Closer integrations between SharePoint and Office 365 indicate that the future of SharePoint is a completely online environment. Yet, many organizations have records management plans, security requirements and protocols that prohibit moving all their content to the cloud. So where does that put SharePoint?

While most DocPoint clients still prefer an on-premise SharePoint environment, more are considering a hybrid environment as an option when implementing or upgrading SharePoint. With a hybrid SharePoint environment, organizations can host sensitive information on-premise, while taking advantage of the features of SharePoint Online.

Microsoft has expanded the hybrid compatibility with SharePoint 2016.

To encourage users to take the first step toward a cloud-based SharePoint environment, Microsoft has expanded the hybrid compatibility with SharePoint 2016. Its Hybrid Search provides unified search results by searching both on-premise and cloud content. With the Sites option in the App Launcher, users can seamlessly navigate between on-premise SharePoint sites and cloud-based sites. Further, with the ability to add links to libraries, users can access cloud-based content remotely. These enhanced capabilities provide users with a seamless SharePoint environment.

For administrators concerned about security within a hybrid environment, Microsoft has introduced SharePoint Hybrid Auditing. This feature gives administrators full visibility into user activities in both the online and on-premise SharePoint environments.

As with any new software implementation, it is essential to take the time to assess what functionalities are required to meet current and future business needs, in addition to where content will be stored. This will determine if a hybrid environment is the right fit for your organization, now or in the future.