Office 365 Migration – benefits and risks involved
Microsoft Office is the most commonly used software around the world, with 56% of businesses adopting the new Office 365. Migrating to Office 365 is a significant step for any small business, it will cost you time and money but, it will introduce a suite of new tools and new ways to execute workflows, improving your efficiency, on the cloud. Any cloud-based migration poses risk. This article in collaboration with CCIQ Partner SureBridge will provide you with insights in Identifying what these risks are and help you develop mitigation strategies will allow you to achieve a flawless migration.
Benefits of and drivers for migrating:
Work with applications you’re already familiar with
If your business currently operates on Microsoft software, there migration to 365 will be relatively painless. The largest difference being Instead of your employees accessing their files on your computer servers, they can access them from anywhere from the cloud.
Reduced costs of service delivery, and factored future costs
Migrating your system to Office 365 requires no large initial outlay to access the software (as it once did), or a specialised server to process the information. One key benefit to Office 365 is that is affordable in price, with flexible month-to-month options to help you better manage your cash flow.
Comparing the costs of servers, maintenance, software updates and IT Support to a month-off subscription has its benefits.
As your business grows, so too can your investment. SAAS models such as Office 635 allow you to up or downgrade your investment based on the growth of your business.
Tools such as Yammer and Microsoft teams allow you to invite different internal and external teams to collaborate on projects, updating linked files to ensure all of your documentation is centralised no matter what Microsoft application you’re working on. The only thing to worry about is that your employees are saving documents in the right areas. Microsoft 365 also integrates with several third-party applications like Zendesk or Asana, so you can easily add it to your customer service and ticketing system, along with threaded conversations to easily track the flow of a conversation.
Office 365 also enables simultaneous editing across files, so you can have multiple staff working on the same document without worrying about version control. If your team is not in the same place but still need to collaborate; no problem! Office 365 also comes with online meetings and video conferencing capabilities – so there is literally no obstacle to having the best collaborative experience possible.
Streamlining IT Operations
Not every business can afford to have internal IT support at their fingertips, and to have managed servers on-site without support you could be risking the quality and security of your IT operations. With cloud-based software such as Microsoft 365 much of security and quality risks are mitigated from cloud storage and security.
There are risks associated with a migration to a cloud-based storage– one important risk is that you’re dependent on that company. Mostly this is fine, except when outages occur. Lack of connectivity to the cloud servers means that your staff are unable to access their emails or files for a length of time until Microsoft fixes the issue.
One way to get around this is to keep critical documents saved locally (on servers or a desk-top) for emergency access.
The cost of a failed migration
Due diligence is essential when scoping out any project, this is the same for any cloud migration. Getting your ‘house in order’ is critical to migration success, and according to a cloud migration survey conducted by Forrester Research Inc concluded that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
Some of the problems identified in migrating to the cloud include “cost complexity,” as well as a failure to train stakeholders such as DevOps teams that combine developers and information technology operations staff, the study found.
The survey also found that there were many ‘skills gaps’ in organisations, and that those companies had problems with training IT staff during and after migrating. Many businesses can’t afford the time and costs associated with training and skills gaps, particularly during the investment in a new system. A managed service provider (MSP) can help you to mitigate some of these costs, and ensure your transition is smooth and free from road blocks.
This is arguably the most important risk to a business when considering a migration. Data corruption, rogue employees and syncing errors can all lead to data loss. Consider running your old system parallel to your new, until you have ‘ironed’ out the kinks and tested to ensure your new system is accurate and maintains continuity.
Determining the cloud's costs and benefits requires a strategic approach, so understanding and accounting for all the direct and indirect factors involved in cloud migration is important. Risks associated will vary from environment to environment which is why strategic planning is essential. But when we consider the productivity gains, the flexible deployment options and predictable costs Cloud solutions offer, the rewards can very much outweigh the risks.