Which is best for your business? SharePoint vs Server
A question that we often get asked is “Which is better for us, SharePoint or a physical server”? The answer of course is, “It depends”. It depends on your own situation, what you intend to do with either option. A physical server will require the infrastructure to be in place. It will also require the correct software and licenses. And it naturally will need to be maintained and updated manually as you use it. Security may also become an issue with a physical server, both cyber and physical. There are also limitations on a physical server such as storage and performance capability – both of which can be upgraded, however, will lead to some element of downtime.
SharePoint server is based in the cloud. There are no infrastructure requirements, and the software is updated and maintained for you. Being cloud based, SharePoint has any-time, any-device access capability and comes with enterprise grade security right out of the box.
So, what are the main features and benefits to using SharePoint vs Server?
- Access anywhere any time. With SharePoint anytime cloud access, as long as you have an available internet connection, you will be able to connect and collaborate.
- Cloud based, no hardware maintenance. Traditional onsite physical servers require upfront capital costs in order to purchase the equipment. This will then need to be maintained. Additionally, with a traditional onsite server, you may have the additional costs of repairs and upgrades.
- Flexibility of SharePoint – can be used as an intranet, document repository and task management.
- Security – Permissions can be at site, folder, or document level. SharePoint comes with enterprise security as standard.
- Usage – In use documents can be “checked out” to show other users that you are working on a copy. Helps to prevent multiple copies of the same document, all with different information in them.
- Centralised admin – performing backups, updates, security changes, permission access can all be done in one central location.
- Easy customisation. Changing the look and feel of the site. The templates, colours, and layouts are all pretty straightforward to do.
- Powerful search options to find and manipulate your data.
- Customisation layouts to show varying view for apps and documents.
- Document Management is at the heart of a SharePoint site. Users will have a structure to easily know where documents are kept, how they are filed and accessed.
- File versioning – Allows you to retrieve previous versions of files quickly and easily. Great for recovering errors or mis-saved versions of a document.
- Sharing and Team Collaboration. Sharing files is an essential part of SharePoint.
- Sensitive data can be stored securely with central security, auditing capabilities and adheres to compliance standards.
- OneDrive – seamless incorporation with OneDrive for not only added security but also as a file backup and additional file repository of data.
- Microsoft Teams integration for even greater team collaboration.
- Microsoft Flow integration, together with other power apps for additional productivity benefits.
- Massive cost savings in terms of hardware (you do not need a physical server to run it). It is also free with Office 365 Business.
- Multiple ways to access the data securely – Direct link, HTTPS, Mapped Network Drive straight from your desktop.
- Mobile friendly– Smart phones can access the data easily for even greater collaboration.
In conclusion, SharePoint may well be a more practical option for your business, especially if you need a well-managed, document storage solution. Of course, if you require a system that allows you to run application software such as sage, then a physical server will be better for you. However, with the majority of software solutions now cloud based, using SharePoint to manage and maintain your everyday files may well be the best route.
SharePoint is often utilised as a project or departmental document storage area. Larger companies with a high number of users often use SharePoint to departmentalise specific documents and data to share with individual team members, having multiple SharePoint subsites or pages under one main SharePoint Site is a great way to take advantage of the flexibility SharePoint.
If you are interested in finding out more about how SharePoint might benefit your business. Please get in touch for a completely free conversation regarding its capabilities and how it may suit. firstname.lastname@example.org or call us: 01795 430 030