Why Modernize or Make the Shift to SharePoint Online?

Prasanta Barik

By, Prasanta Barik, Senior Architect, Happiest Minds

Organizations are moving over to SharePoint Online to leverage the modern user experience it offers through the latest Office 365 features. SharePoint Online is also evolving and improving constantly, giving users the provision to modernize.

There are a few key features that have been alluring organizations toward SharePoint Online, thus helping them embark on a new digital transformation journey.

  • Modern Experience: SharePoint’s modern user interface (UI) has been designed from the ground up, ensuring it is mobile-device friendly. The online version has also addressed quite a few UI usability issues that existed in the classic On-Premises version, such as challenges with navigation, bulk editing and file sharing.
  • Integration with Other Office 365 Products: Microsoft Power Automate helps integrate SharePoint with other products such as Exchange, Teams, Groups and OneDrive. This also allows organizations to share and collaborate internally with colleagues, as well as with partners and customers.
  • Modern Site Templates: New Team site templates facilitate internal team conversations, document sharing, task/project management and more, while Communication site templates are designed to help broadcast relevant content (on projects, events, latest news, etc.) to employees. Hub sites connect to various site collections and receive data as shared themes, navigation and news roll-ups.
  • Modern Search: Out-of-the-box Search web parts in SharePoint Online are AI-enabled, offering results with greater relevance than those offered by classis web parts.
  • Customization: SharePoint Framework (SPFx) delivers the platform required to develop custom solutions/web parts using a JavaScript framework such as Angular, React, Knockout and many other open-source tools.
  • Integration with Other Platforms: Teams can leverage a wide range of standard connectors available under the Microsoft Power Platform (MPP) or build their own connectors to streamline data integration.

Challenges Organizations face during Migration

Few enterprises are still skeptical about making the move to SharePoint Online and there could be hurdles during the migration journey too.

  • Regulations: Regulations could come in the way of moving certain kinds of workloads to the Cloud.
  • Fear of Disruption: Some organizations may be cautious due to heavy customizations and the fear of disrupting applications in the legacy SharePoint environment.
  • Workflows Migration: Certain third-party tools are unable to migrate running workflows or pending tasks, and in such cases, all workflows need to be closed.
  • Email-enabled Libraries: Instances where emails may be triggered will need to be mitigated by disabling those instances.
  • Branding Files Residing in File System: There could be legacy applications developed over a decade ago, with a large portion of images, CSS and JS files residing in multiple hive folders due to the file system of the server. During migration over to the Cloud, these files will need to be manually moved to SharePoint lists and script to replace the relative references that were executed on staging.

Why migration is the go-to way?

SharePoint Online, which is the cloud-based version of the Microsoft SharePoint product, offers multiple benefits such as the following:

  • No on-premise infrastructure licensing and support costs
  • Modernized and responsive UX
  • Implemented as per latest technology/features
  • Zero-downtime deployment
  • Improvement in site rendering performance
  • Better productivity
  • Seamless integration with Microsoft Office
  • Customizable UI

The Way Forward

SharePoint Online is getting more powerful, yet friendlier with every new update and release. Its lean Cloud-based infrastructure and cost effectiveness has been making the migration toward SharePoint Online a desirable activity. Every business has unique objectives to achieve, and these objectives will play an important role in making a choice between the On-Premises server and SharePoint Online.

The migration to SharePoint Online is a significant task, bringing in transformation in the way enterprises collaborate. Hence, it is not only important to choose the right migration tool but also the right partner to derive benefits from the transformation.
Read more about the process in detail in our whitepaper here

About the Author

Prasanta Barik is a Senior Architect at Happiest Minds with over 12 years of experience in designing and developing software solutions on Microsoft technologies such as SharePoint, Modern Workplace, Azure, Power Platform, and AI. He also possesses extensive experience in the consulting and pre-sales areas.


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