SharePoint 2010 will reach end of life (EOL) on October 13, 2020. As Microsoft prepares to sunset the collaboration platform, users need to know what steps to take before extended support is no longer available. If your organization is still using SharePoint 2010, keep reading to learn everything you need to know before the shutdown.

The good and bad news about the SharePoint 2010 EOL

If you’re bracing for an apocalyptic end to SharePoint 2010, don’t worry; the platform won’t stop working right at midnight on October 13, 2020. The end of extended support means that Microsoft will no longer issue security patches or bug fixes nor will they offer support for operating systems.

Unfortunately, that means that a critical vulnerability could be disastrous. Microsoft is warning SharePoint 2010 users about increased costs to protect the legacy system, mitigate risks, avoid penalties for non-compliance and maintain old software and hardware.

What are the options?

Microsoft is offering two solutions for customers looking to avoid catastrophe: on-premise and the cloud.

On-prem solution

On the surface, migrating from SharePoint 2010 seems straightforward enough, with the solution being to migrate to a new version of SharePoint, either 2016 or 2019. That said, it’s a multi-phased upgrade that often poses more risks than rewards.

In order to upgrade to SharePoint 2016 or 2019, the organization would first have to upgrade to SharePoint 2013. Only then could the organization upgrade to 2016, then 2019, if it wishes.

Each migration opens the organization up to human error and data loss, not including extensive manual labor and end-user training. If that doesn’t seem daunting enough, neither SharePoint 2016 nor 2019 can run on the same hardware that SharePoint 2010 uses. A new server is required, and those servers already have EOL dates:

  • SharePoint 2013: April 11, 2023
  • SharePoint 2016: July 14, 2026
  • SharePoint 2019: TBA

Organizations who are considering staying on-prem need to understand that, as technology evolves, on-prem legacy systems will decline and present more and more problems, including but not limited to:

  • A lack of agility
  • Incompatibility issues
  • Greater instability
  • Lower performance and higher consumption of resources
  • Big investment with hidden costs

Companies are moving to the cloud because it’s more secure, agile, efficient and scalable. And on-prem systems are a dying breed that come with exorbitant costs and aren’t as safe or user-friendly as cloud-based options.

The cloud solution

Microsoft understands that legacy systems are a dying technology, leading the company to recommend that customers migrate to either cloud-based SharePoint Online or a hybrid of SharePoint servers and SharePoint Online. Though Microsoft offers a content migration tool to assist organizations with their transition to the cloud, it’s not perfect.

One reason is that SharePoint Online isn’t cheap. There are high costs associated with the platform’s implementation, licenses, optimization and maintenance. Second, SharePoint Online is more rigid than SharePoint on-prem servers, so customization and third-party web parts will be lost.

What about the hybrid system of a SharePoint server and SharePoint Online? Though SharePoint is a market leader with a massive user-base, the platform was created before the cloud existed. Non-cloud-native systems can’t keep up with evolving modern technology and enterprise content demands. Since migrating from SharePoint to SharePoint Online won’t cost any less than transferring to another cloud-based alternative, I recommend considering all the available options.

Bottom line

Migrating from SharePoint 2010 is a complex process that can be dread-inducing. No matter which direction an organization is heading, cloud or on-prem, there are plenty of content services platform choices available. Sticking with a familiar solution, like SharePoint, might be easier, but enterprise demands require 21st-century solutions. By not investing in a digital transformation now, you could be limiting your organization’s growth.

Stéphane Donzé is the founder and CEO of AODocs