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Positioning Office 365 for the C-suite

As an IT professional, the benefits of ‘going cloud’ are pretty cut and dry and you’re ready to make the move. Of course, this requires getting leadership on board first.

Fortunately, Office 365 has advantages for every user type and every department, making the case for a near-term migration easy to manage. This article outlines tips for tackling the conversation with your CIO, CFO, COO and CEO.

The CIO

 

Leave it to Microsoft

When deploying Office 365, you’re gaining at least one partner: Microsoft. The maintenance and upgrades of Office 365 fall directly on them. They’re also financially held to maintaining uptime for all users. And with Office 365, you no longer need to invest in upgraded network infrastructure to support new servers, expanding server rooms with power and cooling costs or basic-level amenities, like backup and disaster recovery and anti-spam software. All of this is covered in your subscription, as well as patch management, product updates and security testing.

Ever come into work to find your email server went down and you never got alerted (because your handy email alert can’t be sent when your server is offline)? With Office 365, those days are long gone. Leave the tough parts to Microsoft and get back to what matters.

Data Loss Prevention and Rights Management

Dealing with sensitive data can be a nightmare – one wrong email and your company is looking at a massive lawsuit. Luckily, with data loss protection, Office 365 can set up standard template polices that cover several regulatory requirements, such as PCI-DSS data, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act data, and locale-specific personally identifiable information (PII).

Even if a sensitive document were to get out, the data is secure with persistent document-level information protection via Azure Rights Management and Active Directory Rights Management. They use permissions and authorization to help prevent sensitive information from being printed, forwarded, or copied by authorized users, or accessed by unauthorized people.

Release the burden of your IT team

While deploying Office 365 does mean it takes fewer IT members to support the organization (and increases the number of users each IT member can support), what’s more important is that it frees up the IT team to work on revenue-driving projects. Without the burden of constant end user support and infrastructure maintenance, IT can focus on digital transformation – tying new applications into the environment to increase productivity, collaboration, sales, and customer satisfaction. All of which is of course made easier with the growing list of applications Office 365 integrates with.

 

The CFO

 

Of course when we think of a CFO, the first concern that comes to mind is cost, followed quickly by how much this is going to save the company. Let’s take a look:

Shift from CAPEX to OPEX

Gone are the days of constantly developing internal infrastructure that will either need a big budget and IT overhead to maintain or will be in danger of consistently running out of date. Office 365 is subscription-based and reduces the burden of IT management. Users will gain regular product updates and IT has simplified control.

Minimal up-front costs

Total cost of ownership goes way down with Office 365. Previously, when deploying a new server or running an upgrade, you paid for the servers, appliances and software. While you still have desktop and mobile infrastructure costs, it’s a fraction of your original spend.

Lower ongoing costs

Office 365 also enables simplified rightsizing. Instead of incurring sunken costs of unused hardware, Office 365 allows you to simply turn off accounts after turnover and eliminate the associated costs. Check out our ROI calculator to find your savings.


The COO

 

A Chief Operating Officer is charged with keeping the business moving forward and increasing growth while implementing and supporting better processes and partnerships. Office 365 makes this job much easier:

Microsoft as a long-term vendor

Applications come and go – the market changes, users want the ‘hot’ new thing, companies go out of business – so when choosing a partner, you want reliability and financial health. Microsoft is a giant in the tech space and, with a motto of ‘cloud first, mobile first,’ it’s easy to see their dedication to cloud-based solutions. As they continue to grow the Office 365 suite, your company continues to reap the benefits and grow as well.

Digital transformation

As mentioned, the suite is ever-growing. Microsoft constantly pushes out new applications to help transform business – from process flow and analytics to team communication and collaboration. Office 365 also integrates, either natively or through open API, with thousands of third party applications. Work smarter, not harder with Office 365.

Integrated Systems

Office 365 connects to Active Directory, providing users a Same Sign On experience to access all of their applications. Because Office 365 also integrates with many third party applications, you can deploy the same logon for the entire end user experience through Azure Active Directory.

The CEO

 

Improved user productivity

It’s simple. The cloud offers always-on, anytime, anywhere connectivity. Employees have access to every tool they need, no matter where they are. And, with an ever-growing array of tools within the Office 365 suite, there are always more ways to get work done faster and smarter.

Give users the power to collaborate across devices from around the globe. With tools like Teams and Yammer, you’ll stay up to date on new documents and information without clogging inboxes. Some studies show that the average worker spends upwards of 30 hours a week checking email! Office 365 keeps users in the loop and provides instant updates without cutting into valuable working hours.

Improved organizational agility

Pro tip!

Leave the CEO for last. Make sure your leadership team understands the cost saving opportunities, the IT advances and the process improvements available, and then come together as a group to make the pitch. Four heads are always better than one!

Your company is going to expand and grow in the years to come and you need tools that grow with you. With flexible licensing options from Microsoft, you can deploy the full suite to in-office personnel, mail and file storage to smaller shops, and Office Online for collaborating with on-going contractors.

Data-driven insights

So many applications, so many people. Don’t get overwhelmed. Office 365 lets you analyze data, including applications outside of the Office 365 suite, and visualize them for tangible insights. Office 365 provides a better grip on spending and budget forecasting, application usage and adoption, customer activities and more. With countless customizations available, you’ll have everything you need to make educated, data-driven decisions.

With so many great features included in Office 365, plus myriad cost saving opportunities and security strongholds, it’s easy to make the case for deployment. Once you have your executive team on board, you need to plan carefully. There are things to consider before moving to Exchange Online and plenty of planning to do.

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