For many organisations operating SharePoint and Microsoft Office on-premises, up to 80% of IT budget can be consumed by low-value maintenance and integration. There are significant upfront costs for hardware and the space to keep it, as well as an IT team to maintain the server, to add updates and patches. SharePoint Online on the other hand is part of an Office 365 plan and is billed monthly per user.

The high cost of comprehensive enterprise systems can put these out of reach for small to medium businesses (SMB). Fortunately, the rise of software-as-a-service and cloud-based applications have given organizations more financial flexibility. Companies can subscribe to enterprise applications instead of making significant outright purchases, effectively shifting digital workplace costs from a capital expense to an operational expenditure.

Because cloud computing pushes the burden of maintenance over to cloud vendors, companies can free up huge portions of their budgets and reallocate them to projects delivering growth and customer engagement, as well as being more interesting and challenging to their IT staff. At the same time business users are able to share and manage content, knowledge and applications to empower teamwork, quickly find information, and enjoy seamless document collaboration across the organisation.

In addition to monopolising budget, the traditional IT operating model can be challenging from a security point of view with IT environments made up of many separate components patched together, each piece requiring its own unique security protocols. In the cloud, organisations have the opportunity to move from having many security exposures to a unified cybersecurity stack where the cloud vendor shoulders that burden.

Despite the advantages of operating Office 365 in the cloud, many enterprise IT workloads are still hosted in enterprise-owned data centres. Organisations like banks and other financial institutions still use mainframes because of data protection and regulatory requirements, making SharePoint 2016 On-Premises the logical choice for these industries.

A hybrid cloud offers the best of both worlds, so you can take advantage of external resources when it makes sense for your business and enable greater business mobility. Companies want to maintain control of some back end functions on-site, and migrate other solutions to third-party cloud providers. A hybrid approach allows you to empower users while keeping IT in control and meeting your organisation’s standards for security and compliance.

SharePoint 2016 has the ability to stay on-prem while leveraging Office 365’s capabilities. Creating a SharePoint hybrid environment is about leveraging both Sharepoint Server on premises and Office 365 SharePoint Online to achieve your business goals.

A hybrid environment enables enterprise users to be connected from almost anywhere to the resources and content they need. A hybrid solution can help your company get started in the cloud, taking a first step to explore the cloud functionality at own your pace. With the Hybrid functionality in SharePoint Server and Office 365, extend your on-premises investment to the cloud by integrating services and moving workloads to the environment that meets your organisational strategy.