Avoid the Cloud: 6 Reasons To Keep SharePoint On-Premise

Avoid the Cloud: 6 Reasons To Keep SharePoint On-Premise

Microsoft is all about the cloud lately. It makes sense, for many reasons. But there are also many reasons why some organizations are sticking with on-premises solutions--especially when it comes to SharePoint.

Microsoft is all about the cloud lately. It makes sense, for many reasons. But there are also many reasons why some organizations are sticking with on-premises solutions—especially when it comes to SharePoint.

Microsoft recently assured customers that there would be an on-premises version of SharePoint when the update of the platform is released later this year. With that said, deployment in the cloud can potentially save money and resources and increase flexibility. So, with all of the benefits the cloud brings, why wouldn’t you make the move?

“Moving to the cloud should always be well evaluated and only done if it brings value to the organization,” said Benjamin Niaulin, SharePoint Geek and MVP. “The new experiences offered by Office 365 allow organizations to respond quickly to a business need, like instantly having a Video Portal or using OneDrive for Business to work from anywhere. However, not everything needs to be moved from On-Premises to the cloud.”

Here are six good reasons to keep SharePoint close to home.

1. Your SharePoint environment integrates with other line-of-business apps.

"We are seeing more and more organizations considering moving to the cloud for their SharePoint environments,” said Julie Boudro, senior SharePoint architect, IT solution provider C/D/H. “However, the cloud may not always be the best fit, especially if your SharePoint environment requires integration with other line of business applications that cannot communicate via OData.”

2. You want to leverage SharePoint for your public website.

 “Another on premise decision point is when organizations want to leverage SharePoint for their public website, something Office 365 does not support,” said Boudro. “Additionally, O365 does not currently support server side code, which means migrating to O365 is not an option unless the custom code can be converted to use the client-side object model.”

3. You need to perform significant customization.

"On-premises installations of SharePoint allow for the broadest range of possible customizations: Solutions can be customized using SharePoint Designer, JavaScript, the client-side object model (CSOM) or the service-side object model (SSOM)," said Dan Gauntner, product marketing manager, Windows Migration & Management, Dell Software. “In the cloud, enterprises no longer have access to full-trust code, so for organizations with a history of SharePoint customization, code-based customizations around their key information assets can present a stumbling block for migration to Office 365.”

4. Your security requirements are elevated.

"In a traditional on-premises deployment, access to corporate data can be limited to the corporate network or VPN, along with corporate-managed devices with the expected level of anti-virus and security patches," noted Dell’s Gauntner. “In a cloud deployment, however, any device with a supported browser could provide access to corporate data with simply a username and password."

5. You need to maintain tight control over updates and other changes.

“As an IT pro, one of my biggest concerns is the lack of control,” said Brian Alderman, an IT certification instructor at CBT Nuggets, a certification training company. “As an administrator of an on-prem SharePoint deployment, I can choose when I upgrade to the next version of SharePoint [and] when I apply the next Service Pack released by Microsoft that includes new features and functionality, but may also remove features or functionality that your organization is heavily dependent on. When working with SharePoint Online in Office 365, Microsoft decides what stays and what goes along with when it stays and goes.”

The same goes for topology, said C/D/H’s Boudro: “If organizations want more control over their topology, such as the naming convention of their sites or creating multiple root sites, on premise still makes a lot of sense.”

6. Downtime is not an option.

“With everything being stored in the cloud, dependence on Internet bandwidth and availability becomes a concern,” said Alderman. “You need a reliable and somewhat fast connection to the Internet for the uploads and downloads of documents. But, what if you are not just storing documents, but require storage of large files and your IT pros have implemented Remote Blob Storage (RBS) for those larger files? Guess what? RBS isn't supported in SharePoint Online, so where and how will you store those files if you can't store them in SharePoint Online?”

Note that many of the experts who contributed to this story said that hybrid deployments can give companies the best of both worlds.

They also noted that no matter what an organization’s needs and requirements, and no matter which deployment choice it ultimately makes, governance and information management must be top of mind.

“No matter which type of deployment you choose, it is critical to have good data governance and information management policies,” said Dell’s Gauntner . “These are the keys to safeguarding data--not just the platform that it sits on.”

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