Office 365 provides an array of capabilities for enabling communication, collaboration, and compliance for organizations. An early task to complete in evaluating the shift to Office 365 is to determine how your organization will make use of the capabilities. This includes:

  • Whether to cherry-pick specific capabilities from Office 365 for use, such as Exchange Online or Exchange Online Archiving, or alternatively use most or all of the cloud services.
  • Decide whether to embrace a hybrid approach to specific capabilities, where some services are provided from Office 365 and complementary services are delivered through on-premises servers (for example, some Exchange mailboxes in Office 365 and others retained on-premises). A hybrid approach can be a short-term route for migrating to Office 365, or a long-term strategy for optimizing IT service delivery.
  • Determine how you will lead staff to the effective use of these new tools in their work. Getting business value from Office 365 requires creating new approaches to business processes enabled by new tools that streamline current processes by removing inefficiencies, creating innovation, or introducing greater effectiveness.

In addition to deciding how to use Office 365, it is essential to know if there are other competing or complementary IT initiatives being undertaken at your organization that might impact the scope or timeline for a migration to Office 365, such as a refresh of end-user devices. Current litigation or in-progress evaluations of possible acquisition targets will also directly impact the ability to move particular mailboxes to Exchange Online and your ability to migrate email archives.

These are just a few of the aspects to consider. If you’re looking for more information about migrating to Office 365, download Migrating to Office 365: A Step-by-Step Guide.