SharePoint Online – Keep Your Team Informed and United While Keeping Data Secure
Now more than ever, teams are distributed across multiple office locations, working from home, or constantly traveling. In the past, a central server on the company intranet, such as SharePoint Online, could provide a safe place to store sensitive corporate documents. However, managing external access to such a solution and ensuring everyone can stay connected has become challenging, requiring constant vigilance and a team of IT staff to maintain data security and integrity.
Microsoft SharePoint is a well-known and longstanding solution for document sharing. In recent years, SharePoint has transformed into a cloud-based solution that helps organizations overcome many of the on-premises challenges while increasing the availability and security of your data. It’s in the perfect position to keep your entire team connected and collaborating – no matter how large the team is, and no matter where they’re located.
What are some of the advantages of implementing Microsoft SharePoint?
SharePoint Online Simplified User Access Management and Provisioning
With SharePoint Online, you can grant access to folders and documents on a per-user basis, or to user groups, making it easy to ensure everyone has what they need while restricting access to other documents that are not part of a user’s domain. Using Microsoft’s secure sign-on method, users can access SharePoint safely and reliably from anywhere in the world without the need for complicated solutions such as a VPN.
Users enjoy unparalleled ease of use with storage integrated with Windows and the ability to synchronize shared data offline for editing while traveling without Internet access.
Employees come and go; teams grow and shrink. Data storage needs tend to fluctuate as well. Since SharePoint is part of Microsoft 365, you can add and remove licenses from one central portal, paying only for what you need every month. You can also increase or decrease storage space as needed so you’ll never run out, nor be paying for more than is necessary.
Tight Security and Rock-Solid Stability
Cybercrimes are on the rise, and systems that store large amounts of data are prime targets. Trying to stay on top of all the latest security threats and implement protective solutions is a never-ending and costly battle. By migrating to the cloud, you can let Microsoft take care of the heavy lifting. And you’ll get better protection than you could provide for yourself! For example:
- On-Site Security. Microsoft doesn’t reveal where its server farms are located (beyond a region.) Inside, they employ high-security protocols such as biometric scans, video surveillance, motion sensors, and of course, armed security on-premises.
- Data Encryption. All storage devices in Microsoft’s data centers are encrypted with super-strong BitLocker encryption. Access from the Internet is encrypted via SSL. You can also employ Information Rights Management to further encrypt sensitive data and control to whom access is granted.
- Never Used for Data Mining. Many storage services – even some paid ones – turn an additional profit by mining data from what is stored within, which can then be used to deliver targeted advertising, among other uses. Microsoft 365 has a strict no-data-mining policy for content stored in SharePoint.
- Data Backups. Yet another tedious task Microsoft takes off your hands; multiple redundant backups are performed regularly to ensure data integrity and to protect against loss. Microsoft’s backup policy is much more comprehensive than most organizations could reasonably perform on their own.
- Regional Servers. By default, your data is stored in the region where your SharePoint license was provisioned. However, you can choose to keep your data stored in another region, easily selected from the online portal. That way, you can rest easy in case of any legal concerns over where your data is stored.
- Secure Authentication. By default, Microsoft 365 requires strong passwords on every user account. As the administrator of an organizational account, you can also opt to require other security methods, such as multi-factor authentication.
- Regulatory Compliance. Many organizations must adhere to the security standards mandated by a governmental regulatory body. SharePoint Online is, by default, compliant with HIPAA, FISMA, ISO 27001, FERPA, SSAE 16, EI Model Clauses, and US-EU Safe Harbor Framework, among other standards.
- Guaranteed Availability. Keeping your systems online and protected from attacks, internet outages, power failures, and other factors is very difficult for most enterprises. Microsoft, through its Service Level Agreement (SLA), guarantees 99.9% availability of its services.
- Technical Support. Any problems you may have with configuration, provisioning, or other concerns can be handled by submitting a support ticket via the Microsoft 365 portal. Answers are received, under normal circumstances, in one business day or less.
Easy Cloud Storage for Users with SharePoint Online
OneDrive for Business is an integral part of the SharePoint experience. Rather than provisioning a network share for users within your internal network, you can manage OneDrive storage, granting individual users a 1TB storage slice for their use. What is more, this easily integrates into Windows Explorer, letting the user interact with their storage as if it were local. And the best part? These per-user storage slices don’t count against your overall SharePoint online storage quota.
Automatic Updates and Upgrades
IT administrators have always dreaded a migration to a new version or applying certain updates, because of all the work that goes into ensuring that each installation is applied properly and functions as expected afterward. With cloud-based SharePoint Online, those worries are a thing of the past. Your subscription entitles you to the latest updates, and you receive advance notice of upgrades through the Microsoft 365 portal. You can even choose to be on the bleeding edge of SharePoint development by enabling preview features. All updates are applied automatically, ensuring you’re up-to-date and secure at all times.
Rather than a large, periodic investment in computer hardware and traditional software licenses, SharePoint Online is a monthly subscription, giving you a predictable expenditure and freeing up capital investment funds for other more pressing needs.
SharePoint Online is a solid performer that covers all the bases of information sharing and collaboration among organizations large and small. Thousands are reaping the benefits – would you like to be among them?
Here at CogentNext, we’re experts in SharePoint Online implementation. We strive to provide the highest level of service, along with expertise at an affordable, offshore rate. Contact us today to learn how we can put the power of SharePoint to work for you.
By Chandra Subramanian, CogentNext Technologies