Is Hosted SharePoint the Right Choice for Your Business?
SharePoint is a powerful platform that allows businesses to create websites, intranets, and collaboration tools. It offers a range of features and capabilities that can help improve productivity and streamline processes. However, when it comes to choosing between hosted SharePoint and on-premise SharePoint, many businesses are unsure which option is the best fit for their needs. In this article, we will explore the benefits and considerations of hosted SharePoint and help you determine if it is the right choice for your business.
What is Hosted SharePoint?
Hosted SharePoint refers to the deployment of SharePoint on a cloud-based server, rather than hosting it on your own infrastructure. This means that the server and infrastructure required to run SharePoint are managed by a third-party provider, allowing you to focus on using the platform rather than maintaining it.
Benefits of Hosted SharePoint
There are several benefits to choosing hosted SharePoint for your business:
1. Cost Savings
One of the main advantages of hosted SharePoint is the cost savings it can provide. By outsourcing the management and maintenance of the server infrastructure, you can avoid the upfront costs of purchasing and setting up your own hardware. Additionally, you can benefit from economies of scale, as the hosting provider can spread the costs across multiple clients, making it more affordable for individual businesses.
2. Scalability and Flexibility
Hosted SharePoint offers scalability and flexibility, allowing you to easily adjust your resources as your business needs change. Whether you need to add more storage space, increase user licenses, or upgrade to a higher performance server, the hosting provider can accommodate your requirements without the need for significant downtime or disruption.
3. Security and Reliability
When you choose a reputable hosting provider, you can benefit from enhanced security and reliability for your SharePoint environment. These providers have robust security measures in place to protect your data from unauthorized access and ensure that your SharePoint site is always available and accessible to your users.
4. Expert Support
With hosted SharePoint, you can rely on the expertise and support of the hosting provider. They have a team of professionals who are experienced in managing SharePoint environments and can provide assistance with any technical issues or challenges you may encounter. This can save you time and resources, as you don’t need to hire and train your own IT staff to support your SharePoint deployment.
5. Automatic Updates and Maintenance
Another advantage of hosted SharePoint is that the hosting provider takes care of all updates and maintenance tasks. This ensures that your SharePoint environment is always up to date with the latest features and security patches, without requiring any effort on your part. It also eliminates the need for downtime during maintenance activities, as the provider can perform them outside of your business hours.
Considerations for Hosted SharePoint
While hosted SharePoint offers many benefits, there are also some considerations to keep in mind:
1. Internet Connectivity
Since hosted SharePoint is cloud-based, a reliable internet connection is essential for accessing and using the platform. If your business has limited or unreliable internet connectivity, it may impact the performance and accessibility of your SharePoint site. It is important to assess your internet infrastructure and ensure that it can support the requirements of a cloud-based solution.
2. Data Security and Compliance
When choosing a hosting provider for your SharePoint environment, it is crucial to consider their data security measures and compliance certifications. You need to ensure that your data is protected and that the provider meets the necessary regulatory requirements for your industry. Additionally, if your business has specific data privacy or compliance needs, you should discuss them with the hosting provider to ensure they can be met.
3. Customization and Integration
While hosted SharePoint offers a range of out-of-the-box features and functionality, there may be limitations when it comes to customization and integration with other systems. If your business requires extensive customization or integration with third-party applications, it is important to discuss these requirements with the hosting provider to ensure they can be accommodated.
4. Vendor Lock-In
When you choose a hosting provider for your SharePoint environment, you may become dependent on their services and infrastructure. It is important to carefully evaluate the terms and conditions of the hosting agreement to understand the implications of vendor lock-in. You should consider factors such as contract duration, exit clauses, and data migration options to ensure that you have the flexibility to switch providers if needed.
5. Performance and Latency
Since hosted SharePoint relies on internet connectivity, there may be performance and latency issues compared to an on-premise deployment. The speed at which your SharePoint site loads and the responsiveness of the platform may be impacted by factors such as network congestion or distance from the hosting provider’s servers. It is important to consider these factors and assess the potential impact on user experience and productivity.
Hosted SharePoint can be a cost-effective and flexible solution for businesses looking to leverage the power of SharePoint without the burden of managing their own infrastructure. It offers benefits such as cost savings, scalability, security, expert support, and automatic updates. However, it is important to consider factors such as internet connectivity, data security and compliance, customization and integration, vendor lock-in, and performance and latency before making a decision. By carefully evaluating your business needs and requirements, you can determine if hosted SharePoint is the right choice for your business.