Migrating to Office 365 is becoming increasingly popular among businesses both large and small. The upside of moving from an on-premises environment to one hosted online by Microsoft offers compelling benefits. It is friendlier to mobile users and Microsoft is still and always improving it. It is all too tempting but, there are things you should know there are some things you should consider before switching to Office 365.
• Multiple passwords
Any new app, especially in the cloud, runs the risk of having yet another username and password for employees to remember. If you already use on-premises Active Directory for your user identities, look for a solution that ties Office 365, and all your other cloud app accounts, directly to Active Directory — without requiring your sensitive Active Directory data to be copied out into the cloud.
• Data migration
We all know about the dreaded “forklift” upgrade, or hard cutover. No fun for IT, and no fun for users when they have to suddenly change behavior. Look for a solution that allows for a hybrid mode, where some mailboxes remain on-premises as others move to the cloud. This way you can migrate on your own timeframe, and test as you go.
• You’ll need to reconfigure your spam filters
When you first migrate to Office 365 you’ll encounter plenty of spams that you had even forgotten about as they were being taken care by your old spam filters. Migration implies you have to take time to reconfigure everything from scratch even your spam filters.
• Account synchronization
Synchronization between on-premises Active Directory and Office 365 means just that — keeping user info in sync in multiple places. Rather than dealing with sync frequency and multiple copies of directory information, look for solutions that proxy authentication requests from Office 365, and all your other cloud apps, back to your on-premises Active Directory. The best solutions should be simple to install, not require firewall changes, and keep your data secure.
Office 365 licensing is fairly straightforward, but still includes many options. Many users will require different levels of license, based on use case. Look for granular license management and automation so that new users have the right entitlements based on role. Also make sure you can easily track license consumption and availability so you can save costs and simplify true-ups.
Moving data to the cloud doesn’t have to mean exposing your organization to risk. Look for solutions that minimize the identity information copied to the cloud, provide deep policy to block unauthorized access, and provide multi-factor authentication and integrated device management — to further protect your data no matter where it’s accessed from.
If you are thinking about moving to Office 365 give us a call, we can help you get prepared.
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