Microsoft SharePoint 2007 turns double digits this year, having celebrated launchiversaries for over a decade now.
As someone who's worked with SharePoint since its earliest forms I've seen a lot of changes, but the most significant was the introduction of SharePoint 2007, or MOSS as we called it. When it was released, this technology changed the landscape by which we created and collaborated on our documents, how we searched for information within our corporate environments, and it redefined the portal experience for tech gurus and those of us that just want good 'n easy solutions.
So if you're still comfortably settled with 2007 with hopes of staying together forever, Microsoft is about to spice things up, and force a few changes.
From 10 October 2017 Microsoft will no longer have any support options for SharePoint 2007. In my experience, those still running SharePoint 2007 (and even a SharePoint 2003 instance I came across in 2016) are still holding on due to a large investment in custom solutions, as well as a company culture that grew up with the emergence of SharePoint into mainstream information management during the mid-2000's.
So WHY should you bother upgrading?
A little taste of what you could be enjoying:
- Access to new information management processes and capabilities
- Regular feature and solution updates and more accurate support plans
- Interconnectivity within the platform, allowing you to connect Business to Business applications or even social platforms
While there's nothing forcing you to move on to Office 365 or SharePoint 2016, consider for a moment the greater needs of your organisation… With a changing workforce and our expectations of technology now, waiting to upgrade could cost you more time and a lot more money than you're prepared for.
Over the past decade technology adoption is reaching new heights. We've moved to more information formats and styles of presentations. It has changed the way we view the nature of information, be it personal or professional. As such, the older versions of SharePoint can hinder your organisation from being able to utilise new information policies, workflow solutions, remote solutions and other style or platforms. Meanwhile, some organisations are still implementing SharePoint 2010 technology, and like its older brother, SharePoint 2010 support will also cease from 13 October 2020 (only three short years later).
Most of you will have heard of SharePoint 2016, Azure and Office 365 and many of your organisations will already have licensing in place (or it's on the way).
So, right now you've got three options for your expiring product:
- Do absolutely nothing – You can continue to operate your environment as it is, remembering that there'll be no support from Microsoft if something goes wrong, and that the longer the software platform is out of date - the harder it will be to find vendors who can help. In addition, the cost of ownership increases exponentially as support and operation costs go up. And lastly, as the rest of your software is updated, it'll become harder to update and migrate information from old unsupported SharePoint environments.
- Update to a new On-Premise version – The next best option would be to update to a new on-premise version of SharePoint (2013 or 2016). For this I recommend new servers and a new farm, as well as using a migration tool (like ShareGate or DocAve) to migrate your information. You'll be moving to a new supported platform however your ROI and TCO may be difficult to calculate, depending on the platform.
- Move to the Cloud – The third, and my recommended, option is to move your information to a public or private cloud platform. In the ever changing technology landscape that we work in today, cloud technologies as constantly updating and incorporating new functions. Today there are both private (hosted) and public (SharePoint Online or SharePoint Azure Apps) platforms available to support your information.
The key here is that you take action quickly to move away from your legacy environments and begin to define your strategy to utilise new technology in a way the supports your business growth, and not overwhelm it.
Feel free to let me know if you've got concerns with your migration, or whether you're still on the fence about the upgrade.