Office 365 Management – Things You May Not Have Thought of at First
So you’ve moved your company to Office 365. Users are all switched over, emails and content have been migrated and you’re ready to rock and roll. You’re now entering the world of happy users, an uptick in business results led by productivity gains and simplified platform administration and management. Right?
Microsoft has done, and continues to do, great work on the Office 365 platform. It’s changed dramatically for the better even from a just year ago. It’s one of the advantages of SaaS and no doubt one of the drivers for why you went there in the first place.
But, and it is a small but important but, there are a few things that often trip up administrators when they first dive into Office 365.
Take backup. There are SLAs and processes around the recycle bin for recovering the CFO’s all important spreadsheet. But what happens if we, as administrators, can’t find the file in question or something horrendous has happened and corrupted the file within the document library?
In the on-premises world we would go to our backup tool of choice, search through our backup files, locate the document or an earlier uncorrupted version of it (if we were not using version control within SharePoint) and voila – file recovered. In the cloud, it’s a new workflow and backups are stored differently, so we’ve given up a little bit of that control.
Once you’re in Office 365, Microsoft is responsible for the underlying infrastructure and the core application delivery. Therefore, we have fewer things that we need to worry about controlling. Conversely, we now sometimes worry because we have less control.
OneDrive for Business is also something new for administrator to navigate. Not just from some of the usage quirks that remain – yes we know it is not Box or Dropbox – but it is also another place where we’d prefer to have more control to dig into exactly what is going on. How many users are actively using it? How much content have they uploaded? Who is sharing what and with whom?
Microsoft has added reports in the latest administration experience to provide some of those details, but the finer elements of insight or control are still missing. For example, how do we easily take or reassign ownership of OneDrive for Business files when someone leaves the organization? And speaking of people leaving the organization, how do we keep control from a license perspective? Either with people leaving or making it simple for new users entering the organization? And what about other tasks associated with on-boarding or sun-setting of user accounts such as ensuring that appropriate access is either granted or removed?
There is no doubt that there are many benefits with Office 365, from both a user and administrator perspective. But we’re still in the transition phase from the on-premises world to the heady heights of the cloud. As a result, there are going to be some differences compared to how things used to be done. We just need to think about everything we used to manage on-premises and not be afraid to ask the tough questions about what that now looks like in the cloud.
If you’d like to learn more about the things that often trip up administrators when they first dive into Office 365, look for our blog later this week as we dig into the hidden challenges of Office 365 user management.
Paul LaPorte is an expert in business continuity, disaster recovery and security. He is Director of Product Marketing for Backup and Storage products at Metalogix, and previously served as Principle Strategist for Continuity Research, and as a senior executive of Evergreen Assurance, a pioneer in real-time disaster recovery for mission critical applications.