Once computers started showing up on company desks, there became a need to connect them all and have a central place for file storage and management. This is why many companies began using local on-site servers.
Servers enable information sharing in a local area network and make it easier to keep one central place for files and backups that each device can access. On-premises servers configured for multiple device connections have been a standard in offices for years, but now with the advent of cloud-based solutions, it may be time to migrate to a more accessible and full-featured option.
90% of companies use at least one cloud solution in their workflows, and the largest cloud platform by user count of Office 365. Along with an Office 365 Business Premium subscription comes an application that can offer a virtual alternative to an on-premises server – SharePoint.
SharePoint Online offers several features that can streamline file sharing and storage and improve the security of server stored files. The platform is also designed for team collaboration along with the rest of Office 365.
Some key features of SharePoint include:
- File storage and ability to use version control
- Share files externally
- Advanced records management, including use of libraries and lists
- Enables team sites in which content and news can easily be shared inside and outside your organization
- Can be integrated with other programs and used to automate workflows
- Makes stored documents easy to search
- Offers advanced security and data-loss prevention (DLP)
Benefits of Replacing Your On-site Server with SharePoint
Three key drivers of the move to cloud applications from static software are the ability to access data from any location, the mobile-friendly nature of cloud apps, and the security that cloud computing offers.
For example, many companies ensure they’re using cloud backup solutions that are off site so their business data is protected in case of a natural disaster or fire at their physical location. The use of the cloud has become a vital part of business continuity planning.
Here are some of the advantages of migrating from a physical server to SharePoint.
Find Your Data More Easily
When you’re working with your own server, finding data generally means having to navigate a file tree to access what you need. This can be time consuming, especially if you have files from multiple computers backed up on your server.
SharePoint makes it easy to search your data using keywords, filters, metadata tags and more, which makes it much easier to access what you need when you need it.
Advanced File Control
It’s important to know how your data is being used and not all on-premises servers have robust file controls that allow you to use metadata and other tags to control how files can be accessed.
SharePoint gives you complete control of your files, allowing you to set “do not share” or “do not copy” security policies on files based upon how they’re tagged or particular keywords used within them. This is a feature that can significantly enhance your data security.
The SharePoint interface is designed to be easy with a drag-and-drop UI and administration panel that doesn’t have a steep learning curve. This reduces the time it takes to administer file storage and sharing activities.
Accessible from Anywhere
If you’re on the road or working at home, it’s simple to access any of your organization’s shared data with SharePoint. You can use a computer or mobile device and you’re able to access the most recent copy of a file anytime.
Easy to Scale
One of the problems with purchasing an on-site server is that once it’s filled up with data, you either have to delete records you may have wanted to retain or go through the cost of purchasing a new server.
With a cloud-based system like SharePoint Online, you can easily add storage capacity anytime for much less cost than having to purchase a physical server.
SharePoint is designed to work natively with Office 365 programs, so there’s nothing additional to you need to install for files between Office applications to automatically be stored on SharePoint.
It’s also designed to enable automations that can reduce your office workload, such as a form that automatically populates a SharePoint list. For example, if you had an online sign up form for a new webinar designed to create a SharePoint list of the attendees and their information when it’s submitted, that list can then be used to auto-generate webinar information emails.
The ability to automate multiple processes is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of using SharePoint over an on-site server.
File Version Control
If you have two people that want to work on a file at the same time without knowing the other is updating it, you can end up with missing data and rework that has to be done.
SharePoint has versioning control that not only ensures two people aren’t unknowingly working on the same file at the same time, but that allows you to quickly retrieve an earlier version if you’ve edited the wrong file.
Have You Been Wanting to Migrate to the Cloud?
Many business owners want to migrate their server to the cloud but aren’t quite sure where to start. C Solutions offers expert server technical support and we can guide you through a successful migration with zero to minimal downtime.
Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your server options at 407-536-8381 or through our contact form.