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SharePoint 2013 workflow retirement: What, when, why & your migration options

Posted 10th May 2023

 

Here we cover the essential information on Microsoft’s recent announcement, plus the best option for replacing SharePoint 2013 workflows and why businesses need to start planning migrations sooner rather than later.

What

Microsoft has announced a phased retirement of SharePoint 2013 workflows, set to begin in 2024. Businesses currently relying on SharePoint 2013 workflows will need to start migrating to a new platform sooner rather than later to avoid disruption.

When

2 April 2024 – SharePoint 2013 workflows turned off for any newly created tenants 

2 April 2026 – Microsoft will remove the ability to run, create and execute SharePoint 2013 workflows for all existing tenants 

Why

Businesses and technology have changed a lot since SharePoint 2013 workflows were introduced. These workflows are becoming increasingly outdated, are often running on legacy technology that’s no longer supported, and in many ways simply no longer meet the needs of modern business processes. 

Over the past few years, Microsoft has invested heavily in newer workflow platforms like Power Automate and Azure Logic Apps, which offers more advanced functionality and greater integration with productivity services like Microsoft 365. By retiring SharePoint 2013 workflows, Microsoft is encouraging businesses to migrate to Power Automate for better support, and more powerful capabilities that are better suited to modern businesses. 

What does this mean for businesses?  

The ‘retirement’ of SharePoint 2013 workflows essentially means Microsoft will no longer be providing any support or updates for them. If a business that currently relies on SharePoint 2013 workflows hasn’t migrated before the 2026 deadline, it could cause significant disruption. Workflow failures will impact business processes, and with no further support or updates being rolled out, workflows will become vulnerable to security threats or compliance issues. 

Why are we talking about this now?  

Migrating workflows is a complex process that can take several months to complete. With customised workflows often distributed across legacy tech as well as cloud platforms, it can be difficult to identify all the critical workflows that need to be migrated. Once identified, these workflows need to be mapped out, configured, tested, validated and implemented in the new platform, and it can take time to get things right.  

 The sooner businesses begin the process of migration, the less likely they are to suffer any disruption when SharePoint 2013 workflows are turned off.  

 

What is the best replacement for SharePoint 2013 workflows? 

As Microsoft’s modern workflow platform, Power Automate will be the natural choice for most businesses. Not only is it built to work seamlessly with the Microsoft 365 services many businesses are already using, it modernises workflow orchestration by connecting with more than 220 other services for true customisation. 

The business benefits of Power Automate 

While the decision about migrating away from SharePoint 2013 might have been made for businesses rather than by them, there are plenty of benefits businesses will see from moving to Power Automate. 

  • Integration with Microsoft 365: Seamless integration with 365 and other Microsoft services makes it easier to create workflows that automate tasks across different applications and platforms.  
  • Improved productivity: Create workflows that streamline business processes, automate repetitive tasks and free up time for teams to focus on more important tasks. 
  • Easy to use: A user-friendly interface makes it easy to create and manage no-code workflows without a huge amount of technical expertise. 
  • Extensibility: Power Automate can be extended with custom connectors, so you can connect to a wider range of services and applications. 
  • Cost-effective: A range of pricing options and subscription levels means businesses can pay only for what they need. 
  • Robust security: Using powerful in-built security features, Power Automate helps protect business data and ensure compliance across workflows. 

Ready to begin your migration? 

BCN’s team of Microsoft-certified experts are here to support your business through every step of the process, from identifying critical SharePoint 2013 workflows to migrating and rebuilding complex legacy workflows in Power Automate 

Get in touch today.

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