SharePoint 2019: The Next Big Thing in Enterprise Collaboration

The enterprise is moving to the cloud at an accelerated rate. However, it doesn’t mean that companies are abandoning traditional on-premise approaches to managing data and running applications.

A survey of large enterprises running their own data centers shows that they’re planning to invest even more into their infrastructure, with 18% of their capacity being occupied by collaboration and communication tools like SharePoint.

With the growing data security and privacy concerns, many companies don’t have a legitimate alternative to keeping everything completely sealed off in-house or in a hybrid environment. SharePoint Server 2019 provides a compelling example of why this necessity doesn’t have to hinder enterprises, as the insiders to SharePoint consulting have been proving so far.

SharePoint 2019 Enterprise Collaboration Features

Let’s take a look at the latest on-premises version of SharePoint and see how it can help your organization improve employee productivity through a robust internal collaboration and communications infrastructure without compromising performance.

An Eye Sore No More

User experience is important, especially when your employees have to interact with the system every single day. If your company has a SharePoint intranet, they’ll be happy to know that the on-premises SharePoint 2019 has a completely revamped approach to UX/UI. These are just some of the high-level updates visible right away:

  • The start page is now a modern experience that’s easy to navigate, displaying news updates from other SharePoint sites within the network, as well as convenient content suggestions.
  • The lists and libraries in SharePoint 2019 got a facelift that creates a much cleaner, thought-out experience. As a result, they are much easier to navigate and manage.
  • Modern team sites now sport a slicker look. They are also optimized for mobile browsing, a must for dynamic teams that continuously share information and updates.

Read SharePoint Online Modern List: Explore 11 New Features

Classic vs. Modern

sharepoint 2019 enterprise collaboration features
Source: Microsoft

Truly Social Collaboration

Larger organizations suffer from the ‘silo’ effect when data becomes compartmentalized and gets out of sight for external stakeholders. Sometimes, the issue is taken to extremes with teams having an internal to external contacts ratio of over 10:1.

Communication sites were designed with these barriers in mind, which is especially relevant to large and rapidly growing enterprises. They serve as the go-to place to share news, updates, and any other kind of information that can be useful for both colleagues and external stakeholders who can:

  • Learn about new product releases
  • Get first-hand project updates
  • Get to know new team members
  • Collaborate on documents of various formats
  • Share expertise and get valuable insights

Communication sites can also work as homepages and collections of links to other resources and systems, thus having the potential to become the focal point of collaboration within your organization.

Better Search

Some of your employees might be spending a few workday equivalents per month just searching for information, which means lost productivity and revenue for the company. Finding the right information as fast as possible is crucial for organizations that want to operate on a reasonable schedule and deliver ROI for stakeholders.

SharePoint 2019 Server now features modern search experience, which includes intuitive queries that start displaying results as soon as you start typing. The new search capabilities also include advanced filtering options that enable users to get the needed content in a blink of an eye.

Improved Integrations for Hybrid Environments

Another great update in SharePoint 2019 is the improved connectivity to the Microsoft cloud collaboration stack.

For example, if you’re running a hybrid deployment, you can connect Microsoft Flow to your SharePoint Server to automate repeating workflows:

  • Conducting surveys and collecting results in SharePoint
  • Displaying Facebook activities on a SharePoint site
  • Setting up Outlook notifications to announce changes on SharePoint sites
  • Saving email attachments to a SharePoint library

If you connect your SharePoint team site to a group in Office 365, you can gain access to all of the productivity tools, like the group calendar or the task planner. You can also leverage Microsoft Teams to let employees communicate via messaging or video conferencing and share files stored in SharePoint libraries as well as full SharePoint pages.

This offers an improved collaboration workflow for any of your teams with the ability to instantly synchronize content, tasks, and agendas.

SharePoint Server or Office 365

Some companies are compelled to move to Office 365 for various reasons. Sometimes they are not comfortable with the upfront costs of the hardware setup required for an on-premises solution. Others are used to the online ecosystem. However, the cloud movement often goes together with substantial concerns related to solutions’ management, performance, and security.

In this context, an on-premises product like SharePoint does offer a number of advantages.

  • SECURITY. If you care about security, on-premises is probably your best bet. Over 60% of enterprise IT managers agree with this statement. Security matters frequently stop SharePoint owners from switching to cloud collaboration, and even Microsoft’s assurances of best-in-class cloud security aren’t enough to change the minds of data-centric enterprises.
  • PRICE. On-premises solutions can be cheaper in the long run, as the upfront investment gets paid off. The cost of ownership for an on-premises system over a 3-year period can be around 20-30% lower than for a cloud-based one. The same applies to SharePoint. While the prices of SharePoint Server licenses look impressive, in a longer perspective they turn to be more cost-effective than ongoing monthly subscriptions for SharePoint Online or Office 365.
  • PERFORMANCE. Having full control over your hardware means that you don’t have to rely on any hardware choices by your cloud vendor, and you can fix performance issues promptly without waiting for the vendor’s response.
  • CUSTOMIZATION. As with performance, being the sole owner of your deployment means that you can decide on your solutions’ look and feel. What’s more, all of the SharePoint on-premises versions are much more customizable than the cloud ones, which makes SharePoint Server an optimal choice for companies that need truly custom software.
  • COMPLIANCE. Sometimes it’s just easier for a company to comply with organizational and industry regulations using a straightforward on-premises setup than to invest in cloud infrastructure and then try to adapt it to the established standards.

The latest version of the on-premises SharePoint offers a host of new features and connectivity options that allow you to efficiently connect teams across your enterprise. With added UX improvements, SharePoint 2019 Server becomes a viable solution for companies looking to digitize and streamline their collaboration capabilities.

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