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Why do Reverse Migration from SharePoint Online?

Microsoft has been aggressively pushing users to consume its cloud services and Microsoft 365 as its flagship offering. Microsoft 365 consolidates several of Microsoft’s widely used applications and services, such as the Office suite applications and SharePoint. With features such as Single Sign-On (SSO), remote access, advanced security features, and deep integration, Microsoft 365 is certainly a preferred option for businesses. SharePoint Online, as a part of the Microsoft 365 productivity suite, is a formidable platform. It offers several features that are not available on comparable applications. Yet, some businesses retrospectively realize that the on-premises SharePoint Server or an older version of SharePoint serves them better. Let us understand why businesses do a reverse migration from SharePoint Online or a later version, its advantages, and how it is done.

When do Businesses Migrate from SharePoint Online to On-Premises SharePoint?

Many businesses use heavily customized SharePoint Servers. It is only after the migration is complete that they realize not all workloads can be replicated with high fidelity on SharePoint Online as the architecture of the services are fundamentally different. While a hybrid implementation can solve some of these problems, it is often complex and too labor-intensive even for bigger businesses with established IT teams to handle the process by themselves.

Here are some scenarios in which businesses migrate from SharePoint Online to on-premises SharePoint.

  • They are unable to configure or support the complex infrastructure needed to implement a hybrid SharePoint farm.
  • They realize that some of the data and services are not shared as seamlessly as they expected with a hybrid implementation.
  • There are compliance norms that prevent them from using cloud solutions for their business.
  • They need features, some of which we will elaborate below, that are not available with SharePoint Online.
  • They do not want to cede control of certain information and operations to Microsoft.

What Are the Advantages of Migrating from SharePoint Online to On-Premises SharePoint or Older Versions?

Although Microsoft is bridging the capabilities between SharePoint Online and the on-premises servers, the latter is still widely used despite the additional costs involved in procurement and implementation.

  • Some businesses continue to use Microsoft Access Services that is not available in SharePoint Online.
  • Many users require the SharePoint Foundation edition, last available in SharePoint 2013, that did not require user licensing costs, unlike SharePoint Online that is available only on a per-user subscription basis.
  • Businesses need to create and maintain public-facing websites that cannot be supported with SharePoint Online since the SharePoint Online Public Websites feature was retired.
  • Businesses need extensive customization and administration options. Not all SharePoint Online plans have all the features that businesses might need. Some of the features built into the on-premises servers require separate licensing, subscriptions, or third-party application integration in SharePoint Online.
  • With access to SharePoint Central Administration, users can modify the file type extensions and different thresholds that cannot be changed in SharePoint Online.

Some of these features that were instrumental in SharePoint becoming the preferred platform are no longer available on SharePoint Online practically making the on-premises servers only available option.

Apps4Rent Can Help with SharePoint Migration

While it is relatively easy to migrate from on-premises SharePoint Server to SharePoint Online, it is less so in the case of reverse migration. Neither does Microsoft recommend users to migrate from its on-premises versions from SharePoint Online, nor provide a path for such a transition. As a Tier 1 Microsoft CSP with over 17 years of rendering SharePoint services to businesses around the world, Apps4Rent can implement the perfect SharePoint solution for your business. We can implement hybrid SharePoint for your business, host your SharePoint Server, and migrate SharePoint Online to other SharePoint Servers or vice versa. Contact our SharePoint experts via phone, chat, or email for 24/7 SharePoint assistance.

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