Cloud services offer significant benefits for public sector organizations that are looking to upgrade their legacy systems, increase collaboration, and control and secure sensitive data. However, it is very common that some public sector organizations and government agencies aren’t ready to go all-in with the cloud, or may be required to manage some IT infrastructure in-house. That doesn’t mean the cloud if off-limits, however. In these cases, using a hybrid deployment of SharePoint Online and SharePoint on-prem could be a good option.
The idea of hybrid deployments has been a hot topic in the IT universe as a way for organizations to dip their toe in the cloud without completely overhauling their existing infrastructure. In fact, this study on hybrid SharePoint conducted by Christian Buckley’s CollabTalk in conjunction with the Marriott School of Management and Brigham Young University looks into the fears and challenges customers have when moving their SharePoint deployment to the cloud, and how hybrid solutions are helping solve those challenges. The study was mostly private sector organizations, but the findings are relevant for public sector organizations as well. The fact that this research is being conducted is indicative of widespread interest in hybrid SharePoint, so IT admins in the public sector might want to consider a hybrid deployment.
While the cloud offers many benefits and hybrid solutions are a great way to take advantage of the power of the cloud, there are some key themes to bear in mind when considering moving to a hybrid SharePoint deployment:
- Migration: Migrating your data to a hybrid deployment can be a complex process, especially when it comes to entities who are tasked with protecting sensitive data. When it comes to migrating to hybrid SharePoint, you must consider the amount of data that you need to move. AvePoint’s Shyam Oza illustrates that point well in his post about some challenges faced by folks during their migrations. Like with any big move or decision, planning is paramount. Consider where you plan to move your data, as well as the different places from where this content will be moved. Bear in mind that it takes longer to migrate 10 items totaling 10 GB than it does to migrate 1,000 items also totaling 10 GB.
- Administration: Organizations in the public sector often need a greater level of control when it comes to permissions and governance, so SharePoint administration can be particularly challenging for the public sector. Hybrid environments are more complex than traditional on-prem solutions, and that should be considered before making the switch to a hybrid deployment. There is a balance required – you may even have to manage two separate systems and balance your reporting, compliance, and administration between your on-prem and cloud components.
- Compliance: Government agencies and public sector organizations have a multitude of strict compliance requirements, and sometimes IT decision makers might not be certain that cloud technology is up to snuff. Consider this case study, in which the government of Charlotte County, Florida, was able to automate controls to ensure its environment was properly governed and its sensitive data is secure, which is critical when it comes to government agencies and other public sector entities.
In conclusion, public sector entities and government agencies need not be skittish when it comes to accepting the cloud as a viable option, and a hybrid deployment may serve as a good middle man between fully on-prem and fully in-cloud SharePoint applications. While hybrid may not be for every organization or agency, there are instances where it is the most practical and best suited option. If this sounds like something you’d like to know more about, reach out to us here at AvePoint. We’re the Microsoft Cloud experts as well as experts when it comes to SharePoint Online and SharePoint on-prem, so we’re your one-stop-shop for all things hybrid.