Microsoft has officially announced the retirement of SharePoint 2013 from April 11’ 2023. Post the timeline, Microsoft will not provide extended support for SharePoint 2013, and will discontinue security patches, making the version obsolete. This will impact a huge number of SharePoint 2013 users, as the implications of running an unsupported version will cause security issues that can compromise data and performance of the suite.
For businesses who are yet to plan on dealing with the EOL update, now is the time to make a transition to SharePoint 2019 or SharePoint Online. Preparing for an upgrade at this juncture will help you finish the process well before the deadline, ensuring business continuity.
Risks of using unsupported SharePoint 2013
The lack of support for the existing installation is one of the major factors that will create a critical impact in running SharePoint 2013. In the absence of periodic updates and direct support, users will have to rely on third-party vendors-which comes with a definite cost factor and is not highly recommended. Users might face challenges with data integration and extensibility, which will have a substantial impact on the utility of the suite.
Microsoft periodically releases updates and security patches to ensure the security of SharePoint installation. This is based on the current vulnerabilities that are identified and resolved with a security patch. In case of SharePoint 2013, the lack of security patches will make the version unstable and prone to security breaches. It will also have implications on the security and usage of the application.
For supported versions, users can contact support and have the issues resolved within a specific timeframe. But for SharePoint 2013, the lack of support causes delays in resolving issues- affecting business operations. Users might need to explore post-life support options or rely on third-party consultants, leading to high costs and delays.
Adding new features to the retired SharePoint 2013 version can be quite challenging, as there could be compatibility issues with the older version. This has an impact on meeting current business requirements while using the retired version.
The above implications of using SharePoint 2013 post the deadline necessitate an upgrade to SharePoint 2019, or SharePoint Online. Since SharePoint sites are heavily customized, upgrading it will be a daunting task, sometimes spread across several weeks to months.
Options for SharePoint Upgrade
Upgrade to SharePoint 2019
SharePoint 2019 has a vast set of features that enable businesses to simplify their operational workflows with easy development options. It’s the best choice for upgrading from the 2013 version and comes with a modern UX. SharePoint 2019 facilitates the creation of personal sites, team, and communication sites with a wide range of templates that can be configured for specific requirements.
SharePoint Server 2019 can be used on-prem, or with an Office 365 subscription. It includes enhanced search options and integration with PowerApps, Power BI, and Power Automate. The key features of SharePoint Server 2019 are outlined below.
- Facilitates sending of E-Mails directly from Apps
- Easy building of Team and Communication sites, which can be rapidly created and deployed, apart from being responsive.
- Increased storage space with modern lists and libraries
- Built-in collection of site templates for rapidly building sites
- Easy movement of documents within different locations using “Move to “or “Copy to” options
- Modern lists that allow conditional formatting for easily accessing status information
- Unified access for all the sites within a single dashboard-the SharePoint home page
- SharePoint 2019 works with OneDrive as a Next Generation Sync Client (NGSC)
- Includes Hybrid App launcher that facilitates easy usage between on-prem and cloud versions in a hybrid model
- Allows usage of Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI, even in the on-prem deployment model
After the upgrade to SharePoint 2019, users can choose to be on SP 2019 edition or upgrade further to the latest version- SharePoint Server Subscription Edition. This edition gives you the below-outlined benefits.
- Enhanced Authentication and Identity Management with OpenID Connect 1.0 and People Picker.
- Easy upgrade and deployment from earlier versions with support for Windows Server 2022
- Enhanced Health and Monitoring features with Health Analyzer
- Hybrid Search functionality with a modern results page that includes thumbnails
- Improved integration with Power Apps and Power Automate
- Improved storage and security
- Extended features for easy generation of Sites, Lists, and Libraries
SharePoint Online is a collection of cloud and web-based technologies that enable easy storage, sharing, and managing of information. It can connect to external users such as customers and vendors, giving a comprehensive advantage in easy communication and collaboration.
It’s a perfect choice for upgrading from SharePoint 2013 to a cloud-based deployment model. SharePoint online does away with the hassles of on-prem deployments, such as storage costs and high subscription charges. Users get the advantage of having regular data backups and software patches as a part of the solution. The key features of SharePoint Online are outlined below.
- Support creation of Document libraries for real-time collaboration with task lists, team sites, and calendars.
- Easy integration with Microsoft 365 Apps such as Teams
- Facilitates easy creation of Intranet sites for enterprise requirements
- Advanced security features for safeguarding confidential information
- Mobile-friendly, can be accessed anytime and anywhere
- Easy Management of external users
- Scalability for future requirements
- Moving from a CapEx to an OpEx model, with flexible pricing
- Compliant with regulatory norms such as HIPAA, FISMA, ISO 27001, amongst others
The above-outlined options are a perfect way to address the implications of SharePoint 2013 going EOL. SharePoint gives flexibility in choosing an on-prem or cloud-based deployment model and has enhanced features that are secure and scalable. For businesses running on SharePoint 2013, now is the time to strategize an upgrade exercise and execute it before the deadline ends.