By Kevin Hall, Managing Director
Deciding when and how to migrate to SharePoint 2013 is not a small decision. If you’re on an earlier version than SharePoint 2010, Microsoft doesn’t offer an officially supported method for upgrading directly to 2013. Even if you are operating on 2010, upgrading the platform that so much of your business depends on creates risks and costs that must be offset by measurable business benefits.
There are already a significant amount of resources available around the benefits of migrating to 2013. At GreenPages, we have helped many organizations with SharePoint projects. This post will cover some real world examples of organizations migrating that we’ve experienced that highlight some of the key benefits.
Design flexibility to extend your public brand to the intranet
One client, a high-tech medical device supplier, has built its reputation on ease of use and modern mobile technology. With earlier versions of SharePoint, the client struggled to reinforce its brand promise and promote its high-tech, mobile culture among its employees on the corporate intranet. After they migrated to SharePoint 2013, the organization was able to take advantage of the improved design flexibility and standards compliance of the platform to create an intranet that truly reflected their brand and values. The site not only looks great on 2013, but it also uses responsive web design to allow access on any device.
Increased productivity with secure document sharing and predictive search
In the financial services industry, protecting sensitive client information is mission critical. Due to information security and compliance goals, a large financial services and analytics client decided to replace internal file shares with SharePoint. While SharePoint immediately helped better protect information, it was not until the migration to 2013 that this client started to see day-to-day business value from SharePoint. With the combination of cross-site publishing and the integration of FAST search, 2013 allowed for a single repository of documents to be indexed and securely shared with multiple intranet and extranet sites, all still governed by SharePoint security. Additionally, the built in predictive search capabilities available in 2013 greatly reduced the amount of time employees and partners spent searching for documents and information.
Out with the new and in with the old
We talk with a lot of clients about Microsoft and whether or not the industry has surpassed it from an innovation standpoint. Often times, a platform switch is under consideration as an alternative to migration. One of our clients, a hip technology firm, had some specific goals which seemed out of reach with Microsoft in general, and SharePoint specifically. In some respects, they had bought into the hype about the industry surpassing Microsoft and went with a competitive solution. GreenPages is now helping this client migrate back to Microsoft and SharePoint 2013 because our client found the product they went with couldn’t scale like SharePoint, required arcane technical skills to manage, and was difficult to brand and build a great user experience on. With 2013’s improvements to design and search, as well as the stability of SharePoint as a platform, the client is excited to get back to the “old way” of doing things.
Collaboration at scale with the technology and platform you already know
As I mentioned, sometimes the complexity of a potential migration opens up a bigger conversation about Microsoft and potentially shifting to a competing technology. Depending on your specific needs, leaving SharePoint may make sense. However, make sure you do not act too hastily. Microsoft as a company is doing quite well, and SharePoint 2013, along with Office 365, lies at the core of where Microsoft is heading and is enjoying tremendous success.
There is real business value to be gained from taking on a SharePoint 2013 migration. By migrating, you will ensure that your business is taking advantage of the improvements that Microsoft has made to the platform, and you will be well positioned to make a smooth transition once Microsoft makes the next version available.
Click here if you’re interested in learning more about the unique business benefits SharePoint 2013 can provide your organization.
Do you have any experience with SharePoint? What’s your opinion? Leave a comment below!