Is SharePoint 2016 Worth the Upgrade? [Guest Post]
As with every new year, we’re asked to consider if the software and hardware we’re using is out of date or will be able to do just fine despite the calendar change. As always, you have to balance out the cost of upgrading both in money and in time as you transition to new user interfaces, features, layouts etc. versus the cost of using potentially outmoded technology. Lucky for us, data security upgrades make the question ‘is SharePoint 2016 worth it?’ an easy one to answer.
With today’s emphasis on data in all facets of business from advertising to product design to team collaboration and organization, keeping that data safe is of the utmost importance. Nothing can shut down your business faster than a bad breach.
While SharePoint 2016 offers a tonne of features both new and updated, one of the biggest upgrades is on the security side of things.
Working remotely and safely in the cloud and onsite are just some of the benefits that SharePoint 2016 offers its users. Whether you’re one of the 75,000 customers or 160 million non-paying users, SharePoint 2016 is a great tool to help keep your business running in top form.
SharePoint Keeps Data Safe across Multiple Platforms
The thing about SharePoint that many users love is the cross-compatibility with the other Office 365 products. Whether it’s the new cloud-based digital workspace Teams or the data storage OneDrive, SharePoint 2016 has a great many tools at its disposal to help your business run smoothly.
The update to 2016 is that all these features work together seamlessly and are all protected by an updated security system. Some of the security options available to users of the service include encryption, authentication via Active Directory, compliance with multiple standards including HIPPA, ISO27001, EU Model Clauses, and Grade B accessibility.
Un-managed Devices Just Got More Secure
The unveiling of the new Azure Active Directory showed users how the feature will not only promote mobile productivity but do so while keeping your private data hidden and safe.
SharePoint 2016 implements these new security options by allowing administrators to grant a new limited access option to users who access SharePoint from devices they don’t manage.
They can then choose the level of restrictions on the user, depending on how much they trust the person and their un-managed network. All this fine-tuning grants SharePoint 2016 users the flexibility to collaborate more fluidly while keeping their sensitive data tucked away from prying eyes.
With people increasingly working remotely or from their own personal smartphones and other devices, features like this are critical to keeping your data in the right hands. After all, you know you can trust your employees, but if their device is compromised for whatever reason, the restrictions could be a life saver and keep your information from being disclosed to the wrong people.
Another new feature is the Tenant Restrictions added to Azure AD. This allows businesses to have more authority over the software-as-a-service applications their employees access.
For instance, you could use the feature to prevent users from logging into unsanctioned profiles and accounts on Office 365. Such a move could prevent an unwelcome visitor from getting into your files and cause a data leak.
And SharePoint 2016 isn’t done there. Microsoft has announced a collaboration with identity governance specialist SailPoint that strengthens security in highly regulated industries such as healthcare.
This includes another bevy of new improvements for businesses operating in these sectors, where data takes on an even more critically important (and confidential) role.
Building on those solid administrative safeguards, we have the SharePoint Admin Center. A new option within the Office 365 Admin Center Portal, this will help you manage all those restrictions, limitations and allowances you grant to the various users of your SharePoint platform. Again, designed to make authentication absolutely necessary for every user and every device, this allows you maximum flexibility while mitigating risk.
Is SharePoint 2016 Worth It?
Having highlighted only a few of the new features that SharePoint 2016 offers hardly does the new and improved platform justice.
There are so many additions and developments that really put SharePoint on another level when it comes to security.
Encryption as always remains one of the best ways to thwart data attacks and as such received a good bit of attention in the transition to SharePoint 2016. Now encryption is supported by default, doing away with any need for the user to futz around with that security aspect.
The ability to preview images and videos can also help avoid opening unwanted material within the platform, again another contingency that is sure to safeguard your data.
Compliance features also help to keep your SharePoint running smoothly and free from attacks and unwanted visitors.
The Bottom Line: Stay Safe
There isn’t always a reason to upgrade to the latest iteration of a new device, software, program, etc. Sometimes, the new offering isn’t really all that different from the old one. Other times, it’s inferior. And then there’s the question that even if it is better, is it that much better that it’s worth upgrading?
In the case of SharePoint 2016, the robust offering of new security features makes it one of the best online organizational tools around. With an emphasis on data safety, SharePoint allows you to access its suite of features that increase teamwork cohesion without having to worry about the potential breaches that may happen the more you jump around on the internet.
Ultimately, keeping your information safe should be the utmost priority for your business. After all, if knowledge is power, then not protecting that power is a good way to lose it.
The security features that SharePoint 2016 has introduced and improved upon go a long way to guaranteeing that your business can operate safely and threat-free so long as the full apparatus of the program is running well.
With all that said, there’s no better time to run out and grab SharePoint 2016 than today.
Brooke loves surfing through social media, so she made it a full-time job and works as a social media manager at Entrance Software Consulting. And loves all things Tech. When not working, she eats and sleeps, in that order.