Upgrading a system or software can be on the cards for many different reasons. Commonly, the need to move to a newer version of an application includes:
• Making your life/job easier!
• Cost saving (e.g. moving to the Cloud)
• Improving security and governance
• Increasing user adoption
• The old system may no longer be supported
• Reducing reliance on legacy systems
• Introducing more efficiency and automation
• Ensuring your system is mobile-friendly
• Adopting a system that better fosters collaboration, workflow and more robust processes
Since it was first introduced in 2001, SharePoint is a platform which has continually evolved – both by the user community (which drives true innovation), by Microsoft Partners (developing, configuring and building on it) and by Microsoft itself (forging the roadmap and releases of SharePoint) Some organisations may have adopted SharePoint right at the beginning and gone through several versions since – however, commonly we see companies using SharePoint 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 as the foundations for various business processes.
The below are the major improvements in SharePoint 2016:
Improved User Experience
The user interface has been vastly improved. Hybrid users will see almost direct parity in the UI experience of SharePoint 2016 through Office 365 with SharePoint Online, reducing user friction and adoption problems in hybrid environments. On-premises-only customers will see an improved document library experience and many other UI improvements. The biggest boon is content parity and the user experiences across screens of all sizes, including mobile devices!
Improved governance and control
Security in SharePoint and Office 365 has always been a priority and more than reliable, however the latest SharePoint Server installment delivers more control. Tighter compliance, authorisation and auditing are more centralised in SharePoint 2016.
Your sensitive data can be centrally managed and controlled and Hybrid customers can utilise a new set of features that provides insight into analytics streams for both compliance and usage reporting purposes. This allows you to have the ability to understand who is accessing what, from where, and when.
No loss of functionality or ability to use other (older) applications
Unlike previous versions of SharePoint, there are no user-facing tools removed. InfoPath still functions as it did previously, and you can use InfoPath 2013 as your client application. Additionally, SharePoint Designer 2013 can still create workflows in the style of either SharePoint 2013 or SharePoint 2010. Finally, with Office Online Server, you can find what you need and more with Excel and other Office programs!
Upgrading to 2016 from 2013?
Upgrading to SharePoint 2016 from 2013 is a very simple process. You’ll have access to lots of new functionality without having to do a huge amount of work. All you need to do is create your new SharePoint 2016 farm, copy the databases from your old system to the new farm, apply all of the necessary upgrades required and that’s pretty much it.
Did you know?
If you have an ‘Out of the box’ implementation (i.e. no customisation) then to upgrade you must be on the previous version to be able to upgrade to the new one. i.e. you can upgrade from SP2013 to 2016, but you cannot upgrade directly from 2010 to 2016. (However, if you’re going to use SharePoint Online, then it doesn’t matter which version you’re on).
So, if you’re thinking of upgrading to SharePoint 2016 hopefully our tips have helped you to go ahead. If you’d rather explore some other upgrade options, you can download our handy guide here which helps you put together a stellar business case for upgrading SharePoint.