The Cloud Should Not Kill On-Premises SharePoint

Duane OdumOver the past year or so, there was a lot of talk about SharePoint being a “dying platform” based on the fact that Microsoft was really pushing cloud-first and mobile strategies.

After reading Benjamin Niaulin’s blog post in response to Julia White’s blog post on the release of SharePoint Server 2016 I have to say that I concur with many of his statements.  Noting that Office 365 is about experiences – what works for you and what is easy to use – is probably the most valid and accurate portion of Benjamin’s blog post in my experience.

The most successful implementations of SharePoint that I have been around keep things easy to use and are very focused on the user experience.

His thoughts on the upgrades and new features available in SharePoint 2016 On-Premises echo those of many in the SharePoint community.  Ultimately we don’t expect to see a huge paradigm shift like we did with the App Model, Workflow Manager and Claims Based Authentication in SharePoint 2013.  Instead we are more likely to see some of the features that have been released in Office 365 available in SharePoint 2016 On-Premises and more advanced hybrid scenarios supported.

Really, this is all conjecture at this point as everyone is eagerly awaiting the Ignite event in May. But where there is smoke, there is generally fire and Ignite will probably turn that fire into a blaze.

I follow Benjamin’s thoughts pretty closely and tend to agree with him in most instances, but the one thing that I noticed on his post was that he indicates:

If I worked at Microsoft, and this is only my personal opinion, this would also be the last version of On-Premises SharePoint I would release. Hold On! Instead, I’d continue to work with the On-Premises version by releasing Add-Ons or “Content Packs” that would make SharePoint 2016 a continuing effort to bridge Office 365 with our own servers.

I am not sure that I agree with

that statement. Too many large clients have invested in SharePoint On-Premises and some of the customizations/extensions of SharePoint provide critical line of business support and the clients expect to be presented with the same level of support and attention as those in Office 365. To not give proper notice of a final release of SharePoint On-Premises or have a plan to assist those large clients in making the customizations/extension of SharePoint work in Office 365 would be an unwise decision on Microsoft’s part.

However, we have yet to see what the potential hybrid support improvements are and those could be an omen for SharePoint On-Premises in the years to come.


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