Large and Medium corporates, their SharePoint professionals, and IT managers and executives continue to voice their concerns regarding the future of SharePoint and the question of whether or not Microsoft intends to stop supporting it at any point in the near future. 

Because of this, and the fact that we work as a consultant for SharePoint and Microsoft 365 (previously Office 365), we made it a point to investigate whether or not these worries were founded, as well as the reasons why companies and SharePoint professionals continue to have them.

Is SharePoint on its way out, or is it continuing to gain popularity? And will it be taken off the market anytime soon? The simple answer is that there is no danger of SharePoint going extinct soon because it is becoming increasingly popular as a vital component of the hybrid solutions (on-premises and in the cloud) on which Microsoft’s vision for the future is dependent. 

Concerns about SharePoint’s future were initially sparked by a number of factors, the majority of which is because of poor communication from Microsoft, which has been addressed and corrected since. 

Another contributing factor is the fact that some experienced SharePoint developers and administrators are required to continuously add skills to their already vast expertise, for example, Azure and Office 365 administration, the SPFx/JavaScript new development model, and new services such as PowerApps, MS Flow, OD4B, and MS Teams! The expectation of such skills from a single person is discouraging new talent to choose SharePoint over other emerging technologies.

However, in order to provide a complete answer, we must first investigate the position that SharePoint now holds in the industry as well as how Microsoft sees its future developing. Trying to find out the current trend on SharePoint and how will the highly affordable cloud version of SharePoint benefit small and large companies.

Will SharePoint dominate? What is the future of SharePoint?

In a short sentence, SharePoint is here to stay. Microsoft boasts that more than 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies, as well as 190 million users across 500,000+ organisations, use SharePoint. SharePoint forms the foundation on which these large organisations run their Intranet Portals, document process automation, enterprise content management, business process management and team sites. Post covid, dependence on SharePoint has increased even more.

The rapid expansion of the Microsoft 365 Suite (formerly known as Office 365), which now incorporates SharePoint Online, makes SharePoint affordable to the smallest of organisations. This has been a major driving force behind the popular adoption of SharePoint by small, medium and large companies over the past couple of years. 

And as of the year 2016, Microsoft 365, which was formerly known as Office 365, has become not only the cloud service with the highest number of users but also gunning towards being a leader in intelligent information management & enterprise content management, enabling a high degree of collaboration with knowledge workers. 

Growth of Office 365 (formerly known as Microsoft 365) and the G-Suite, which is its closest competition.

Google Workspace vs Microsoft 365 Market Share Globally

If SharePoint is performing so well, why do so many people think that Microsoft is working to phase it out or that it will soon be discontinued? 

The response to this question is that SharePoint is not the only ECM/ intelligent information management platform anymore. Many new players have entered the digital transformation field as the market demand for the digitisation of information and its management increased.

From 2006 onward, SharePoint Server has been a well-known name brand of an independent solution and has been the subject of an enormous buzz. 

SharePoint’s impressive adoption rates and the reason why it stands out in the competition is the complete ecosystem provided by Microsoft under the umbrella called Microsoft 365 

This ecosystem provides a significantly more comprehensive range of capabilities than SharePoint-Farm could. Today, businesses utilise SharePoint according to one of these three models:

  • It is a 100 per cent on-premises solution – hosted in-house on their servers.
  • As a component of a system that is entirely hosted in the cloud (SharePoint Online with Microsoft 365)
  • As a hybrid of both because large corporations have confidential data and complex legacy third-party integrations systems/workflows. To preserve this confidentiality and the utilisation of legacy systems, they must build on top of their on-premises SharePoint Server that they can’t migrate to the cloud. But they want to leverage the best features of SharePoint Online at the same time.

Also, the statement from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella clearly shows that Microsoft is betting heavily on SharePoint.

“We continue to advance SharePoint, OneDrive and the entire Office 365 service in ways that make productivity even more collaborative, intelligent, mobile and trustworthy.”

—Satya Nadella

And the best is yet to come. Microsoft aims to empower every individual and organization to achieve more. 

Conclusion

In 2001 SharePoint grew from two projects created during the Office XP development cycle: Office Server and Tahoe. Office Server handled the most basic network management tasks, whereas Tahoe improved on Exchange’s email, calendaring, contacts, and to-do list technologies. 

Microsoft designed SharePoint by integrating the finest capabilities of Office Server and Tahoe into one tool.

Through the years, SharePoint has had its ups and downs. With Microsoft announcing plans to invest more in cloud-based technologies, SharePoint is here to stay. 

We think next-generation SharePoint will work seamlessly with other Microsoft technologies like Power Automate, Power Apps, Power BI and Azure Artificial intelligence service. This will enable you to see information that directly impacts your organisation.

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