A common myth among IT leaders is that once you move Office to the cloud, the lion’s share of support and maintenance simply disappear.
The reality is quite different.
Quite often, failing to responsibly and accurately manage this new cloud environment causes significant disruptions to the workplace. In fact, 60% of availability and performance errors with the cloud are a direct result of misconfigurations, according to the Enterprise Management Association. Moreover, 50% of outages (and yes, outages do happen) are caused by change, configuration and hand-off issues.
With all the benefits, it’s no wonder many organizations settle on 24×7, always-on Managed Services for Office 365 to stick handle potentially costly, high-maintenance work and focus on other initiatives, instead.
Below we’ve highlighted the 6 biggest considerations to make before embarking on an Office 365 initiative, helping you decide whether managed services might be of value to you. If you had any tips or comments to add, please share below!
1. Speed to Value:
When a solution as transformative as Office 365 is put in place, the pressure is on to show the gains to the business right away. While those gains won’t necessarily be monetary at the start, your end-users should at least be able to use the software, without any glitches. Anything else can leave a negative impression of the change and taint future adoption
2. Skill Gaps:
One of the greatest skill gaps is in supporting a hybrid environment and in many cases, newer versions of technologies. The whole point of a cloud solution is offloading this type of action to the servers and teams in Redmond – not to learn a new way to manage everything yourself.
3. Getting it right first. And after.
60% of availability and performance errors are the result of misconfigurations. The key to a successful O365 implementation begins with the initial configuration, but needs to be maintained through the ongoing management of the environment. As much as you’d like a set it and forget scenario, you can never foresee every eventuality. Ongoing line of sight and action into your configuration is mandatory to keep things humming.
4. Small things add up.
Routine task such as adding a user or more complicated tasks such as configuring an advance feature pose a time consuming challenge, and impact the business if not done correctly. Again, this is all about loss of value and diminishing the returns you estimated in your business case.
5. People costs:
The unforeseen, not budgeted costs to train and maintain staff competency on O365 and administration can be significant. Similar to point two, it is rare to factor in the people costs it takes to be nimble and effective with this cloud solution. With the ever competitive war for IT talent, is this really where you want to invest your limited resources?
It Pays for Itself: The Use Case
A Softchoice client was looking to migrate their existing on-premise Exchange environment to Office 365 to free up some internal support resources. The business wanted to see new features and applications deployed more frequently to enable a more mobile workforce.
After tapping Softchoice to deliver the managed services, we guided the implementation as well as configured a much more simplified tenant that combined a few existing features into one seamless experience. The result: the client was able to pay for the managed service by reducing the application spend.
And they’re not alone. Clients using Softchoice’s managed service for Office 365 typically see significant benefits in terms of overall uptime, freeing up internal resources and simplifying the transition to an operational state.
How Softchoice helps – Managed Services for Office 365
If you think you’re ready to start implementing Office 365, get in touch to see how our Keystone Managed Services might help you succeed.
If you want more info now, check out our newest resource: The Complete Guide to Building a User-Centric Office 365. It takes you through all the steps of building a high performance, user-centric Office 365 environment.