To avoid setbacks, delays, and overspending, you must put a plan in place for overcoming the challenges of an upgrade to Office 365 business. While each organization is different, and has its own unique set of challenges based on a variety of factors, there are some general considerations that can be applicable across industries and business size.
Security and Compliance
To put it simply, you’re not ready to upgrade to Office 365 business if you don’t understand your security and compliance requirements. The right approach to security, compliance, and your risk, can mean the difference between a smooth transition, and a very rocky one.
Not only is data the most valuable asset you have, but you may also be under legal obligation to protect it according to industry best practices, or governmental standards and regulations. It’s vitally important to ensure the integrity of your data, while maintaining confidentiality within your company and in third party environments.
- In doing so, customers and team members will continue to trust that your organization prioritizes the safety of their information.
- In not doing so, you open yourself up for a loss of customer and employee trust, along with damages to your organization’s reputation, and potential non-compliance penalties.
Thoroughly assessing your existing security program for any vulnerabilities, gaps or pitfalls, along with any regulatory requirements, can help you determine if the Office 365 security plan will be enough – or if additional services would be needed.
People can often be resistant to change. No matter what new tools are available, or how modern and intuitive a platform is, users need to use them for organizations to gain from their benefits.
Communicating with users on the advantages and benefits of an upgrade to Office 365 business, and how its tools can help make their workday easier, can give them what they need to buy-in to the move.
- By understanding that a big reason for the change is to improve their working environment, users tend to feel more positive about any modifications that lie ahead.
- If users feel as though they are being forced to change for the sake of change, they tend to resist and react more negatively – making the upgrade to Office 365 business that much more difficult and lengthy.
Keeping the lines of communication open by encouraging feedback and providing details throughout the process helps keep everyone informed, and feel as though they are a part of the solution.
The State of Your Existing Environment
There are numerous areas in your current environment that should be considered, assessed, and reviewed against the unique requirements of your Office 365 business solution. Whether fully operating in the cloud, or partially operating in the cloud, your network traffic is going to increase.
- In order to sync with cloud-based apps, account for increased online collaboration, complete downloads, absorb software updates, and more, there’s a chance that you may need additional bandwidth.
- Legacy email systems and applications should be reviewed for potential integration gaps, governance concerns, and how it interacts with other systems through automated responses, helpdesk, and more.
- Do you have any secure desktops that require special care due to the sensitive nature of their usage (human resources PCs for example)?
- Are new network routing options available? Depending on your unique requirements, there may be additional options available to route your data to the internet more appropriately, or effectively.
- System security policies should be reviewed for potential consolidation, or possible removal if found to be obsolete.
- Are there hardware items or support contracts nearing the end of their lifecycles? If so, depending on timing, they could cause delays, along with additional cost, time and resources.
- Restrictive devices and outdated, unused security applications could be living in your environment – keeping internet connections and application updates from occurring.
- Existing firewalls and routers could become bottlenecks as traffic increases. If not thoroughly assessed, they may wind up slowing your network’s performance.
With an upgrade to Office 365 business, users can utilize an assortment of different devices to access their mailbox, company files, share drives, collaboration tools, and much, much more. With mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and more all in play, organizations must accurately establish current and future mobile needs to ensure their mobile management solutions support those needs.
It can be quite challenging to ensure security with higher volumes of mobile usage, and although Microsoft has made enormous investments in security, organizations must also do all they can to ensure the safety and security of their data.
In order to utilize existing mobile solutions, they must be compatible with Office 365 system requirements. If existing solutions aren’t able to properly integrate with Office 365, users will potentially lose data – and other problems, such as compromised security, costly fixes, damaging financial penalties, and more, could also occur as a result.
Proof of concept
Without a clear scope, or objectives to guide the defined success or failure of tools and services, clear results cannot be determined. While it’s important to ensure that the technology itself is functioning as it should, it’s just as important to ensure that the integration with other apps and services are working expectedly as well.
- For example, your email transition was ruled a success because your users were able to send and receive emails. But just as soon as it was declared a success, there was an issue. It was quickly discovered that email data was missing. Why? Because the policy for governing data loss wasn’t properly set up.
- In cases like these, appropriately proving out both the technology and the application would have resulted in the issue being caught and dealt with before it was deployed.
By testing through real business use-cases and gaining thorough feedback from users, organizations can confirm if the technology aligns with business objectives as is, or if it could use some tweaks. Defining the best use-case scenarios and choosing appropriate users to test them can help identify pain points throughout the workflow that could hinder a user’s ability to complete task assignments.