You’re using Office 365, you get the deal. You’re on a road-trip and Microsoft is telling you what kind of car you can have while letting pick if you want GPS or not. The Office 365 suite certainly does provide tangible and measurable benefits that alleviate a lot of headaches for many organizations. Having said that, all is not so simple or easy in Wonderland, is it?
Office 365 started from the humble beginnings of SharePoint on-premises. The original interface is referred to as “classic”; still visible in many places, settings, and features all over SharePoint. Over time, the SharePoint platform could not quite keep up with the changing technology and advances in web browsers and other platforms.
Microsoft had to make a change, keeping the future in mind, so they reinvented many features within SharePoint. The changes were introduced as “modern” interfaces/experiences. SharePoint sites, lists, and libraries are all still present, but you get so much more. Sites are now more intelligent, responsive and built for current technology and the needs of today’s companies.
If you are still using classic, you ARE getting left behind. Eventually, more and more classic functionalities will get abandoned, and you will not be able to take advantage of the new features. Who knows, that friendly neighbor might stop waving to you, and your mom might even stop asking you over for dinner.
"Why isn't everyone using modern?", you might ask. Well, there are pros and cons, but the question has changed from IF you should be using modern to WHEN. Here are 5 reasons why you should start evaluating modern if you aren’t already:
When you create a modern SharePoint Team Site, you get a responsive site loaded with features and easy to configure. In addition, you get a suite of different tools that help build communication and foster collaboration to get work done. Some of these tools include PowerApps, Planner, Teams, and others.
At the core of every modern SharePoint Team Site is an Office 365 group; similar to a security group – the actual people who will be allowed to collaborate using these tools together.
When modern experiences were initially rolled out, the features were very limited. Over the past couple of years, modern capabilities have been quickly catching up and filling in all the gaps of missing functionality. For example, Microsoft just released the ability to have sticky column headers and the ability to support totals in views. Follow the SharePoint blog on the Microsoft Tech Community for new announcements.
Conversely, Microsoft is not touching any of the classic functionality unless required to fix a security bug. What you see is what you will get until the end of time. Don't get left behind.
As mentioned above, a modern SharePoint site and experience gives you many capabilities that do not exist in the classic experience:
The features listed above only scratch the surface of all the other features available to explore. I would encourage you to create a modern test Team site and try it out. If you want to look even cooler to your coworkers, check out Microsoft’s SharePoint Online Provisioning Service. The SharePoint Online Provisioning Service lets you deploy sample sites and content to your environment. The office will bow before you in awe of your SharePoint prowess.
Technically, you do not need to use modern SharePoint sites to use PowerApps, but it will be easier if you do. I mention this here because if you use InfoPath, you will be forced to use the Classic experience for a list or library.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved InfoPath; it was flexible and gave business-level users the ability to create robust forms. Unfortunately, Microsoft has officially killed it and wants everyone to use PowerApps. You can start learning how!
When you create a modern team or communication site, they become their own site collection now. Subsites are not technically dead, but they are like exclamation points in emails – they should be used sparingly and only when necessary.
Modern sites were built to load faster and offer more flexibility in security, as well as navigation. Since they are their own site collection, you can group modern sites together with a “Hub” site without actually moving anything.
Nothing is perfect, including modern SharePoint Online sites. Let's review some potential questions you might have:
Whether or not you are ready for modern sites, talk to us about it! We can assist you with the critical thinking, planning, and migration that is all encompassed with it.
The complementary paper includes over 12 years of research, recent survey results, and CRM turnaround success stories.
This 60-second assessment is designed to evaluate your organization's collaboration readiness.
Learn how you rank compared to organizations typically in years 1 to 5 of implementation - and which areas to focus on to improve.
This is a sandbox solution which can be activated per site collection to allow you to easily collect feedback from users into a custom Feedback list.
Whether you are upgrading to SharePoint Online, 2010, 2013 or the latest 2016, this checklist contains everything you need to know for a successful transition.