5 Risks of Running an Unsupported SharePoint Environment

sharepoint risks

5 Risks of Running an Unsupported SharePoint Environment

By Tracy van der Schyff | July 30, 2018

I’m sure you’ve heard many times from IT departments or clients that “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” And we’ve survived  under those conditions for a very long time.

…Or have we?

Let’s talk about something we all understand: Car trouble. When’s the last time you stood next to the road with a flat tire or an engine that’s overheated? It’s no fun; and believe me, the cost of the repair is not the actual expense. It’s the time lost during the breakdown.

I’ve spent most of my life owning cars after they’re paid off because I thought it to be cheaper. That is, until the last time I had a breakdown and had to rent a car for 6 weeks. Now, I only purchase new cars that include a Service Plan and Warranty.

When it comes to cars, I don’t make “Penny wise, pound foolish” decisions anymore. This brings me to unsupported SharePoint environments. (See what I did there?)

Nothing is meant to last forever, and the same goes for SharePoint.

SharePoint Versions

You’ll be surprised when you see how many companies are still running SharePoint 2001, 2003, 2007, and 2013. Companies typically migrate to new versions three years after its release, and this is due to the need for a stable environment. And of course, the unspoken truth is that it’s about getting the most out of their current environment.

sharepoint version deployed

Microsoft Lifecycle Policy

“The Microsoft Lifecycle Policy gives you consistent and predictable guidelines for the availability of support throughout the life of a product.”

Product Lifecyle

On the Microsoft Product Lifecycle site, you’ll be able to search for your product and download lifecycle information. Below, you’ll find the Product Lifecyle details for SharePoint related products.

An important date to take note of is that SharePoint 2013’s end of Mainstream Support date was April 10, 2018.

Products Released

Lifecycle Start Date

Mainstream Support End Date

Extended Support End Date

Service Pack Support End Date

Access Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

7/15/2010

10/13/2015

10/13/2020

 

Excel Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

7/15/2010

10/13/2015

10/13/2020

 

Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint

6/16/2010

10/13/2015

10/13/2020

 

Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint Internet Sites

8/1/2010

10/13/2015

10/13/2020

 

Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint Service Pack 1

6/24/2011

10/13/2015

10/13/2020

 

Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003

11/23/2003

4/14/2009

4/14/2024

 

Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Service Pack 1

10/18/2004

N/A

N/A

1/9/2007

Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Service Pack 2

10/18/2005

N/A

N/A

10/14/2008

Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Service Pack 3

9/18/2007

4/14/2009

4/8/2014

 

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

1/27/2007

N/A

N/A

1/13/2009

Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2001

Review Note

N/A

N/A

7/9/2002

Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2001 Service Pack 2

5/30/2001

N/A

N/A

4/12/2005

Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2001 Service Pack 3

3/23/2004

7/11/2006

7/12/2011

 

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 Service Pack 1

12/11/2007

N/A

N/A

7/13/2010

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 Service Pack 2

4/28/2009

N/A

N/A

1/8/2013

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 Service Pack 3

10/25/2011

10/9/2012

10/10/2017

 

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

7/15/2010

10/13/2015

10/13/2020

 

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Service Pack 1

6/28/2011

N/A

N/A

10/14/2014

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Service Pack 2

7/23/2013

10/13/2015

10/13/2020

 

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Service Pack 1

2/25/2014

4/10/2018

4/11/2023

 

PerformancePoint Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

7/15/2010

10/13/2015

10/13/2020

 

SharePoint Server 2013

1/9/2013

N/A

N/A

4/14/2015

SharePoint Server 2016

5/1/2016

7/13/2021

7/14/2026

 

Sybari Antigen 8.0 for Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server

N/A

11/1/2012

N/A

 

Before end of Mainstream Support, you can expect Microsoft to release Public Update Builds (PU) which contains the latest functionality, performance, and stability improvements for the product. Once in extended support (for example, SharePoint 2013 as from April 11, 2018), Microsoft will only update the minimum supported build.

Risks of running unsupported environments

The five main risks I’ll highlight are:
sharepoint risks

Cost of support

If your product is not supported anymore, you’ll have to pay for calls logged with Microsoft. And it’s not just the cost of the ticket you must consider, downtime and the general impact on productivity and service becomes the hidden cost.

Risk of data loss without recovery solutions

This has two sides to consider. If your SharePoint environment is no longer supported, the loss of data and possibility to recover this data will be affected, seeing as the data recovery procedures might not be supported anymore.

Also, when using third-party products for recovery on a platform that is no longer supported, inevitability deems the third-party product ‘unsupported’ as well.

Exposure to security gaps

Supported environments receive regular security updates and bug fixes. Without this, your data is exposed, which directly influences your compliance status as well.

Loss of user productivity

This is where I get emotional around outdated environments. Users suffer when companies try to save money by not upgrading or updating their software (and hardware).

An example would be me walking into companies where users are still working on Windows Vista with Office 2007. Employees are our most valuable assets and, in the end, any loss of productivity costs us more than we can imagine.

Take a look at our Unofficial SharePoint Feature Comparison Chart to see how much your users are actually losing out on.

Shadow IT

When users are not empowered, they will find ways to achieve what they need. Workarounds tend to be costly and create ‘unsupported’ environments in themselves. Being on the latest versions exposes the company to the latest technology and features, which breeds productivity.

Announcements around Microsoft Product Support

The best defense is proactivity. Stay up to date  with the latest news and versions and in the loop.

Follow the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy site and keep your eye on the announcements made on the products you use. Below you’ll find some of the latest announcements from Microsoft:


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Tracy van der Schyff

Tracy is a Microsoft MVP and an energetic, hyperactive adrenaline junkie who sees challenges and issues as opportunities and thrives on improving processes, environments and the general quality of life. Her broad knowledge about IT and Business gives her the ability to communicate on both levels and convey meaningful requirements and narrow the (ever present) gap between the two.

Written By: Tracy van der Schyff