I promised a blog update based on my companies recent migration from Google Apps for Business, to Office365. Since it’s been such a while since my last blog (insert lame excuse here, such as being too busy, family life demands, dog ate my computer, etc…) I decided to incorporate what’s been on my mind lately in regards to where our business is going in relation to IT vision and strategy.
The best way I could think of to describe this “quest” is the title of this entry – “Whirlwind of Organized Strategy”. Let me explain…
New technology becoming available, existing technology already available yet not widely utilized, 10 different methods of obtaining the same end result – all lead to what could quickly become an out of control IT department. The key to keeping this under control really falls on the management of the company. Think of a whirlwind, gathering anything that is loose and pulling it into its cyclone. The same thing happens in the IT world of technology available. The CIO or Director of IT needs to make sure that he/she has a clear strategy for the direction that best fits the company. Once that is defined, enter the whirlwind of technology!
With the end goal in mind (before-mentioned strategy), the IT department can now test out multiple different methods, or software applications to determine the best possible method or application relative to their business needs and budget. Without the end goal – it is very easy to get caught in the distractions of the whirlwind, and end up costing the company not only monetary funds wasted on wrong software or unneeded services, but also the time that the IT department put into obtaining, learning, training and implementing this software or service.
Let’s talk about this in a case study of my current company, Wilson Legal, LLC (WL).
SUMMARY: WL was approaching the free limit of users offered by Google Apps for Business (GAB). Other email alternatives were being evaluated with paid GAB being one of them.
NEED: Reliable, secure email system.
RESOLUTION: WL decided to move forward with Office365, a hosted exchange system offered by Microsoft.
DETAILS: In line with the goal set forth by the CEO and VP of Wilson Legal, I decided to stick with a “cloud” or hosted solution. Office365 offered different tiers of pricing, as we employe sub-contractors that do not need full licenses. The license that we ended up purchasing also gave our employees access to a hosted Lync server used for presence and chat. In addition Lync can facilitate Live meetings and file sharing. On top of all that, we were able to move to Exchange for our email vehicle, providing Active Sync for mobile devices and a live Outlook client connection integrated with the Lync client.
This was made possible by the clear communication of the desire to be “in the cloud” by the CEO and VP of our company. This was an easy example, as there weren’t many “distractions” in the email realm.
Until next time…(which could be while!)