There are a lot of reasons for a business to migrate to Office 365. From its broad suite of applications and versatility to some well-established cost and productivity benefits. Enough reason to convince tens of millions of monthly subscribers that the service will benefit their organisation.
And, while the benefits of migrating your familiar IT services to a cloud-based version are clear enough, there are considerations you need to explore before deciding that Office 365 is the best choice. There’s no doubt that it’s a good system – but is it the right system for you?
Here we list a few things you might wish to consider before you migrate your business services over to 365.
Different businesses are going to have different needs when it comes to the level of security required. If your company has data that’s highly sensitive then, naturally, your security needs are going to be high.
Ask yourself how much of this sensitive material you wish to be stored on a public cloud server.
This is not to say that Office 365 is not secure – in fact, its backup and encryption procedures are of a reputed high standard. Nevertheless, migrating entirely to 365 is effectively placing your data in the hands of a third-party. Depending on the sensitivity of that data, you may find greater peace of mind storing such material locally or on-premises – with the necessary business continuity and disaster recovery measures in place, of course.
Working with an IT consultancy who are able to present tailored, hybrid options can help ensure you adopt the best, most appropriate components of 365 while maintaining data security by means that suit your company best.
Linked to your data protection is the fact that many businesses are bound by compliance. The need to remain compliant around areas of data protection may well have been a road block for many businesses adopting the cloud in years’ past. And while that’s less of a hindrance these days, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have approved cloud usage (including public cloud providers) for instance, understanding your compliance responsibilities should still be a consideration before migration.
You need to be aware of the different guidelines around compliance and the cloud in your industry to ensure that the way in which you use Office 365 enables you to stay onside.
Full Migration or Hybrid Solution
The temptation may be to jump into Office 365 fully, seduced perhaps by the attractively low initial costs. And, of course, the broad array of applications within 365 can deliver solutions across your business, all included in the package.
However, does it meet all of your needs or will you require additional IT support to supplement the Office products?
Migrating to Office 365 and then buying add-ons to fill the gaps can see those budget savings disappear.
An IT provider who can tailor a solution from public, private and on-premises services will have a full understanding of the benefits of 365, as well as the limitations. And of course, they will have an understanding of your business needs. Allowing them to tailor a hybrid system based on the best and most appropriate applications.
Office 365 remains a hugely popular service to businesses of all sizes, and looks set to continue being so into the foreseeable future. And while it delivers an impressive suite of applications to meet many of the needs typical in a business operation, it’s not a be-all-end-all solution. Consider the needs of your business and industry before migrating, and look to work with a consultant who can tailor the service to your requirements and budget.