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SharePoint – On-Premises or Cloud?

Updated on September 7, 2016

With more and more organizations migrating their infrastructure to the Cloud, the question is which is better for SharePoint, i.e. On-Premises or Cloud?

The primary point which comes up when choosing between the two is cost and what exactly an organization is willing to spend. To run SharePoint On-Premise requires infrastructure, space, and an IT team to set it up. All this adds up to cost. The Cloud does away with all these expenses. However, there is a monthly billing per user for the Cloud option. Hence, there are costs involved with both options.

After installation, another important to be considered is SharePoint continues to go through updates and reforms. For the On-Premises option, an IT team has to continue to work on this. For the Cloud option, it is automatically taken care of by Microsoft.

A lot of companies worry about legal compliance and information security. As a result of this, they prefer the on-premises solution as they have direct control on business continuity, information security, and compliance standards. For the Cloud version, one has to rely on Microsoft’s built-in redundancy for data centers.

With both options, i.e. online or on-premise, organizations need more clarity in terms of which option really works for them. There is no `one size fits all’ for SharePoint and therefore it is not possible to read up about the solution and make a decision. What is required is for a team of SharePoint experts to actually look at existing infrastructure, organizational requirements and then make a suggestion. In a scenario where an organization is already using on-premises, but the experts believe that it will benefit more by moving to the cloud, a migration team will be required to migrate existing data on to the cloud.

Companies which are just considering SharePoint prefer to go with the online version, but there too, keeping in mind the monthly charges, a careful evaluation of the number of users, etc has to be made and that in turn compared to one-time licensing costs, infrastructure investments and only after this analysis can the actual cost-benefit be calculated. The point is, all this can only be achieved by SharePoint experts who not only understand a specific business but are also domain experts in the target industry segment.


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