Office 365 and the hybrid cloud

We’re quite excited at Softcat about Office 365. Our managed services guys have been on the courses, we’re playing with the beta, and gearing up for it as it feels like Microsoft might have got it close to right this time. I gather there are still a few bits in terms of customisation still missing, but it’s certainly getting there. All we need now is a go-live date…

However, I read this article the other day, and whilst I agree with the overall positive sentiment, I don’t think Office 365 is a panacea. It might get rid of a lot of IT woes around running Exchange, SharePoint, OCS/Lync etc – but how many businesses run exclusively off those platforms? What about that ERP application, that HR programme, that finance system…..

I think that the implication that moving to Office 365 means that customers no longer need to run any IT is a fallacy. I’m sure we will get there, but it’s probably a few years off, yet! My strong view is that for the time being, most organisations will operate a hybrid model. Some services will be outsourced, and some will continue to run on premise (or in a datacenter).

Office 365 will work in this mode – which is great. But moving to ‘the cloud’ is not a single step – it is a journey!

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