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The end of the road for SharePoint and your website

Microsoft’s SharePoint product was one of the most broadly adopted web content management solutions in its heyday. Naturally, many brands and organizations deployed their websites using readily available licenses from their Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement. But, in 2015, Microsoft announced that it would no longer include public facing web sites as a supported use case, and deprecated that functionality starting in SharePoint 2016.

While Microsoft continues to invest in SharePoint, it does so only as an internal collaboration portal and document management solution. Surprisingly, many organizations have continued to leverage SharePoint for their websites, even though mainstream support has ended. Up to this point, it’s been acceptable to them to only receive security updates. However, now Microsoft has announced that all support will be coming to an end on October 13, 2020. This end of the road for SharePoint 2010 will introduce a high degree of risk for any organization that is still using it to power their websites.

As a brand using SharePoint 2010, what are your options, and what should you do?  

Over the past 10 years, web content management (WCM) solutions have matured significantly. Some solutions have grown monstrously complex and expensive. Most organizations still using SharePoint will tend to have lower complexity needs and might find many CMS solutions overkill. 

Upgrades: Another consideration will be the complexity of having to upgrade to new versions of software. Brands still using SharePoint 2010 haven’t had to deal with upgrade pains for a decade and should be careful not to buy into a technology that will continue to require that of them every year. One of the best approaches to avoid the hassles and cost that come from upgrades is to utilize a modern Software as a Service (SaaS) solution like Crownpeak. Much like SharePoint’s online edition never requires you to update the software, neither does a SaaS WCM solution.

Migration speed: Another consideration is the speed and complexity to make a transition. With less than six months before SharePoint’s End of Life (EOL), time is of the essence. It’s important to look at what migrations cost alongside the timeframe you can achieve from various vendors. SaaS vendors like Crownpeak can have customers up and running in fewer than three months, and as fast as five days. In contrast, it’s not unusual for an organization using a large WCM platform to take 9-18 months to launch their first website. Crownpeak has helped brands with the migration of tens of thousands of webpages across 70+ languages in under two months. Yes, it can be that fast.  

Multichannel support: In the last decade, mobile devices and their usage have also exploded. SharePoint’s lack of support for multiple devices across multiple languages has always been a weakness. It will be more important than ever to choose a platform that will support unlimited types of output and formats, and ensure you are future proof for what comes next, whether it’s chat bots, augmented reality, or something yet to be invented. Make sure the solution you choose supports all sorts of device types and can even support headless use cases in case you need it in the future. 

Cost of ownership

The last consideration you should contemplate is the cost of ownership. Modern content management systems have many hidden costs that only show up down the road. Beyond the costs of having to constantly update software, the cost of developers and ongoing platform upkeep can also be a real gotcha. Certain content management solutions carry with them very expensive development talent, and the need for many of them to support the solution on an ongoing basis. In contrast, SaaS solutions like Crownpeak offer “no code” or “low code” options that drastically reduce the cost and complexity of ongoing upkeep and management of your websites. This aligns more closely to what brands exiting the SharePoint world are used to and are a better match. 

The ending of SharePoint 2010’s support is a looming threat to many organizations out there. While this can be disruptive, there are better and less complex solutions in market that you can migrate to within your timeframe needs, while giving you better tools to manage your public-facing web properties. 

Move faster than ever before

Crownpeak can help smooth an organization’s transition from SharePoint to a true SaaS solution in record time. Learn more about SaaS CMS benefits or schedule a call with our migration experts to see how moving to a modern WCM can help your team move faster than ever before.