The Pros and Cons of Hosted SharePoint Services
SharePoint is a powerful platform developed by Microsoft that allows organizations to create and manage websites, intranets, and collaboration tools. It offers a wide range of features and functionalities that can enhance productivity and streamline business processes. When it comes to implementing SharePoint, organizations have the option to choose between hosted SharePoint services or on-premise deployment. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of hosted SharePoint services and discuss how SharePoint development agencies can help with SharePoint website and intranet design and development.
What are Hosted SharePoint Services?
Hosted SharePoint services, also known as SharePoint online, are cloud-based solutions provided by Microsoft. With hosted SharePoint services, organizations can access and use SharePoint without the need to manage the infrastructure and servers themselves. Instead, the infrastructure is managed by Microsoft or a third-party provider, allowing organizations to focus on using SharePoint rather than maintaining it.
The Pros of Hosted SharePoint Services
1. Cost Savings
One of the main advantages of hosted SharePoint services is cost savings. With hosted SharePoint services, organizations do not need to invest in expensive hardware, servers, and infrastructure. Instead, they pay a monthly or annual subscription fee based on their usage. This can significantly reduce upfront costs and make SharePoint more affordable for small and medium-sized businesses.
2. Scalability and Flexibility
Hosted SharePoint services offer scalability and flexibility. Organizations can easily scale up or down their SharePoint resources based on their needs. They can add or remove users, storage, and features without the need for additional hardware or infrastructure. This allows organizations to adapt to changing business requirements and ensure that they are only paying for what they need.
3. Accessibility and Collaboration
With hosted SharePoint services, organizations can access SharePoint from anywhere, at any time, using any device with an internet connection. This enables remote and mobile work, allowing employees to collaborate and access important documents and information even when they are not in the office. Hosted SharePoint services also offer built-in collaboration tools, such as document sharing, version control, and real-time co-authoring, which can improve teamwork and productivity.
4. Automatic Updates and Maintenance
Another advantage of hosted SharePoint services is that updates and maintenance are handled by the service provider. Microsoft regularly releases updates and new features for SharePoint online, ensuring that organizations always have access to the latest functionalities and security patches. This eliminates the need for organizations to manually install updates and perform maintenance tasks, saving time and effort.
5. Security and Compliance
Hosted SharePoint services offer robust security and compliance features. Microsoft invests heavily in security measures to protect data stored in SharePoint online. This includes encryption, access controls, threat detection, and data loss prevention. Hosted SharePoint services also comply with industry standards and regulations, such as GDPR and HIPAA, ensuring that organizations can meet their legal and regulatory requirements.
The Cons of Hosted SharePoint Services
1. Limited Customization
One of the drawbacks of hosted SharePoint services is limited customization options. While SharePoint online offers a wide range of out-of-the-box features and templates, organizations may have limited control over the underlying infrastructure and code. This can restrict the ability to customize SharePoint to meet specific business requirements.
2. Dependency on Internet Connection
Hosted SharePoint services require a stable and reliable internet connection. If the internet connection is slow or unreliable, it can affect the performance and accessibility of SharePoint. Organizations need to ensure that they have a robust internet infrastructure in place to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted SharePoint experience.
3. Data Sovereignty and Compliance Concerns
Some organizations may have concerns about data sovereignty and compliance when using hosted SharePoint services. With hosted SharePoint services, data is stored in the cloud, which means it may be subject to the laws and regulations of the country where the data is physically located. Organizations need to ensure that the service provider has appropriate data protection measures in place and complies with relevant data privacy laws.
4. Limited Integration with On-Premise Systems
Organizations that have existing on-premise systems may face challenges when integrating them with hosted SharePoint services. While SharePoint online offers integration capabilities, there may be limitations or compatibility issues with certain on-premise systems. Organizations need to carefully evaluate their integration requirements and ensure that hosted SharePoint services can meet their needs.
5. Reliance on Service Provider
With hosted SharePoint services, organizations rely on the service provider for infrastructure management, updates, and maintenance. If the service provider experiences downtime or service disruptions, it can impact the availability and performance of SharePoint. Organizations need to choose a reliable and reputable service provider to minimize the risk of service interruptions.
How SharePoint Development Agencies Can Help
SharePoint development agencies specialize in SharePoint website and intranet design and development. They have the expertise and experience to create customized SharePoint solutions that meet the unique needs of organizations. SharePoint development agencies can help organizations with:
1. SharePoint Website Development
A SharePoint development agency can design and develop a SharePoint website that showcases the organization’s brand, products, and services. They can create visually appealing and user-friendly websites that are optimized for search engines and mobile devices. SharePoint development agencies can also integrate third-party tools and applications to enhance the functionality of the website.
2. SharePoint Intranet Development
A SharePoint development agency can create a SharePoint intranet that serves as a centralized hub for communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing within the organization. They can design and develop intranet portals, team sites, and document libraries that facilitate seamless collaboration and information management. SharePoint development agencies can also integrate business applications, workflows, and dashboards to streamline business processes.
3. Custom SharePoint Development
SharePoint development agencies can customize SharePoint to meet specific business requirements. They can develop custom web parts, workflows, and applications that extend the functionality of SharePoint. SharePoint development agencies can also integrate SharePoint with other systems and platforms, such as CRM and ERP systems, to create a unified and integrated digital workplace.
4. Outsourcing SharePoint Development
Outsourcing SharePoint development to a specialized agency can offer several benefits. It allows organizations to leverage the expertise and experience of SharePoint professionals without the need to hire and train in-house developers. Outsourcing SharePoint development can also save time and resources, as the agency can quickly and efficiently deliver high-quality SharePoint solutions.
5. Managed SharePoint Services
SharePoint development agencies can provide managed SharePoint services, which include ongoing support, maintenance, and monitoring of SharePoint environments. They can ensure that SharePoint is always up-to-date, secure, and performing optimally. Managed SharePoint services can help organizations maximize their investment in SharePoint and focus on their core business activities.
Hosted SharePoint services offer several advantages, including cost savings, scalability, accessibility, automatic updates, and robust security. However, there are also drawbacks, such as limited customization, dependency on internet connection, and data sovereignty concerns. SharePoint development agencies can help organizations overcome these challenges and maximize the benefits of hosted SharePoint services. They can design and develop SharePoint websites and intranets, customize SharePoint to meet specific business requirements, and provide managed SharePoint services. By partnering with a SharePoint development agency, organizations can harness the power of SharePoint and enhance collaboration, productivity, and efficiency.