With Cloud-based business strategies on the rise, one of the biggest improvements of SharePoint 2016 can be summed up in two words: Cloud Power. A recent survey found that 85% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy, up from 82% in 2016. In this article, we explore the Top 7 Business Reasons to Upgrade to SharePoint 2016.
The most recent version of SharePoint was released approximately a year ago, but there are still many businesses that haven’t made the switch. While it can be tempting to stick with what you have - maybe the cost of a migration is holding you back, maybe it’s not the “right time” to upgrade your platform, or maybe you’re getting by just fine with an older version of SharePoint - there are several reasons why your business needs to upgrade to SharePoint 2016.
With Cloud-based business strategies on the rise, one of the biggest improvements of this latest version can be summed up in two words: Cloud Power. A recent rightscale survey found that 85% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy, up from 82% in 2016. Microsoft’s Bill Baer described SharePoint 2016 as being “built from the Cloud-Up”. It is truly “Cloud hybrid ready” and allows you to integrate with and fully leverage the Cloud on your own terms. Along with this “Cloud Power” comes additional benefits. We’ve listed the Top 7 Business Reasons to Upgrade to SharePoint 2016.
In addition to the features mentioned in this article, there are several “extras” that come along with a SharePoint 2016 migration.
● New Compliance Center - Now available to on-prem servers are features based on the Office 365 Compliance Center. The In-Place Policy Hold Center and the Compliance Center allow you to build your own policies and apply them against your environment.
● Simplified Updates - Derived from the same code base as SharePoint Online, Microsoft’s “most comprehensively tested version of SharePoint to date”, SharePoint 2016 facilitates support and updates across both Office 365 and on-prem servers, and offers “zero downtime patching” as compared to previous versions.
● Increased Upload Capacity - You can now store files larger than the 2GB limit. While there isn’t an official max capacity, the recommended file size is 10GB. Anything more than that and you will risk timeouts or disconnections. Also, users enjoy faster uploads using background intelligence service (BITS) rather than HTTP protocol.
Efficiency and Productivity
SharePoint 2016 is designed to work seamlessly with Office365 and offers better connectivity to the cloud for on-premises (“on-prem”) users. While many businesses realize dramatic increases in efficiency and productivity from the out-of-the-box functionality of SharePoint 2016, the ability to incorporate third-party integrations help many others take it to a new level. Processes that, historically, have been limited due to manual step requirements, can now be streamlined and completed much faster.
A prime example of this is automating a business process that is filled with manual approvals and a lack of visibility. Some of the core values of SharePoint 2016 are the ease of building interactive forms with rich user experience and leveraging an enhanced workflow engine. The platform is built to empower the end user to solve day-to-day business challenges by employing these new features for increased productivity and efficiency.
As a result of it being built for the Cloud, SharePoint 2016 offers a much more collaboration-friendly environment. New hybrid sites features allows your users to have an integrated experience while using SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online sites. Users can follow SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online sites, and see them consolidated in a single list. They can also have a single profile in Office 365, where all of their profile information is stored. With Hybrid OneDrive for Business, users can sync files with Office 365 and share them with others and they can access their files directly through Office 365 from any device.
Hybrid integration makes it simple for your team to search the network quickly and find the people or data that they need.
Created with the cloud in mind, the SharePoint 2016 interface has been redesigned to reflect the look of Office 365. Now, with the UX of both platforms looking very similar, if not identical, when a user can jump between the two systems seamlessly. In addition, SharePoint offers the following UX benefits:
● Quickly navigate between the Cloud and On-Premises
● Pin your own sites to the app launcher
● Share from within pages
● Increased upload capacity
● Improved mobile experience
Better Search Experience
One of the biggest challenges of previous SharePoint versions has been the ability to return search results from files both in the Cloud and in a local server. Several workarounds had been created, but showing relevant results in one single, consolidated list was nearly impossible. SharePoint 2016 solves that problem with the hybrid environment. You now get a seamless list of search results from both locations.
You run a business so you already know that branding makes a huge impact on decision-making. This is no different for your SharePoint environment. Your users will be more inclined to engage if you offer them something that is not only useful, but also aesthetically pleasing. Whether it’s an extranet or intranet that you’re creating, the effort you put into the interface directly reflects to your users the level of importance you give to the platform. The more importance or value they perceive, the more likely they are to engage.
One important note to point out is that if you are not gifted on the area of design and/or CSS, do not attempt to brand SharePoint yourself. You want to represent your business well with a good design that generates positive response. As they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Work with a SharePoint branding specialist to ensure you meet that goal.
One of the biggest challenges an organization faces when adopting changes in technology is user adoption rates. All too often, big investment of time, energy and money are made only to find that users are reluctant to make the switch. So how can businesses leverage this opportunity and set themselves up for user adoption success?
Fortunately, several steps can be taken to ensure a smooth transition.
- First, communication is key. Plan ahead and talk with managers or team leaders about the benefits and make sure they pass the word along. Get the buzz generating early and build up anticipation.
- Second, you now have the ability to brand your SharePoint site - use it. Your users will be more inclined to engage if you offer them something that is not only useful, but also familiar and aesthetically pleasing.
- Third, hold regular trainings. This probably sounds like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised by the number of companies that do not teach employees how to take full advantage of their SharePoint environment. You can make your training program whatever you want it to be. Whether you decide to customize your own videos, hold regular in-person demos or host webinars for remote individuals, it is important to let your audience know that help is available. If you aren’t able to create your own materials, there are plenty of training resources available online.