Microsoft SharePoint Online vs On-premises : Which One is Right for Your Organization?

Microsoft SharePoint currently has two environments. SharePoint Server 2019 is the company’s on-premises solution, while SharePoint Online is its cloud solution.

These two products help companies boost productivity, promote collaboration, and facilitate data sharing.

Every company has unique needs, requirements, and IT infrastructure. Prior to making a decision on a SharePoint Online vs. On-Premises solution, you should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each.

SharePoint Online vs. On-Premises Comparison

An important factor to consider in any on-premises vs. cloud-based discussion is the impact on internal resources. On-premise integration requires internal IT support, including people, equipment, and software, or Managed Service Providers (MSPs). However, cloud-based solutions don’t require any internal resources and provide more global redundancies and fail-overs.

SharePoint On-Premises SharePoint Online
Purchase of dedicated hardware is needed.
No need to purchase dedicated server or hardware. It involves Microsoft Cloud data center's.
Information is stored on local network
Information is stored on cloud
The SharePoint server farm is located within the corporate network.
SharePoint sites are located in the Microsoft Data Centre (MDC).
Microsoft patches and updates are applied regularly by the IT Support team to the SharePoint farm.
Patches are regularly applied by Microsoft
Unlimited Customizations
Limited Customizations
Complete control over all SharePoint features.
Based on Microsoft's built-in redundancy. No control over servers.
The owner/IT team has to create, test and manage backups of the dedicated data centre.
Backups generated by Microsoft

Factors to consider while choosing SharePoint Version for your Organization

1. Migration

As long as your organization already uses a legacy version of SharePoint, migrating content to a server-based SharePoint environment should be relatively straightforward. However, you may want to do some spring cleaning since your current environment may have redundant, outdated, or trivial data. Migrating on-premises SharePoint content to SharePoint Online, on the other hand, often requires more preparation. Migration from SharePoint 2010 requires you to first create a separate 2013 farm for your on-premises environment before copying content and services to SharePoint Online.

2. The Cost

SharePoint requires maintenance, which can be costly. SharePoint On-Premises environments are composed of multiple SharePoint servers, all of which require licensing.

In addition, the cost of the servers themselves will impact the overall cost of maintaining an on-premises environment.

SharePoint Online deployments are unique because, since the solution is hosted on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud, the number of SharePoint servers required to support a solution deployment has no impact on implementation costs.

SharePoint On line’s cost as an Office 365 application is determined by a flat rate license where the subscription is calculated per user. This licensing model enables organizations to leverage Microsoft’s own virtual world-class SharePoint farm without regard for the number of servers or SharePoint licenses used.

3. Data Storage

Your choice is determined by the amount of data you wish to store. In theory, on-premise deployments can support an infinite amount of SharePoint data. All you have to do is purchase and then provision the appropriate hardware category (at an additional cost). SharePoint Cloud subscriptions do not come with unlimited data storage. Microsoft, on the other hand, has set the limit at 10 GB plus 500 MB per subscriber user. In addition, there is a maximum quota per subscription. Almost all SharePoint Online subscriptions have a 25 GB limit. The small business (P) subscription, which has a limit of 35 GB, is an exception.

4. Maintenance and Updates

When it comes to maintenance and updates, SharePoint Online provides a considerable amount of convenience and ease-of-use. The cloud platform is maintained by Microsoft, while updates and patches are automatically installed without your IT or admin teams ever having to worry about them. Matters are more complicated if you’re hosting the application on-premise. First of all, your IT team will need to make sure the server hardware is always in good working order to maximize operational speed and minimize downtime.

When it comes to updates and patches, Microsoft is constantly working to reduce the amount of downtime required to install them. However, before each update, it is necessary to document the environment, manage the various customizations, develop an update strategy, prepare the farm items, test the update, and finally implement it. While this latest version of SharePoint On-Premise is likely to have fewer updates than the 2016 version, ensuring they are installed correctly and on time will undoubtedly necessitate significant input and effort from your IT team.

If you host the application on-premises, things become more complicated. To begin, your IT team must ensure that the server hardware is always in good working order in order to maximize operational speed and minimize downtime. When it comes to updates and patches, Microsoft is constantly working to reduce the amount of downtime required to install them. However, before each update, it is necessary to document the environment, manage the various customizations, develop an update strategy, prepare the farm items, test the update, and finally implement it. While this latest version of SharePoint On-Premise is likely to have fewer updates than the 2016 version, ensuring they are installed correctly and on time will undoubtedly necessitate significant input and effort from your IT team.

5. Availability

With Office 365 online SharePoint, SLA availability stands at 99.9%. It is almost impossible to experience downtime. SharePoint on-premises, however, depends on your internal team and capabilities.

6. Speed

With SharePoint on-premises, performance is dependent upon your local infrastructure, but with SharePoint online, it is dependent upon a worldwide network of data centers providing low latency and high bandwidth.

Increasing your user base in SharePoint on-premises will require additional servers, which will cost you additional hardware, software, or licenses, but you can just set up licenses for those other users in SharePoint Online.

The advantage of SharePoint on-premises is that server-side SharePoint code can be run, which cannot be run using SharePoint Online. Additionally, you can also use the active directory contained in your organization’s directory to authenticate.

These are just a few considerations that organizations need to consider when looking at SharePoint On-Premises vs. SharePoint Online. 

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