So, the latest version of SharePoint has now been Released to Manufacturing, and will be generally available in early May. I have reviewed some of the new features that will be a part of SharePoint 2016, but wanted to discuss something else. Should you actually be interested in this new version of SharePoint? So, I’ve based the answer on a few different types of organizations:
Our Organization has deployed Office 365
For the most part, you have been ahead of the curve as far as features and functionalities as compared to your on-premise counterparts. Almost all of the new features in SharePoint 2016 have been available to SharePoint Online users, and in reality you will continue to have a much richer experience in collaboration for some time to come. It’s good to see the On-premise version come up to speed, but for those of you fully deployed to the Cloud, you can pretty much ignore SharePoint 2016 (unless hybrid actually interests you).
Our Organization has deployed SharePoint 2013 On-Premise, and utilizes a hybrid connection to SharePoint Online.
This type of environment tends to be few and far between, but if you have deployed SharePoint 2013 on-premise, and are leveraging the slightly limited hybrid options to SharePoint Online, it would make sense to think about upgrading to SharePoint 2016 when it has been put through it’s paces (think Service Pack 1). The upgrade path from 2013 to 2016 is very smooth, and the new hybrid options that will be available will provide a nicer user experience for your end users.
Our Organization is currently on SharePoint (2010, 2007, or 2003) on-premise
As each new version of SharePoint is released for On-premise, it becomes that much more difficult to upgrade from these legacy versions. Support is either now end-of life, or will be very soon. Upgrades can range from very simple to very complex endeavors; but the longer between versions an organization waits, the worse it becomes. Start planning an upgrade to 2016 now, and by the time you are ready to pull the trigger, Service Pack 1 should be out, or at least enough Cumulative updates where you can feel confident about running the platform on-premise.
We don’t currently have SharePoint, but want to deploy it
If you are seriously considering deploying SharePoint, I highly recommend understanding it’s capabilities, understanding what your business requirements are, and then performing due diligence to understand the exact type of platform (on-premise, cloud, hybrid) is the right fit for your organization. This can be a very important choice, so always take the time to do things the right way. And, if you need help with that exercise, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and see how Centric Consulting can help you plan your readiness for SharePoint.