See how SharePoint and Azure compare to each other in terms of features, use cases, and pricing.
Gone are the days businesses relied on USB or hard drives to store and share files. Professionals can now store, access, and transfer files from virtually any location via the cloud. Now, over 60% of business data is stored in the cloud, and it’s expected that over 100 zettabytes (or a trillion gigabytes) of data will live in cloud storage by 2025.
As more companies make the move to the cloud for file storage, many struggle to find a platform that fits their unique needs and budget. Most businesses have Microsoft SharePoint and Azure on their list of contenders but are unsure of which is better for their needs.
Below, we’ll discuss what each platform is, its common use cases, key features, and top differentiators to help business teams find the right tool for their technology stack.
SharePoint is used by more than 200 million users worldwide and 80% of Fortune 500 companies rely on the platform. The cloud-based document management and collaboration platform allows users to share files, data, applications, news, resources, workflows, and more from virtually any device. Users can seamlessly collaborate on documents and data using SharePoint’s numerous features and add-ins.
The platform features robust security features, including password protection, file encryption, and controlled user access to ensure files and data stay secure from malicious users. And with a file rollback functionality, users can easily revert back to a previous document version in case of corruption or utilize SharePoint’s quarantining feature to prevent infected data from spreading.
SharePoint’s seamless integration with Microsoft Teams allows users to build intranet solutions or internal sites where they can collaborate and share files with ease. The platform is also highly customizable, allowing users to use various apps and web design tools to create applications, websites, and workflows to boost efficiency and productivity across the entire organization.
The advanced features and security of the platform make it an ideal solution for mid- and large-sized businesses. Freelancers or smaller business teams may find that the complexity of the platform is not suited for their immediate needs.
Some of the most notable features in SharePoint include:
Data capture and transfer
Document library accessibility
Information rights management
Security and compliance
The high scalability and customization of SharePoint allow businesses to utilize the platform in a myriad of ways. Below are some of the common use cases of the platform:
Document management: Most businesses utilize SharePoint as a document management platform. The application allows users to create, upload, and organize documents in a fast, easy, and secure way.
Intranet: With access to thousands of tools, many businesses use SharePoint to create an internal website to boost communication, streamline processes, and empower employees. SharePoint’s intranet tools include social features, libraries and lists, built-in workflows, third-party integrations, and more.
Knowledge management: SharePoint’s powerful search capabilities and extensive add-ins make it an ideal platform for knowledge management. Users can quickly search through thousands of documents to find answers to specific questions or problems. SharePoint quickly searches through content tags, keywords, and metadata and presents users with a rating of search results by relevancy.
SharePoint offers three different subscription plans which each have varying price points and storage space:
SharePoint Online Plan 1: This plan provides access to both SharePoint and OneDrive and offers 1 TB of storage space for $5 per month.
SharePoint Online Plan 2: Users get unlimited OneDrive storage space and access to all SharePoint online features. Additionally, users have access to advanced features such as advanced DLP and content preservation. This plan starts at $10 per month.
Office 365 E3 Plan: This plan features all the benefits of Plan 2 but also offers Microsoft Office applications for $20 per month.
Microsoft Azure is a public cloud-computing platform. Where SharePoint is more of a platform-as-a-service (PaaS), Azure is considered an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). The platform’s versatile nature enables business teams to use it in numerous ways—from virtual computing and analytics to storage, networking, and more. Users can add cloud tools and applications directly to their existing network or entrust Microsoft to manage and maintain their computing and network needs.
With an ever-expanding array of features and tools, Azure provides teams with a convenient, easy-to-use platform designed to meet a variety of needs. Some of the top capabilities in Azure include:
Azure Active Directory Domain services
Visual Studio team services
Azure DevTest Labs
No two companies utilize Azure in the same way. While some rely on its IaaS services, others take advantage of the robust PaaS features. Regardless, the versatility and scalability of Azure result in limitless use cases, some of which include:
IoT Services: Azure features everything businesses need to build, deploy, and manage an IoT network, including Event Hubs, Stream Analytics, Document DB, and HDInsight. Together, these features easily collect data, perform ad-hoc querying and data analysis, and more.
Disaster Recovery: Business teams looking for tight security of cloud data turn to Azure for its robust disaster recovery features. The platform regularly makes redundant copies of business data in multiple locations. This ensures business teams have multiple backups of data should interruptions occur or their main website goes down.
Storage: Azure features DocumentDB, a JSON store that integrates with numerous systems to provide teams with secure yet accessible data storage. The platform is especially beneficial for teams with large amounts of complex data as it easily creates attributes and links between data, making it easier for users to find.
Azure is available on a pay-as-you-go pricing scale. How much a subscription costs depends solely on the features and capabilities teams choose to include. For example, teams in need of numerous resources will pay more than teams looking to utilize only a few of Azure’s features.
To help teams determine the exact cost of Azure, Microsoft built the Pricing Calculator. The tool allows users to select which tools and applications they want to include in their Azure subscription and calculates the estimated hourly or monthly cost. This helps businesses get the most value from their payment and ensures they’re only paying for tools they’ll use on a regular basis.
How are SharePoint and Azure Different?
Comparing SharePoint and Azure would be like comparing apples and oranges. Both were designed for vastly different purposes. Most organizations choose to leverage both platforms, Azure for its robust servers and SharePoint for data management and storage.
Ultimately, selecting the right tool comes down to a business’ specific needs. Those looking to migrate to a robust, secure cloud server should use Azure while those looking for seamless content management and collaboration should deploy SharePoint. Or teams can choose to leverage both solutions to set up a truly powerful, modernized cloud environment.
Choose the Right Solution with JourneyTEAM
JourneyTEAM empowers business teams to build and deploy a customized IT solution designed to meet specific business goals. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we know the ins and outs of Azure, SharePoint, and the rest of the Microsoft portfolio which enables us to build truly powerful business solutions.
Contact JourneyTEAM today and take the first step in building an intelligent, powerful, and secure business application.