The benefits of On-Premises SharePoint Vs SharePoint Online

With so many companies now opting to use SharePoint there is a great deal of discussion as to whether to use a “on-premises” solution (whether hosted locally on your own servers or in a datacentre) or move to SharePoint Online through Office 365. The natural assumption for organisations is that as everything else is in the cloud SharePoint should be as well.

The decision is often made without considering all the factors that will affect the choice of environment.

In this article we consider four key reasons why an organisation may opt for an on-premises SharePoint hosting solution rather than move entirely to the cloud.

Security and Data Management

Every week there is a new report in the media about a major organisation that has lost data either at the hands of hackers or because of a mistake. Records show that in October 2019 over 421 million records were breached in the UK which had significant financial costs to the businesses involved.

By opting for a hosted SharePoint solution companies can implement additional security features and control external access to data but still allow staff to collaborate efficiently. Many organisations that handle sensitive data, such as government departments, finance or healthcare, will therefore choose on-premises over the cloud.

In addition, with SharePoint Online  or if you use a cloud provider without infrastructure in the UK, data may be stored at data centres anywhere in the World – this can have implications for data governance.


The deployment environment used for SharePoint will define what can be customised and will generally be reviewed in the planning stages so that it meets the organisation’s objectives.

Out-of-the-box SharePoint Online only allows customisations to be carried out in client-side code, whereas by opting for an on-premises solution both server and client-side code can be customised. This gives greater flexibility to organisations and allows them to create unique functionality however this can also create future issues with compatibility.

SharePoint Online does not offer the ability to customise back end functionality.

Upgrades and Updates

As with all applications SharePoint is upgraded periodically by Microsoft to add new functionality, fix bugs and adapt to how businesses work. Where an organisation has chosen to use SharePoint Online, updates are automatic.  With On-Premises versions of SharePoint, the update path is more complex, and any custom code may need to be amended to work with new features.  This type of compatibility issue should be assessed during any upgrade plans, but if it is not addressed, urgent fixes may be required.

By using an on-premises solution, organisations can review any updates and decide when to deploy them. This means that upgrades can be planned and tested reducing business disruption which saves time and reduces costs.

Connectivity issues

SharePoint becomes a central part of business operations and if it cannot be accessed when required it can cause significant issues particularly if the data is business critical. By relying on a data centre to host SharePoint connectivity relies on a stable Internet connection. As has been seen during the recent COVID 19 crisis Internet connectivity has been disrupted for many businesses due to network capacity issues.

Sticking with an on-premises hosted SharePoint solution means that staff can still access data if they are on the network.


As can be seen, there are real benefits for any company that opts to stick with a hosted on-premise SharePoint solution rather than move online but ultimately the right decision will be made based on the objectives and plans of the business.

By working with igroup, organisations benefit from our wealth of experience having deployed hundreds of SharePoint environments. Our team can help you plan, specify and deploy the right SharePoint solution for your business whether it is on-premise, in the cloud or a hybrid solution.

If your business is looking for a SharePoint partner who can help with planning the right hosting environment contact a member of the igroup team on 0203 697 0302.

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