How to prepare for SharePoint 2013 End of Life (April 2023)
SharePoint 2013 End of Life date is 11 April 2023.
What are your options?
In just over 4 months, Microsoft will end its extended support for SharePoint 2013. If your organisation is still running on SharePoint 2013 you can choose to:
1. Migrate to SharePoint Online
2. Upgrade to SharePoint 2016 or 2019
3. Do nothing
It’s critical for organisations to prioritise this decision right now, particularly organisations with complex information architectures, heavy customisation or those that will require a mass migration. Depending on various factors, it can take months to migrate to a new environment.
What are the risks of doing nothing?
You can choose to continue to use SharePoint 2013, but we wouldn’t advise you to do so as it comes with several risks. These are not just related to SharePoint 2013, but the operating systems and SQL Server instances that underpin your SharePoint farm will also be approaching end-of-life, if not already:
1. We don’t want to restate the obvious, but if anything goes wrong, there won’t be any technical support available to help. Even if you have support contracts running with professional services providers, their hands will be tied.
2. You could be facing several reliability and failure risks due to an outdated platform. Because of the withdrawal of upgrades/updates, some functionality will become less reliable and more prone to failure. This can put your organisation in risk of potential downtime and business disruption with no way of getting essential support. In some cases, there might not even be a way anymore to fix the functionality.
3. If you decide to neither upgrade nor migrate to the cloud, your organisation can be exposed to security risks. Microsoft is fighting hard to keep up with the exponentially increasing number of cyber criminals and modern hacking techniques. Microsoft’s security tactics (security patches) will not be applied anymore, making your organisation much more susceptible to security breaches. This takes us back to the first risk, if a breach does occur, there won’t be any assistance to help you deal with it.
Upgrade to SharePoint 2016, 2019 or Subscription Edition
You can opt to migrate to SharePoint 2016 or 2019, however these also have an expiration date so if you were to migrate now, you would inevitably have to migrate again in the future. At the moment the clock is already running out on SharePoint Server 2016, which mainstream support ended in July 2021. However, Microsoft has extended the service for another five years. The extended end date is July 14, 2026, for both SharePoint 2016 and 2019.
The latest version of SharePoint Server, Subscription Edition will provide the latest functionality for on-premises deployments, with Microsoft set to release bi-annual updates. Whilst there isn’t a direct migration path from SharePoint 2013, this approach would be the best option if you have a requirement to remain on-prem.
However, as an organisation you need to be looking at the potential long-term problems of an upgrade. Continuing to use on-premises systems could potentially result in poor user experiences, and negative effects on productivity, efficiency, agility and integration with other cloud services.
Additionally, today’s employee, especially the one interested in hybrid working environments is looking for a certain level of flexibility. On-premises systems don’t as easily allow people to work from anywhere, nor access their files at any time with enhanced security. If you want your organisation to stay competitive in terms of attracting and keeping top-tier people (particularly in the technology space) you will need to step up your game by migrating to SharePoint Online or Microsoft Teams.
Migrate to SharePoint Online – what are the benefits?
I hope at this point we managed to convince you not to keep running on a retired product. In fact, the SharePoint 2013 end-of-support date presents a fantastic opportunity to look at SharePoint Online or Microsoft Teams and migrate to the cloud to maximise your Microsoft 365 investment and make the most of the various functionality.
SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams are collaborative working environments within Microsoft 365. Being able to work in the cloud will allow people to work from anywhere and on any device which will in turn increase reliability and productivity and optimise time and security. You can automate your processes and optimise them whilst being in a scalable environment.
Especially with the challenges of today’s climate, you can give people the flexibility to work from home without losing collaboration. With SharePoint Online, people can work together on documents, store them, and share them securely with each other internally and externally. It’s a flexible solution that can be your stepping stone into a complete Modern Workplace.
To sum up, here are the benefits of SharePoint Online:
Optimise collaboration and communication
Secure environment that makes it easy to share information both internally and externally
Increased level of search to make finding the right information as easy as can be
Visually appealing and dynamic communication pages
A portal that will match your brand identity to keep everyone up to date
A simple architecture will help staff to easily structure and navigate between sites
What can you already do today?
Talk to us, no strings attached. Help us understand your requirements and aspirations. Based on your existing environment we can set up a plan for your migration. A migration is rarely just a lift and shift, it requires planning, communication and appropriate tools. Intelogy has a longstanding record of delivering successful yet complex migrations.