SharePoint 2010 end of life is coming!

What now?

While the end of mainstream SharePoint 2010 support happened in 2015, extended support (for those that haven’t been ready to upgrade), is scheduled to end on October 13, 2020. On this day, Microsoft will completely end all remaining support for SharePoint Server 2010.

If you’ve been holding on to your trusty SharePoint 2010 intranet or other legacy sites/applications, it’s a good time to understand:

  • What end of life really means for your intranet or collaboration sites
  • What options you have for a supported, upgraded platform like SharePoint Online or SharePoint Server 2019
  • The typical obstacles or hurdles that stop companies from changing platforms along with our solutions to overcome those hurdles

What SharePoint 2010 end of life really means

As of October 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer issue any type of platform or security updates. That means your SharePoint Server 2010 sites:

  • Will become highly vulnerable to any potential security issues
  • Will likely start to have compatibility issues with updates to other systems or browsers
  • Could fall out of compliance with industry regulations, standards, or accreditations (depending on your industry)

Overall, this will increase your organization’s risk on many fronts and that will become increasingly costly over time, especially if you have any mission-critical applications or content that are reliant on the health of your SharePoint solutions.

Choosing a modern platform

While digital workplace tools for employees have grown more diverse, one of the most common choices for intranets and collaboration remains SharePoint. Moving to a current version of SharePoint is the most straightforward path, and it also unlocks new functionality that better supports organizations plans for digital transformation.

If you need to remain on-premises, SharePoint Server 2019 is the latest version available. On-premises upgrades require a multi-phased approach – meaning you will need to temporarily hop through older versions along the way to your final platform – first upgrading to SharePoint Server 2013 before upgrading to SharePoint Server 2016 and finally ending on SharePoint Server 2019. 

However, these days it’s more common to move to Office 365 and SharePoint Online. This gives you the opportunity to leverage the broader digital workplace platform capabilities available through Office 365. It makes sense to consider how new capabilities could benefit the ways your employees work versus a straight like-for-like technology upgrade.

Another key benefit to SharePoint Online is that you won’t ever need to worry about major version upgrades because it is an evergreen platform that continuously updates itself over time. 

Overcoming the two biggest hurdles

Hurdle 1: Losing the customization on the old platform

One common reason we hear why companies stay on an older version is because they have customized something and don’t want to lose that customization when they move to a new version. These customizations may not transfer directly to platforms like SharePoint Online because of the way modern cloud solutions are built.

In our experience, costly customizations required in SharePoint 2010 addressed gaps that no longer exist in newer versions of SharePoint. New approaches and functionality can now solve old problems without complex or costly customizations.

The solution: Out-of-the-box intranet solutions and other configurable applications

Thankfully, there is now a variety of customizable in-the-box intranet solutions and configurable services available offering functionality that likely address or can be configured to account for these gaps.

Solutions like our GO Intranet Accelerator offer modern intranet capabilities that help deliver an intranet in as little as 10 weeks and can be customized if needed. Other Office 365 services like PowerApps and Flow offer highly configurable no-code applications, where once custom workflow applications might have been required.

Hurdle 2: Migrating content

Another hurdle that often stalls upgrade projects is dealing with the vast amounts of content that have built up on legacy SharePoint sites over time.

The solution: Automating content migration

Thankfully, automated processes and third-party migration products have improved and can reduce this effort to some degree. Habanero has had a lot of experience automating these types of migration processes, which have significantly reduced the manual time and effort required. In one recent project, an automated script migrated over 14,000 pages and 18,000 documents into SharePoint Online within a week. And these documents were strategically migrated into new locations where our content strategy placed them.

Content migrations are a great opportunity to refresh and reorganize your content. Pairing your migration project with content strategy is essential to getting the most out of your investment. This can have major benefits in areas like search and navigation.

Let's get planning

October 2020 might seem far off, but it takes time for most organizations to gear up for an intranet and technology upgrade or migration project. These projects involve aligning stakeholders, securing project budgets and resources, preparing content, planning around legacy applications, selecting go-forward technologies, sorting out licensing … and the list goes on.

Now is a good time to start planning your move from SharePoint 2010 to a modern and supported platform to ensure your content and applications continue to be available. And just remember, a lot of the typical hurdles to upgrades, like customizations and content migration, can likely be addressed with modern tools and automation.

If you’re looking for help with your planning process, we can help create an upgrade plan or talk you through how a modern intranet platform like our customizable GO SharePoint intranet could meet your needs. 

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