How SharePoint Online Replaces Local File Shares and Saves You Money

Do you want to avoid dealing with numerous problems using traditional file-sharing methods? Data redundancy, difficulty accessing data, data isolation, and integrity problems can make it difficult for your organization to manage and share data efficiently. The good news is, replacing local file shares with SharePoint Online saves you from all these problems.

SharePoint Online is a cloud-based application that enables collaboration and information exchange across an organization without needing new hardware or complicated maintenance. It’s part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite and offers features such as document storage, microblogging, and external user collaboration.

The cloud solution offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Simplifying data management
  • Improving collaboration and productivity
  • Enhancing security
  • Saving costs

SharePoint is available in two plans: Plan 1 and Plan 2. Plan 1 can be offered as a standalone product or bundled through various Office 365 licenses, while Plan 2 includes additional features such as advanced compliance tools. With this service, you no longer have to struggle with the challenges of traditional file-sharing methods.

Simplifying data management

How Replacing Local Files Shares with SharePoint Online Saves Money

SharePoint Online is a cost-effective alternative to traditional file-sharing methods that can help organizations save money while improving productivity and data security. Here are various ways the solution can save you money.

Eliminating Hardware and Maintenance Costs

Microsoft handles all server maintenance in the Azure Cloud; hence, server management is unnecessary when using SharePoint Online. This saves you from investing in expensive hardware components, adding significant savings over time.

You can save money on licensing costs since SharePoint Online costs are based on the number of licensed users. The pay option eliminates ancillary costs and direct licenses associated with SharePoint On-Premise. And since SharePoint Online is cloud-based, it doesn’t require a SQL Server database, saving you the costs of maintaining and upgrading storage local infrastructure.

Reducing the Need for IT Support

SharePoint Online is secure, reliable, and easy to use, making it efficient for users to access and share information without needing IT assistance. It has several features that allow it to eliminate the need for IT support, saving you money:

  • Unmanaged device access control: These controls restrict users on unmanaged devices from downloading, printing, or syncing files. This reduces the risk of security breaches and data loss and the need for IT professionals to spend time troubleshooting device-related issues.
  • Responsive design capabilities: With the feature, you don’t need to build multiple versions of site pages to support different devices. As a result, you save time and money you could have used to hire extra IT support to create multiple versions of site pages.
  • Intuitive user interface: The user interface doesn’t require additional training, allowing your employees to learn how to use the platform quickly.

Lowering Storage and Backup Expenses

Replacing local file shares with SharePoint Online cuts redundant, outdated, and trivial (ROT) information, reducing the amount of data you need to store and back up. Removing this ROT data saves on storage costs and reduces backup times, leading to cost savings over time.

The cloud solution also lowers storage and backup expenses by archiving data to store historical data on less expensive storage media, freeing up space on primary storage systems. SharePoint Online provides flexible storage options that allow you to increase storage capacity as needed, eliminating the need to purchase and maintain on-premise storage solutions.

Enabling Remote Work and Reducing Real Estate Costs

SharePoint Online gives employees access to resources and tools to work from anywhere. Therefore, replacing local file shares with the service allows you to operate with fewer physical offices. Eliminating the need for extensive physical workspaces also comes with reduced real estate costs, including rent, utilities, and maintenance costs.

With SharePoint Online, employees can collaborate and communicate effectively, share files and data securely, and stay productive while working from any location. This can also attract and retain top talent by offering flexible work arrangements that improve work-life balance and job satisfaction.

Planning for Successful SharePoint Migration

If you want a successful SharePoint migration, you need to plan for it by:

  1. Assessing existing file shares and data identifies the content you need to migrate. It also provides valuable insights into the current environment, allowing accurate planning and preparation for the migration process.
  2. Identifying user needs and customization allows the preservation of customizations specific to the business needs. It allows you to empower users to understand how the new platform works and how it will improve their productivity.
  3. Developing a migration plan and timeline ensures you take the necessary steps in the correct order. This includes taking inventory of the current environment, gathering input from stakeholders, and determining what content you need to migrate and when.
  4. Communicating with stakeholders and users prioritizes issues, assesses your concerns and requirements, builds confidence with leadership and other key stakeholders, and mitigates risks. Additionally, effective communication between departments is important for a company’s success.

Replacing Local File Shares: Best Practices for SharePoint Migration

When migrating to SharePoint, you should follow these best practices:

  1. Cleaning up data and eliminating redundancies ensures you only migrate relevant, up-to-date content. Data cleansing can also improve employee productivity and efficiency by removing the need for manual corrections.
  2. Standardize file and folder structures to ensure you correctly name artifacts such as sites, lists, columns, and content types. It also confirms that you tag documents with metadata for easy retrieval and have categorized and grouped them according to predefined standards.
  3. Leverage SharePoint features such as metadata and searches to enhance search and navigation, group filter, and sort repositories. The practice also helps map metadata to managed properties for improved search results, personalized search experiences tailored to individual users, and advanced document meta-tagging for easier discovery.
  4. Providing user training and support ensures users understand how to use the new platform, including basic training on lists and libraries, document sharing, and other features.

Replacing Local File Shares: Common Issues and Solutions

When replacing local file shares with SharePoint Online, you’re likely to encounter some challenges, which include:

Resistance to Change from Users and IT

Users may be accustomed to the traditional file-sharing system and may not see the need for a change. On the other hand, IT professionals may be hesitant to switch to a new platform due to concerns about managing a new system. You can overcome the challenge by:

  • Involving users and IT professionals in the migration process from the beginning
  • Educating your employees on the benefits of SharePoint
  • Involving the IT team in the migration process and providing them with the necessary resources to manage the new system

Replacing Local File Shares: Security and Compliance Concerns

Switching to a cloud-based platform may lead to data security and compliance concerns. However, the team helping you with the migration will configure your SharePoint to meet your security and compliance needs. Moreover, SharePoint offers many features that can help you meet regulatory requirements and secure data, such as multi-factor authentication, encryption, and data loss prevention policies.

Technical Issues and Errors

SharePoint is a complex platform, and technical issues may arise during migration. You can overcome this by working with experienced professionals who can help you migrate smoothly. Such a team can help by conducting a pilot test of the migration process to identify any issues and fix them before the full migration.

Ensuring Adoption and Ongoing Maintenance

Once you’ve migrated, you must ensure that your users adopt SharePoint and continue using it. You can ensure this by providing ongoing training and support and regularly updating the platform.

Final Thoughts

Replacing local file shares with SharePoint Online can provide numerous benefits, including cost savings, increased productivity, enhanced security and compliance, and improved collaboration. However, you should also address challenges, such as resistance to change, security and compliance concerns, technical issues, and ensuring adoption and ongoing maintenance.

Despite these challenges, you can migrate successfully by engaging employees early in the process, investing in proper configuration and training, and working with experts to ensure a smooth migration. Therefore, don’t wait any longer to start enjoying the benefits of SharePoint Online. Make the transition today and position your business for success in the future.

If you need help in planning, preparing, or executing a SharePoint online migration, contact us today for a free consultation.

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