Q

SharePoint in the cloud doesn't have to be all-or-nothing

Even companies committed to keeping SharePoint on-premises might choose to benefit from some aspects of SharePoint in the cloud, such as better content access for customers and employees.

When does it make sense to deploy both SharePoint on-premises and online?

In certain scenarios, it makes sense to deploy SharePoint in the cloud even when a company already has SharePoint 2013 in-house. The following examples show that companies can gain a few SharePoint Online benefits, such as remote access to company content, without sacrificing the control and capabilities of SharePoint on-premises.

The first involves using SharePoint Online as a transactional platform for employees and executives out in the field. Increasingly, the social aspects of SharePoint and the new integration with Office 365 make it desirable and practical to have SharePoint access while out of the office. Before the advent of SharePoint Online, this was cumbersome at best: An executive wanting access to SharePoint dashboards would require a VPN (and thus a dedicated mobile device) to get in. With SharePoint Online, all that's needed is Internet access.

Another scenario is to use a SharePoint Online deployment just for public-facing sites. If you are selling something to the public and have abundant content in an on-premises SharePoint deployment, it makes sense to create a public-facing deployment in the Azure cloud for the purpose of offering information on your products and services. Toyota has had great success with this strategy. It's possible to set up well-organized, product-oriented content for public consumption using a SharePoint cloud deployment configured just for that purpose.

Next Steps

Get insight on public-facing SharePoint site activity

A guide to SharePoint 2013's mobile and social features

Choosing between SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online

This was first published in July 2014

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