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Microsoft SharePoint – Your Questions Answered

Microsoft SharePoint – your online file system storage, part of the Office 365 family.

Moving to the cloud

It is plain to see that every single day, in almost every single moment, we are dealing with data in some way, shape or form. And our businesses depend on storing data in a secure, accessible and reliable way.

Historically, all business data lived on some form of fixed media, that lived in our offices. Data was backed up to tape where backup and restores were slow, then whilst some still use tape, many shifted to USB, and fast forward to today, many use onsite networked storage devices, which then also sync securely online.

It goes without saying, that many businesses need to stay in this generation for the foreseeable, namely accountants who require applications not yet developed by cloud providers. Having said that, if a business cannot move to fully cloud, every business has at least some data that can be moved online.

What is Microsoft 365 SharePoint?

SharePoint, part of the Microsoft Office 365 family, is effectively an application inside 365, that once licensed and installed, allows us to create SharePoint sites. Each site can have its own permissions for 365 group and/or users, which can be full control, edit, read only and so on, just like traditional permissions on Microsoft servers. Simplifying the thought process, each SharePoint site could be the mapped network drive that you are familiar with, simply moved online, and used in exactly the same way.

What are the advantages of moving to SharePoint?

There are many advantages of moving to Microsoft SharePoint:

  • For businesses that can go full cloud, the financial saving on server hardware purchases.
  • For business that can go part cloud, spreading the risk attached to infrastructure being on one device, or in one location. For example, Microsoft Office data, PDFs etc can be moved online.
  • The lack of concern regarding hardware failure and age.
  • The lack of requirement to patch and upgrade server operating systems.
  • An ability to collaborate better with online documents.

Wait, what about backups?
Microsoft do not backup your Microsoft 365 data. Of course, there is a recycle bin for your SharePoint site, and even a recycle bin for the SharePoint collection, but this is not meant to cover you in a disaster scenario. For disaster recovery, we offer an Office 365 backup solution, that backup up all of your 365 data, mailboxes, One Drive, SharePoint and more, for a very affordable price.

What are the advantages of online data?
With your data being online, the opportunities increase significantly in terms of collaboration on those documents. It is important to note however, that this can be completely controlled using Office 365 policies and extended further with Microsoft Intune. You can read more about our Microsoft Intune services here.

Some of the advantages of SharePoint online:

  • With the correct licenses and policies in place (and restrictions!) data can be accessed and edited via a web browser. So, from any machine, you can edit your Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Project documents. Fully covered by Microsoft 365 Multi Factor Authentication. You can read more about this in our blog post here > Microsoft 365 Multi Factor Authentication.
  • Documents can be live edited by multiple users at the same time, even from your desktop applications. This can be blocked, if not required.
  • Documents can be presented live in Microsoft Teams meetings. You can read our blog about this here > Microsoft Teams.

I am worried about data security.
This is a common concern once data is moved online. Microsoft have many ways to ease your mind, and we offer a Microsoft 365 Hardening Service, where we deploy many security rules on your 365 platform, to protect your data. For example:

  • Enforcing MFA inside Office 365.
  • Restricting access to data via location, and/or IP addresses.
  • Data loss prevention policies to block your data leaving 365.
  • Policies to wipe corporate data from personal devices if required.
  • Policies to completely wipe corporate owned devices if required.

Are you ready to move to SharePoint?

We can help you in your SharePoint journey. We will assess your file system, and carefully plan your SharePoint sites infrastructure, finally discussing with you the migration plan. This is often in stages, depending on the volume of data, migrating each network drive at a time to a SharePoint site, often with no down time.

If you want to talk to us about SharePoint, please contact us today. We offer a free site survey, with no obligations.

If you would like to hear more about this service, do not hesitate to get in touch.

Author: Dave King

Dave King is the Co-Founder and Director of Carden IT Services and the wider Carden IT Group. Dave has over 18 years’ experience in business IT networks with a focus on IT consultation and disaster recovery planning/testing.