Deciding on the right intranet solution for your company.

If you’re an existing on-premises SharePoint user, it can be difficult to know when and if it makes sense to move to SharePoint Online, which is hosted in the Microsoft cloud. Many times, it comes down to cost and ease of migration, but we’ll dig into the differences between the two platforms to help you make an informed decision.

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Differences between SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online

The primary difference between SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online is the infrastructure used to house your data. SharePoint 2016 is a fully on-premises solution, which simply means all of your data is stored in-house. SharePoint Online is a part of Microsoft Office 365, which means that all of your data is stored in the cloud.

Companies looking to start using SharePoint will often choose SharePoint Online for its ease of setup and use, but large enterprise customers who’ve been using SharePoint for years often are still using the on-premises version. SharePoint Online offers a cost-effective SaaS pricing model, where you pay per month based on the number of users, which can go up or down depending on your needs at any time. The costs of SharePoint 2016 are more complex in that you have the licenses for SharePoint, as well as the licenses for other Microsoft software that is necessary and the significant hardware requirements necessary to run the system on-premises.

Comparison of SharePoint 2016 vs. SharePoint Online

Below is a simple comparison chart that should give you more information about the differences between SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online.

SharePoint 2016 SharePoint Online
Basic Overview The on-premises version of SharePoint has been around since 2003. SharePoint Online is a key component of the Office 365 software suite, which is offered through a fully hosted subscription model.
Storage Details With SharePoint 2016 you must have enough physical disk space to support your data as it grows. SharePoint Online comes with an initial 10GB of storage space and each new user that is added gets an additional 500 MB.
Cost SharePoint Server starts at $6798 at the time that this article was published, which doesn’t include the necessary hardware to properly run the software. SharePoint Online is included with the following Office 365 bundles that start at just $5 per use per month: Enterprise E1, Enterprise E3, Enterprise E5, Enterprise F1, Business Premium and Business Essentials
Infrastructure Needs It is recommended that SharePoint 2016 be run on a minimum of six on-premises servers. Additional licensing is also required for other Microsoft products like SQL Server, which are required to run the database for SharePoint. SharePoint Online doesn’t require any additional infrastructure. Once a user has been added, they’ll immediately have access.
External Access SharePoint offers support for extranet access as well as external user access. Both SharePoint sites and content can be shared with external users. SharePoint Online supports the ability to share files and SharePoint sites with external users.

Still, need help choosing which SharePoint version is right for your company?

While the cloud based SharePoint Online is likely more versatile, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right choice for everyone. If you’re still on the fence when it comes to deciding between SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online, the experts at MessageOps can provide a more detailed explanation of both of these viable offerings.

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