9 myths about going to the cloud
A couple of years ago companies were really thinking about the cloud in a very simplistic sense as moving their VMs (Virtual machines) from their on-premises data centers into the cloud. Now we’re seeing an explosion of services and capabilities in the cloud that companies can take advantage of. It enables all sorts of new capabilities and functionalities in cloud apps, allowing businesses to reach new customers, predict the future with machine learning and advanced analytics, name but a few. But some businesses are still hesitant about moving to the cloud, in the light of the existing myths around migration to Office 365 which are in fact different from real state of affairs like chalk from cheese. Let’s debunk them!
- Myth 1 – The migration to Office 365 is too complicated
- Myth 2 Cloud is as troublesome as traditional environment
- Myth 3 – It is too expensive
- Myth 4 – Security and privacy concerns
- Myth 5 – Go big or go home – either move everything to the cloud or stay on-premises
- Myth 6. Email on premises vs email online – six of one, half a dozen of the other
- Myth 7 – Office 365 is available only online
- Myth 8 – Collaboration options in O365 are pretty much the same as in plain chat or meeting apps
- Myth 9 – Office 365 is incompatible with third-party business critical apps
Myth 1 – The migration to Office 365 is too complicated
Fact – moving to the cloud is a gradual and flexible process
Migration is not a piece of cake – it is a big project, that requires a detailed approach, when developing your migration strategy. But you don’t have to do it overnight. It is a process and you choose its scale and the speed, depending on your particular needs. In fact, you won’t be alone – at all stages starting from assessment of your environment to developing migration plan and finally implementing it, you will get the support of experts.
Myth 2 Cloud is as troublesome as traditional environment
Fact – you can invest your time in something better than hardware maintenance and software updates
Traditional digital estate includes hardware (you probably have a few file servers, active directory, mail and archive servers), that needs to be maintained, and a software that needs to be updated – a lot of headache for you! Whereas, when you move to Office 365, you can run your business in the cloud and let Microsoft take care of the IT for you, which means no more setting up servers, databases, file shares, or on-premises software for you and your employees. After you move to the cloud, you will find time to embrace change.
Myth 3 – It is too expensive
Fact – migration to Office 365 will save you money in a long runA lot of companies are worried about high costs of moving to the cloud. In fact, initial investment into cloud migration can really cost quite a sum of money, but our experts can help you with subscription management and deployment optimization, so you will pay only for what you really need. And in a long run you can actually reduce your costs significantly over your on-premises deployment, as you will get all the benefits from converting your capital expenditure to operational expenditure.
Myth 4 – Security and privacy concerns
Fact – cloud is an impregnable fortress, where data is accessible only to its owner and not anyone else
The idea, that your data nicely contained in an on-prem environment is more protected than in the cloud doesn’t hold water. Microsoft has hundreds of world-class cybersecurity experts focused on the cloud, so the security of your applications and of your data is actually enhanced. Microsoft runs across hundreds of data centers geo-distributed around the world. They are built from the ground up with security in mind – both security in terms of disaster prevention (like fire or earthquake) and data protection (only the right people can get into the buildings meaning the engineer who actually works on a physical server has no actual access to the application layer or actual environment and vice versa, those who work on application don’t have access to physical site (this is called separation of duties). Thus, your data is better protected, when stored, in cloud datacenters, rather than in locally on-premises.
As far as privacy is concerned, the fundamental principal Microsoft adheres to is that data belongs to the customer and only customer can control it. Office 365 is only a tool that runs the service for you and is accountable to you. Besides built-in protection customers enjoy unique controls that empower them to customize information protection (like data loss prevention, information protection, e-mail encryption and others).
Myth 5 – Go big or go home – either move everything to the cloud or stay on-premises
Fact – there are various options of cloud migration – it’s up to you to move only some of your workloads or all of them to the cloud
Some companies think that cloud migration is an all or nothing choice, that they have to move all of their applications at one time from their datacenters into the cloud. And that’s not true. You can maintain some of your applications on-premises, while putting others in the cloud, and having that ecosystem essentially transparent to all of your users. This is a hybrid deployment and only Microsoft can provide proper technology to enable that. Hybrid deployment gives you flexibility to move to the cloud at your own pace and on your own terms or even stay in hybrid mode as long as you want.
