SharePoint State of the Union, Part 2: Planning your upgrade

September 25, 2012 —  (Page 1 of 2)
In my first article in this series, I talked through some initial steps to take in order to uncover and understand your organization’s state of the SharePoint union. Having had your initial meetings regarding the current use and priorities of your existing SharePoint environment, you can now look objectively at the needs of your organization and begin planning the next steps. With multiple versions of SharePoint available, and the latest version—SharePoint 2013—promising to once again change the game, it is important for organizations to understand their current state.

The feedback to the first article was great, and I thank those of you who took the time to comment. This article outlines the upgrade options you have based on your current version.

If you are on SharePoint 2003, the most important thing to note is that you cannot upgrade directly from MOSS 2003 to SharePoint 2010. Sorry! Due to the vast differences in the applications and hardware requirements, your only option is to upgrade to 2007 and then 2010. There are unconfirmed rumors that you will be able to upgrade directly from 2003 to 2013, but that will only become fact once 2013 is released. In either case, you will need to go through a planning initiative in order to upgrade. Meeting with your deployment team (the people who were involved in the initial rollout, if possible) will assist in understanding the configuration and use of the current system.

If you are operating on the 2007 version of SharePoint, there is a good chance that you were in discussions about upgrading to 2010. Assuming you are still on 2007, assess where SharePoint is being used and how the upgrade will affect the organization. This is an important step regardless of which version you are moving to, as similar to SharePoint 2013, there are considerable front-end changes to which the organization will need to become accustomed. A typical upgrade from 2007 to 2010 is a matter of deciding whether an in-place, database-attached or hybrid approach is best; be sure that your resources spend the appropriate time evaluating both technical and business needs.

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