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Technology migration is essential to maintain a competitive edge in business. But before taking the plunge, one needs to consider whether the cost of purchasing new licenses and moving existing content to a new platform is actually worth the investment. In the case of SharePoint 2016, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
Designed, developed, and tested with the Microsoft Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) strategy at its core, SharePoint 2016 is essentially an infrastructure that brings together on-premises and cloud technologies. The goal is to improve content management, team collaboration and end-user experience. For those who are still pondering over making the shift, here are the main advantages of upgrading to SharePoint 2016.
Bigger & better
Who doesn’t like the idea of more storage space! With SharePoint 2016, you can now forget the erstwhile 2GB limit and store up to 10GB files on your system. Anything more than that will make your system sluggish.
Another good news is that the speed has improved considerably. The search function works much faster and by using a template, you can now create site collections in a second (provided the PowerShell configuration is set up). And that’s not all, the new version also comes with a touch-friendly interface for phones and tablets.
Patching without stress
The process of patching has historically been painful, courtesy the long downtime it requires. That perhaps explains why many companies keep putting it off. However, the price they pay can be enormous as patches are essential to fix bugs and close up security holes. The ideal thing to do is to apply the patches as soon as they are released.
Once you move to SharePoint 2016, the pain of patching will become a thing of the past. The Zero Downtime Patching feature allows a SharePoint farm to be available during the upgrade process, thanks to the reduced size and number of packages. So, no compromise on security or business continuity now.
Best of both worlds
With SharePoint 2013, you could search across your SharePoint on-premise as well as your SharePoint Online environments through one interface. However, the search results were not integrated. The latest version improves on this to provide a unified search experience for hybrid cloud search. The point to be noted though is that an Office 365 tenant and Office 365 search are required for this to work.
Links that last
It will no longer matter if you change the file name or move the document to another location. Once you send a durable link (the URL to the document) to someone, it’ll always work. Simply put, in the new version of SharePoint, the links are automatically updated to point to a file’s new location, thereby reducing the amount of time wasted in dealing with broken links and searching for content.
Protecting sensitive data
A third-party data loss prevention tool is considered an expensive, yet essential purchase. But thanks to the data loss prevention feature in SharePoint 2016, you can now easily skip that expense. The new version enables you to identify, monitor and protect sensitive data across SharePoint on-premises, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. Given that it is “born from the cloud” and shares code with Office 365, the e-Discovery capabilities across platforms provide a secure storage space for sensitive and compliance-related data.
As you name it
If you are not a fan of lengthy file names or detest not being able to use special characters in document names, fret not. Get aboard SharePoint 2016. With an improved naming system, the file names are a lot simpler for the end-users to comprehend.
You can now easily manage large lists and libraries without worrying about the 5,000 view threshold. SharePoint 2016 automatically creates indexed columns on these lists ensuring that proper mechanisms are in place to efficiently manage content. In other words, the limit is still there (or else the system would slow down considerably), but you don’t have to lose hair over it.
Simpler to migrate
You don’t need to bother downloading the entire DVD to upgrade SharePoint Server to the Release Candidate (RC). You don’t even have to wipe out your beta version to install RC. So, you can save on precious time as well as retain all your customisations and tweaks to your previous SharePoint version.
However, if you are still using SharePoint 2010, do remember that you cannot directly upgrade to SharePoint 2016. You need to first upgrade to the 2013 version. From SharePoint 2013, you can “in place upgrade”, and perform a “database attach” method to migrate to the latest version. It doesn’t get any simpler, does it?
To put it in a nutshell, SharePoint 2016 doesn’t boast of a dramatic makeover, but it’s undoubtedly the most evolved and user-friendly version we have seen till date.
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