SharePoint 2010 Is Out of Support. Here’s How to Approach an Upgrade.

By Nicholas Heembrock on June 23, 2021

The deadline for the end of extended support for SharePoint 2010 passed on April 13, 2021. We highly recommend that KnowledgeLake customers and any other organization using SharePoint 2010 or older begin planning their migration to a new system as soon as possible.

With the end of extended support, organizations remaining on SharePoint 2010 or older can expect to pay high fees for maintenance and increased security measures. Migrating to a new content repository will help your organization avoid increased costs associated with maintaining SharePoint 2010.

The Price of Staying Put

We know what you’re thinking… “Do we really need to migrate? What could go wrong if we don’t?”

The hard cost of maintaining software out of support is most measurable in terms of the staff you’ll need to retain to keep SharePoint 2010 in working order. But there are other risks, some of them not as obvious, that come with sticking with the status quo:

Security. This is the biggest risk. No more patches mean no more assurances that your organization and its data are safe from the ever-present threat from hackers and malicious software. You are on your own to fix any issues that come up—if you even know about them.

Productivity. Staying on SharePoint 2010 means that your end users will miss out on some very cool ways to enhance the work experience, most importantly the complete compatibility of newer versions of SharePoint with Microsoft 365 and Teams, which have quickly become the de facto standard for organizations all over the world. There’s also the issue of accessibility for mobile and remote workers. How easy (and quickly) can they get their hands on the content they need?

Digital Transformation. It’s hard to advance the digital transformation of your organization when you can’t connect anything to the place where you store your documents. Modern organizations will differentiate themselves by streamlining the flow of data and documents from department to department and individual to individual. If you’re thinking about automating any of your document-based business processes, forget about it. Developing APIs for software more than a decade old is always an “iffy” proposition.

Think Agile and Adaptive, Instead of “Rip and Replace”

Migration can be a dirty word in IT. We understand that, for many organizations on SharePoint 2010 or older, migrating documents to the cloud can seem like a daunting challenge—especially as administrators and end users are probably comfortable with a system they’ve used for years.

Traditionally, upgrading software, or moving from one platform to another, has been an all or nothing thing. But IT leaders can and should think of SharePoint migration in a more agile and adaptive way. That is, do it piece by piece—or, to borrow from that old saying about how to eat an elephant, bite by bite.

Start in the places that matter most, with the content that matters most. You don’t have to throw everything over the fence at once. Prioritize the department or departments with the greatest pain, or the greatest openness to change. Get to know what they do, how they work, and how technology can support their workflow. That will give you what you need to begin developing a practical migration plan.

(We have a whole lot more to say about the topic of content migration in our free eBook, “A Roadmap to Adaptive and Agile Enterprise Content Management.” You can download it here.)

Which Repository Should I Choose?

Once you’ve made the commitment and begin putting a migration plan together, where do you go with your content?

In our experience with customers that have migrated from old versions of SharePoint, finding a solution that in some way leverages the cloud is the best choice. Some of the main benefits of storing your organization’s content in the cloud touch on some of the most important aspects of digital transformation:

  • Potential IT cost savings and workforce reallocation
  • IT infrastructure with increased agility
  • Threat detection and analytics
  • Stronger identity management
  • Ability to better support and manage mobile productivity
  • Visibility and control across infrastructure and applications

When you decide to migrate your content from SharePoint to the cloud, you’ll need to choose a repository, and your organization has several choices. That could be SharePoint Online, Azure, or a hybrid cloud. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to choosing a repository, and it's important to carefully evaluate your organization's options to get the most out of your cloud deployment. (If you need guidance, our experts will work with you to discuss your needs and help you choose the best repository for your organization.)

Here are the cloud repositories we recommend as well as factors to consider about each:

SharePoint Online

For organizations that want to get the most out of their existing Microsoft Office 365 investment while leveraging the cloud, SharePoint Online is a good option. Since SharePoint Online is a part of the Office 365 suite, it integrates perfectly with it. And if you want the ability to easily customize your system, SharePoint is the way to go, as it enables you to tailor your system to your organization’s needs.


For organizations that want to reap all the benefits of the cloud, Azure is a great choice. If you're concerned about security, rest assured that your data is safe in Azure: Microsoft spends over a billion dollars every year just on security, which includes the security of the Azure platform, so your data has some of the best protection on the planet.

Azure is also a good choice for small and medium businesses that need to manage their IT budgets. With Azure, you pay as you go, meaning that you only purchase as much as you need.

Hybrid Cloud

In a hybrid cloud configuration, your organization's data is stored securely on your on-premises server, and your data and applications are shared between the on-premises server and the cloud. This is an ideal configuration for organizations that have sensitive data that needs to be kept highly secure but that also want to leverage certain benefits of the cloud that don't come with on-premises systems (e.g. flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiencies).

All in all, migrating from an older version of SharePoint has far more advantages than not. By taking a fresh approach, and leveraging the capabilities of the cloud, you can deliver a compelling new way of working such that your organization and end users won’t remember the old way.

Want to maximize your Microsoft investment? 

Start with our content management best practices for Microsoft Office 365, Teams and SharePoint Online.

Nicholas is the Senior Product Manager at KnowledgeLake.

About KnowledgeLake:

KnowledgeLake provides content management solutions that help busy organizations intelligently automate their most important document processes. Since 1999, we've created award-winning, Microsoft-centric solutions that have helped thousands of companies around the world focus on their mission rather than their mission-critical documents.


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