecting the presence of sensitive information to minimize data security issues.
Data Point No. 6: Summary
Organizations still mulling their options when it comes to what’s next after SharePoint 2010 have a lot to consider. Sticking with an on-premises document management solution that guarantees a future roadmap of integrations and migrations seems like a step backward from both an IT and business perspective. And while it will take some up-front costs to move to a cloud-enabled IT platform, this represents a more modern and viable option because it provides the scalability organizations need along with room to grow and innovate well into the future.
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