4 key issues every Office Manager needs to address when implementing Microsoft Office 365™
Businesses worldwide, regardless of size, are embracing Microsoft Office 365™ and moving their data to the cloud. Before your organisation makes the transition there are important questions you should ask and strategies to implement to make the transition run smoothly.
How easy this transition will depend on the complexity of your organisation. Here are some key considerations to address before implementing Office 365™.
It is worth taking your time to research which services are right for your business and what you need to do to make the task easier. Issues around the migration will depend on the complexity of your organisation; for instance, how many users you have, how many servers you require, how much data you are moving, and whether you are opting for a coexistence hybrid or completely cloud-based service.
With coexistence hybrid, your users will use a single sign-on through your on-premises Active Directory, which will sync with Office 365™ on the cloud. With the cloud-based service, your users will each need their own credentials to access their email.
If you are a relatively small business, migrating your database and existing archive should be easy, but for larger businesses dealing with terabytes of data, the process will be slower. There are third-party solutions that can speed up this process and help build the archive for you.
Prior to migration, however, deletion of any redundant users is recommended, along with a purge of your email list and review of who can access sensitive and confidential documents.
Office 365™ has limitations on the amount of data you can store (1 TB at the time of writing), which means that third-party archiving for data resilience may be required, particularly for large organisations. If you have offices located across multiple countries, you may wish to investigate third parties that can store geographically-specific archives to ensure secure data retention and accessibility via eDiscovery.
3. Spam filtering and email hygiene
Office 365™ uses OPE to filter emails and does not fully protect against threats such as directory harvest or distributed denial of service attacks, spear-phishing, etc., or those encountered at the connection level.
From 2010 to 2014, phishing attacks rose by 162.79%, (source) while spear-phishing attacks rose 40% in 2014 alone. No default setting can be perfectly tailored for every business, meaning some configuration of spam filters will most likely be necessary. Externally hosted protection may be prudent to lessen the need for on-premises solutions, particularly for large organisations.
4. Remaining online when Microsoft Office 365™ isn’t
Despite its power, Microsoft Office 365™ is still as vulnerable as any other program, and failures with email, authentication and security can still arise. A survey conducted by Osterman Research in 2013 found the typical employee utilises email for business purposed for an average of 149 minutes a day.
Multiplied by the number of employees in your company, that’s a lot of time wasted if they aren’t able to access their email. It’s a good idea to have contingencies in place to mitigate these worst-case scenarios, should the service become unavailable. It’s recommended to investigate third-party failover solutions that automatically sync once Office 365™ is back online.