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26th September 2016What You Need to Think About Before Migrating to Office 365

What You Need to Think About Before Migrating to Office 365

What You Need to Think About Before Migrating to Office 365

The benefits of migrating your company IT into the cloud, and specifically towards adoption of Office 365 can deliver manifold benefits. We have previously discussed some of the tried and tested benefits the system can have on your productivity and, ultimately, your bottom line

The vast range of cloud-based, business-focused applications, married to those familiar ‘heritage’ Office products, gives the 365 suite a broad, all-encompassing scope that can bring significant benefits to work-forces of all sizes. Particularly in a corporate environment in which more and more work takes place remotely and through virtual space.

So with all that said, is it just a case of taking the step and migrating your business ‘job lot’ to the Microsoft package? Paul Jones, IT Solutions Manager at Red Tree IT provides his advice.

“Migrating your IT system, in whatever capacity you choose, is a major step in your business and you need to ensure it’s carried through correctly. And while we’re entirely convinced that Office 365 is an exceptional business tool, we strongly advocate that, before making the move, you take careful consideration of your requirements beforehand. So that the system you migrate to is able to meet the needs and demands of your company.”

Will you be migrating the entire network or retaining a degree of ‘traditional’ IT?

This is a key question when considering any migration of your IT system. Paul explains why a move to Office 365 no exception.

“One of the great attractions for adopting 365 is that it comes with little to no start-up costs, with flexible monthly payments. This is a great method for controlling the budget, aided further by the ease with which you can scale up or down to meet needs.

The temptation therefore, might be to just in with both feet at the general abandonment of you previous IT set-up.  However, while 365 will deliver benefits to a business, it’s not all things to all people and needs appropriate tailoring.

IT companies and consultants like Red Tree IT will make a point of getting to know the specifics of your business so we can adopt 365 in a fashion that’s most appropriate to you. This might be a wholesale migration or, as is often the case, a hybrid approach which will allow you to adopt the services beneficial to you while retaining certain necessary in-house (traditional) IT applications.”

Always Take Advice Regarding Data Protection

One example of why a hybrid solution might be the way forward, and why consultation with an IT professional should be considered, is through matters such as data protection.

“The first thing to say about data protection is that Office 365 is a proven secure environment,” commented Paul. “Cloud storage is demonstrably a safe method of storage, and Microsoft’s version is at the top-end of the industry.

However, you should still consider overarching issues regarding data protection. This might be particularly the case if you’re in an industry that has compliance factors to consider.

Compliance issues does NOT preclude you from using Office 365 but you will likely need to be aware of the guidelines so that you are using it in the correct manner.”

Concluding, Paul said, “Moving your IT system to Office 365 can make dramatic improvements to efficiencies and productivity in the organisation. From swift communication to instant data sharing all the way to being kept up to the minute on the news in your industry.

However, for you to get the very best out of the system you need to understand the different applications available, as well as the suite’s limitations. Working with an IT consultant with an expertise in Office 365 means they can analyse your business needs and introduce a system that’s most appropriate, ensuring long-term benefits, ongoing support, and efficient control over your costs.”

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