Myth 6. Email on premises vs email online – six of one, half a dozen of the other
Fact – if to compare Exchange Online has much more storage and helpful functionalities you will adore
Exchange is the easiest workload to move to the cloud and it’s the workload that most organizations move first. But if you still have doubts about it, here are a couple of arguments in favor of Exchange Online:
- in Exchange Online everything is updated automatically – you don’t have to spend time patching and applying cumulative updates to the software;
- storage – Exchange Online is MUCH larger, if you sum up the amount of data that’s available to each user, you start off from a very basic thing, 100 gig for your mailbox, 100 gig for your archive (and you can enable ever expanding archives), 100 gig for recoverable items, there’s 300 gigs straight-away;
- great opportunities for data governance and compliance (functionalities like retention policies, classification, e-discovery and content searches, and data loss prevention work across Exchange);
- you don’t have to have any complexity of rights management – your Exchange Online tenant is automatically enabled for encryption;
- security is one of the most critical parts of the Exchange Online – so you do see things like policy tips inside OWA (Outlook Web Access), you see messages being marked as potentially malicious. Messages coming from unknown senders are flagged to make you alert.
Myth 7 – Office 365 is available only online
Fact – Office 365 provides options to work offline too
If you need to work in a distant place, like mountains, wild woods or high seas, Office 365 gives you such an opportunity. When signed in to your account you can use all O365 functionalities for up to 30 days. After this period is over, you still need to connect to the Internet to get the latest updates and you can get back “into the wild” for another 30 days, if you want. To work with the files, stored in the cloud, you should first synchronize your PC with OneDrive before going offline. After synchronization your One Drive files will be downloaded to your hard drive and you will be able to access them from there. Once you are back to “online world” all the changes will automatically be uploaded to One Drive.
Myth 8 – Collaboration options in O365 are pretty much the same as in plain chat or meeting apps
Fact – Teams in Office 365 is your virtual collaboration workplace
Despite Office 365 already may offer a collaboration tools like Yammer, Outlook, SharePoint and Skype – it’s almost certain that Teams is the best solution for your teamwork. Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workplace, which gives people one place to communicate and use creativity in innate human ways. You can get static threads to communicate, you can go back to the archives and see them. Teams is designed for cooperation in real time and in a completely non-friction manner. Teams offer a possibility for people to interact in multiple teams and ensures no need to use 15 different collaboration tools. As it is part of the Office 365 suite Tools of cooperation, it is part of what users are already used to, meaning you can allocate tasks right in the conversation be simply creating or sharing and formatting any kinds of documents from Word to Excel or PowerPoint. It couldn’t be more comfortable than that. Customization, enhanced security, mobile calling, email integration – and not only that makes Teams a unique asset to increase your company efficiency
Myth 9 – Office 365 is incompatible with third-party business critical apps
Fact – Microsoft is constantly working to make Office 365 compatible with the apps your employees need for effective work.
Microsoft is always adding functionality and making improvements to Office 365, so when your users need a new third-party tool, you don’t have to worry about its security, instead you can rely on a security framework that’s already in place allowing users to take advantage of the productivity. This means your IT department can allow users to adopt the tool that best fits their needs. The single identity gives you the ability to bring in third-party cloud providers and integrate with Azure AD user account, using the same security and compliance tools that you do for Office 365. To cut a long story short, your users can use business critical apps, easily integrating them into their Office 365 accounts, giving them access to necessary data and enjoying the security, your admins will appreciate.
Summing up our myths debunking article, let’s outline one important point: when you start moving toward the cloud, you may be astonished to find out how many interesting and useful features one may discover exploring Office 365. That’s a great opportunity for your business to be more cost efficient and control every process of your information and communication management and very much more.