Office 365 (O365) is Microsoft’s subscription-based cloud service which has been a game changer in terms of providing a seamless user experience through its applications across desktop, mobile devices or the cloud for next generation messaging, collaboration, networking and analytics features. The SaaS services, bound by regulatory compliance, 99% SLA, zero to low maintenance cost, and ever-expanding feature set make it an attractive offering. Workloads include SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Skype for Business, OneDrive for Business, and many more.
In this article, we will provide a comparison analysis (cost and feature wise) between SharePoint 2013 (an on-premise version) and SharePoint Online (SPO - part of Office 365 offering) workloads of similar volume to provide the justification to move to cloud.
Measuring cost-benefit of SPO
Organizations making ‘the leap’ to the cloud through Office 365 rollout might be challenged in quantifying the cost benefit of deploying such a solution to their financers. One way is to compare the differences in the product licensing pricing for the traditional on-premise systems versus the newer Office 365 ‘subscription’ model (user-license-wise fees). However, given the expanding suite of products and services in Office 365, it might not be a justifiable approach. So, in order to provide a quick and easy reference, we will analyze cost benefit of the SharePoint (2013 and online versions) workload, based on the following factors –
- Upgrade costs – With ever-changing technology advancements, it is imperative to ensure that the systems are kept up-to-date so that organizations can use the latest version of the product which is more secure and productive than the last version.
- IT labor cost – Apart from the license costs, one of the major ingredient is the IT employee/resource cost needed to support the systems in an ongoing way. This will cover the cost of resources/FTE needed for the ongoing maintenance and support of the workloads and any migration activities for moving content to cloud.
Our comparison methodology considers industry productivity factors, typical scenarios gleaned from our own delivery experience and real-world scenarios. The example scenario is assumed to be bound by the following volume and factors:
SharePoint 2013 volumetric details considered for migration:
- Total number of site collections: 14418
- Total number of subsites: 5363
- Total content size (in GB): 2000
- Total count of content databases: 6
- Minimal custom features used
- Migration to SharePoint Online will happen in Year 1
- Migration tool cost: $20000
- Support window (during hyper care): 9/5 business hours
- Geo/regions to support: in any one time zone(CET/EST/PST)
Based on the above scenario and our estimation techniques, in the below paragraphs we have demonstrated the cost benefit of SharePoint 2013 and the online version
1. Upgrade cost:
For SP 2013, mainstream support ended on April 10, 2018 while the extended support will end on April 11, 2023. With a proposed SP 2019 release, currently we are behind the curve and it is imperative to upgrade at the earliest. Contrary to it, the SPO version does not need any regular update as Microsoft pushes all changes and releases directly as per their defined roadmap. Given in Figure 1 is a comparative analysis of the different cost factor for an upgrade/migration to the next version.