Top 4 Reasons to Upgrade to SharePoint 2013

It's no surprise that Microsoft SharePoint is among the most widely deployed platforms for enterprise collaboration, with more than 125 million licenses sold to more than 65,000 enterprise customers.

Right now, though, the question on everyone’s mind is whether or not to upgrade to the 2013 version.

We think you should --- for these four reasons.

1.     Improved User Experience and Usability

Using SharePoint 2013 is easier for information workers (i.e. end user, power user, and business user) to perform functions that required the skills that IT professionals and developers have.

For example – information workers now have the ability to create search query rules by selecting conditions and correlated actions using drop-down menus in a query builder tool.

The interface of SharePoint 2013 has also been improved significantly from a usability perspective.

For instance, when you create a new team site, SharePoint 2013 displays a “Get started with your site” section that consists of six blue-colored boxes of actions you can perform. As you hover your mouse over each blue-colored box, a brief description appears that gives you a quick idea of what each action does.

As a result, you won’t have to spend time thinking that much anymore on how to get started and can focus more on productivity and execution.

2.     Social Features

Social features in SharePoint 2013 have better business value. Each user’s “My Site” is now made up of three distinct hubs: NewsfeedSkyDrive Pro, and Sites.

Newsfeed provides you with quick access to people, documents, sites, and tags you’re following.

SkyDrive Pro allows you to save files in the cloud, access files anywhere, and share files with other people.

Sites tracks all of the SharePoint sites you follow. You can create new team sites quickly on your Sites page also.

SharePoint 2013 also integrates Yammer – a private social network that allows for social networking outputs such as team collaboration, employee engagement, and increased business agility. One of Yammer’s visions is to make companies more open and employees more connected in SharePoint 2013 – making this a natural partnership.

3.     Search Features

Search is one of the central components to a SharePoint user and has become more user-friendly in SharePoint 2013 than ever before.

Navigation Enhancements and Search Centers are some of the many new search features in SharePoint 2013. For example – using a Result Source (the combination of a SharePoint 2010 Federated Location plus a Search Scope) guarantees the appropriate search results that meet specific conditions. A result source can be created by an information worker using a form-based approach of completing questions in SharePoint 2013 instead of relying on Search service application administrators.

4.     More Cloud-Based Functionality

Microsoft is integrating their cloud vision in SharePoint 2013 by using some of their new add-ons, such as SkyDrive Pro and Office on Demand.

Office on Demand lets you use Office applications on PCs that don’t have Office installed with the SharePoint 2013 Online version. This cloud-based functionality like this reduces costs for organizations to maintain hardware and software on-premise.

Simply put, upgrading to SharePoint 2013 is a smart business investment that adds value and benefits to any organization. Good luck with your SharePoint 2013 upgrade journey!

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 Jose Castro is the Director of Information Systems and SharePoint Administrator here at Learn iT! He represented Learn iT! at the MS SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas, and often attends local SharePoint user group meetings in the Bay Area.