Which SharePoint Solution is the Best Fit For Your Company?

The Chief Technology Officer of your company walks into your office on Monday and says, “We need SharePoint. I want the best SharePoint solution on my desk by the end of the week.”

With no time to spare, you start your research, pouring through all the information, developing some possible scenarios, then you get this glazed look over your face. Your head is spinning, and I don’t blame you.

Between SharePoint Online, SharePoint On-premises or a hybrid, how do you really know which approach is the best SharePoint solution?

Determining the optimal solution for an organization depends on a series of questions (see below) you must first ask. Based on those answers, you will then need to ask even more questions. Much like the fabled Alice, you end up tumbling down the rabbit hole. You may not end up with a definitive answer, but you will have the information that will help you make an informed decision.

Grab your kit of best practices for establishing a content management system with Microsoft SharePoint and SharePoint Online! 

Question 1. Do you already own Office 365 Licenses?
SharePoint Solution
If you already own Office 365 licenses, then you are probably like most organizations; you chose it for Exchange Online (90% of organizations choose Office 365 for this reason). Guess what? You already have access to SharePoint Online. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Well… That brings me to our next question.

Question 2. Do you have any service level agreements, legal requirements or other restrictions that will prevent your organization from storing information in the Cloud?

Uh-oh. Hello, legal? For example, what if your company has a regulation stating all digital content must reside within the United States? Microsoft stores Office 365 content in its data centers across the world. That throws a wrench into things, right?

Question 3. If you answered yes to Question 2, do the restrictions apply to all information?

What if your organization has content that is not subject to restrictions and can be stored in the cloud? You see where this is going, right? As you continue tumbling down the rabbit hole, questions pile up and you may not have all of the answers. The good news is that you know what to ask, and can turn your attention to finding the right individuals in your organization that can help answer them.

If you need help generating additional questions to ask, here are just a few more that will deliver needed insights that will help you decide what SharePoint solution is best for your organization. These are the same types of questions KnowledgeLake asks their own clients when developing our SharePoint solutions.

  • Do you have an existing SharePoint environment? If yes, what version?
  • Do your users need to be able to search, find, and use on-premises content and data while they are outside the office?
  • Do you have remote users? If yes, do remote users need to securely access data from existing on-premises business applications?
  • Cost. Is it more cost effective to deploy a hybrid environment or to move your SharePoint content and applications to the cloud entirely?
  • Does your farm contain custom code that cannot be easily migrated to SharePoint Online?
  • Do you have a business need to integrate on-premise business solutions (i.e. CRM, ERP, etc.) with SharePoint?
  • Do you have a business need for transactional content management?
  • Does your organization require mobile access (i.e. phone, tablet, etc.)?
  • Do you have a requirement to migrate existing content to SharePoint? If yes, how much?

Once you feel like you have enough information, create a comparison table based on the results of your Q&A. If you still need help or advice, the SharePoint ECM consultants at KnowledgeLake come with decades of valuable experience that can help ensure your decision, is the right one.