Migrating to the cloud is a big decision for enterprises (and businesses of all sizes), and therefore requires thorough evaluation of IT systems in order to optimize the value on business processes and user adoption.
Office 365 is Microsoft’s fastest growing product, and it is predicted that a growing number of companies will adopt Microsoft’s cloud environment in 2012. So, what should enterprises take into account when migrating to Office 365?
We have identified four “tips” that we believe are vital as you plan your migration.
1. Identify the functionality you require
Office 365 provides most of the functionality that many users require but it is does not contain all of the features found in Office 2010. In most companies there will be Office “power users” that rely heavily on the advanced features of Office 2010 while other users have only basic needs. Identifying which users in your company fall into each group, and only migrating those users whose needs are met with the features available in Office 365 is vital for a successful migration.
2. Take small steps
Migrating to Office 365 cloud could be problematic depending on the platforms your business has in place. We suggest taking small steps through the migration process – test an application, and then strategically move other applications. Microsoft recommends implementing a 3-6 month pilot program to test the impact on applications and files to the cloud environment. Another option is to minimize the scope of the migration. Moving data, whether it is files or emails, can be a time consuming and costly process. Reviewing the data and archiving old or obsolete files prior to the migration is a great way to speed the migration process.
3. Choose the right Office 365 plan for your enterprise
Care must be taken in assessing the Office 365 packages. Keep in mind your business’s size and future needs. Office 365 is a pay-as-you-go system. Office 365 will let you sway between plans, but it may impact cost and/or time delays.
4. Provide mobility to all employees
Ultimately, the cloud is about mobility and collaboration. When your enterprise moves to Office 365, it is vital to check the compatibility of this service with the devices your employees will use, such as mobile devices, smart phones and tablet computers.
Microsoft Office 365 offers a lot of features for growing organizations. As mentioned in a previous article “Why choose Office 2010 instead of Microsoft 365?”, we recommend enterprises to consider coupling cloud and desktop to achieve the optimum level of system availability and reliability.