Proventeq have recently been cited as a representative vendor in the “2019 Market Guide for Cloud Office Migration Tools” from Gartner. But what is cloud office migration and how could it help your organisation?
Cloud Office suites can help to reduce costs, drive simplicity and ultimately offer an efficient path for your organisation to provide users with increased functionality in their daily working lives. In this article we will take a closer look at how a cloud office is defined, the benefits of a move, what a migration to a cloud office solution involves, and how to gain the highest value from such a project.
What is a Cloud Office?
“Cloud Office” is a term which refers to suites of SaaS-based collaboration and communication tools. These suites combine email, file sharing, instant messaging, conferencing, document management, search and discovery, and collaboration. The Cloud Office suites which you may already be familiar with are Microsoft Office 365 and Google’s G Suite.
Could a move to a Cloud Office lead to better business?
Gartner research predicts that at least 70% of businesses will have completed a move to a Cloud Office platform by 2021. So why are so many businesses adopting a cloud-based approach to their daily office activities? To understand this, let’s look at some of the important benefits a Cloud Office suite can offer:
Better Mobile App Support
Users are increasingly demanding access to productivity tools on both tablets and smartphones; allowing them to continue work while away from the office. Modern Cloud Office suites answer this challenge with optimised mobile apps designed to deliver continuous experiences when transitioning from desktop and browser-based applications.
Elevated Collaboration Opportunities
Cloud office suites present your users with a plethora of ways to work collaboratively. By storing content in a centralised, cloud-based repository such as SharePoint Online, documents and records can be edited, viewed and interacted with by multiple users. Apps such as Microsoft’s Teams give users the power to work, communicate and collaborate in real-time, regardless of location or device.
Smarter Enterprise Search
Both popular Cloud Office suites offer access to Intelligent search solutions in the form of Microsoft Delve and Google Cloud Search. Both these solutions provide higher quality search and data discovery capabilities compared to on-premises deployments.
Increased or Unlimited Storage
Many Cloud Office suites provide the attractive benefit of increased storage space per user. In fact, Office 365 provides each user with a very generous 1TB of storage space via OneDrive for Business (easily increased to 5TB), while Google G Suite provides 30GB per user as standard.
Unified Meeting Solutions
Messaging applications such as Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts make it easy to initiate and maintain persistent conversations and real-time meetings, which can easily be integrated with collaboration and content tools to provide a substantially richer meeting experience.
Easy to Manage Security
Attitudes towards the security capabilities of the cloud have now shifted from scepticism to positivity, with many organisations now choosing Cloud Office suites thanks to the increased and better provisioned security features over on-premises platforms. Cloud Office solutions such as Office 365 include DLP, IRM, encryption, archiving, e-discovery, legal holds, two-factor authentication and email governance built into their primary applications.
Several tools and capabilities unavailable from on-premises deployments can be found in Cloud Office suites. Microsoft’s Office 365 includes the cloud-only apps Teams, Delve, To-Do, Stream, Planner, Graph, Flow, PowerApps, Power BI and Yammer. These cloud-only apps open a range of opportunities to improve business practices for many organisations.
Understanding Cloud Office Migration
According to Gartner, “’Cloud office migration’ refers to the process of consolidating and transferring a collection of workloads from source systems to a cloud-based office platform”. Typically included in these workloads are emails, files, calendars, document types, related metadata, applications, user permissions, compound structures and linked components. Gartner further states that “Migration of such workloads from at least one permanent on-premises platform or cloud office to a new cloud office environment, across a variety of similar product classes, is typical. During the migration process, enterprises should cleanse their existing platforms by archiving old and outdated data.”
Cloud Office migration can take several forms depending on the intended source and target of the project; perhaps there is a need to migrate from an on-premises solution to Cloud Office, or even from one Cloud Office to suite to another. As Cloud Office suites mature, some projects even deal with converging or splitting up Cloud Office tenants due to a merger or acquisition. However, regardless of where an organisation intended to move from or to, the process of moving content and data from source to target can present a number of complexities.
Getting the most out of Cloud Office Migration
While the technical aspects of one migration project may differ greatly in scope and execution to another, there are several considerations which can be made to ensure success. These include:
- Accurately scoping the migration project by prioritising the workloads which must be moved.
- Performing detailed discovery and analysis of source data and information to ensure that no critical items are left behind or difficult for users to locate in the new Cloud Office suite.
- Inclusion of longer-term provisions (such as ongoing platform governance, consolidation, third-party software integration and cross-platform shifts) in the initial migration plan to not be “caught unawares”.
- Optimisation of the target architecture to avoid “like-for-like” reproduction of an existing deployment, which may restrict the productivity gains possible from the new cloud-based ecosystem.
Undertaking such steps during the migration process helps to streamline the deployment of Cloud Office suites effectively, allowing your internal teams to focus on other vital steps in adoption such as user training and acceptance. While there is much more you can do to make your migration a success, these steps are a great place to start.
Want to find out more?
To honour our identification as a representative vendor in Gartner’s 2019 Market Guide for Cloud Office Migration Tools, we would like to extend the offer of a complimentary copy of the report to you. To obtain your report, click here.
Our Migration Accelerator software can help accelerate your move to a Cloud Office solution. To book a consultation with one of our migration experts; get in touch with us today.