Almost every established business has experienced the constant burden of trying to keep up with rapid technological advancement. Many companies still rely on legacy systems that lack interoperability with newer platforms and fail to keep up with soaring demand.
While the cost and scalability advantages of migrating to the cloud are without doubt, actually realizing those advantages can sometimes seem out of reach. Migrating from an on-premises email server to Outlook 365 is one such example.
To enjoy the best features of Outlook 365, businesses need to tread carefully when it comes to tackling the various migration challenges. Working with a managed IT services provider can keep the risks to a minimum.
Here are some reasons why:
#1. Reduce the burden on IT
Even if you have an internal IT team, chances are they already have their hands full with day-to-day responsibilities. Adding to these existing burdens can result in unexpected downtime, productivity losses, and a greatly increased risk of costly human error.
By partnering with an MSP to oversee your email migration, you can share the responsibility and outsource much, or even all, of the work involved. Most importantly, this frees up time for your internal team to focus on more strategic matters.
#2. Integrate collaborative tools
Many Outlook 365 helpful tips point to the software’s deep integration with the wider Microsoft 365 ecosystem, and for good reason. While Microsoft Outlook is still available as a one-time purchase, this option lacks major feature updates and native integration with the many other online collaboration and communication tools included with a Microsoft 365 subscription.
Microsoft 365 includes the latest versions of all the desktop productivity applications, including Outlook itself. However, it also offers a more flexible deployment model along with integration with many other business-critical tools, such as Yammer, SharePoint, and Teams. Partnering with an MSP ensures your internal team has the tools and training necessary for them to get the most out of their investment.
#3. Enhance information security
Many on-premises business email servers run on outdated technology that is susceptible to a multitude of cyberattacks like malware and advanced persistent threats (APTs). Such systems are favorite targets for attackers looking to exploit unpatched vulnerabilities.
Migrating your business email system to the cloud is not a solution to this problem itself, since attempting to go it alone can actually leave you in a worse position than before. That said, with the help of an MSP, you can take advantage of advanced security features, such as multifactor authentication (MFA) and encryption. Once implemented, your Microsoft 365 deployment will be proactively managed and updated to help counter the latest threats.
#4. Proactively prevent downtime
On-premises email servers and other systems are often highly vulnerable to downtime due to the fact that they often rely on proprietary technologies and systems that are no longer widely supported. In other words, if the server goes offline, it can take a long time to get everything up and running again, depending on the availability and proficiency of your in-house team.
The risk of this happening is even greater when you are migrating to a new solution, hence the clear need to share the responsibility with a trustworthy MSP. MSPs are bound by their service level agreements (SLAs) to offer a minimum uptime guarantee and to respond to any issues that might arise within a given timeframe.
#5. Reduce the risk of data loss
Every business leader recognizes the need to innovate. However, as is always the case when making any major changes to your technology infrastructure, there is a significant risk of data loss or downtime. For example, after subscribing to Microsoft 365, many users have to migrate their emails from their Outlook desktop app to the Microsoft 365 mailbox. Without the required oversight, the risk of losing business-critical information is extremely high.
By working with an MSP, you can greatly reduce the risk of data loss when reconfiguring your business email solutions. A trusted MSP will set up periodic backups and take every possible precaution to ensure the migration goes smoothly. Moreover, while the migration is underway, you will be able to continue using your existing systems while the necessary redundancies and automated backup routines are set up by your MSP.
Charles IT offers expert guidance to help you get the most out of the many features of Outlook 365 and the broader Microsoft 365 software ecosystem. Get in touch today to find out how!