Navigating SharePoint: Transitioning from On-Premise to the Cloud

Sousouni Bajis
8 min readSep 21, 2023
In the ever-changing landscape of technology, SharePoint has stood as a consistent pillar for enterprise collaboration and content management.

Introduction: SharePoint has long been a staple in enterprise collaboration and content management and over the past two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being deeply involved in everything SharePoint — from .NET and SPFX development to large-scale migrations and workflow automation. The core purpose of SharePoint remains constant, but the platform itself is undergoing a significant transformation: the shift from on-premises deployments to cloud-based solutions. This post offers insights into navigating this transition, drawing from years of practical experience.

Updated on 9/24/2023: This article has been updated to include information on SharePoint Online’s search capabilities and its integration with Microsoft’s Power Platform.

Weighing the Trade-offs Between On-Premises and Online

On-premises SharePoint systems offer a high degree of control and have long been the go-to for organizations needing robust, customizable solutions. This high degree of control is unparalleled but comes with its own set of challenges like resource consumption, scalability issues, and additional responsibilities — challenges that can drain resources quickly.

With SharePoint Online, organizations can alleviate many of these pain points as it offers automatic updates, better compliance options, and enhanced scalability. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, but for many, the advantages outweigh the challenges. In one of my recent projects, the organization was wrestling with the resource-intensive nature of their on-premises SharePoint. The switch to SharePoint Online drastically cut down their operational costs and simplified their compliance process, making it a win-win situation.

As we navigate the complexities of transitioning from on-premises SharePoint to the cloud, there are several key areas worth exploring. Whether it’s embracing new development frameworks like SPFx, evaluating the benefits of a hybrid approach, or leveraging features designed to safeguard sensitive data, each facet offers its own set of opportunities and challenges. In the following section, I’ll delve into these critical aspects, drawing from my own hands-on experience in leading SharePoint projects for various…