What small and medium-sized businesses really need to know about moving to Microsoft 365

Your business depends on knowing the facts. That’s why we created this myth-busting guide to clear up misconceptions about using Microsoft 365 to power your organization. Here are the top 9 cloud myths you may have thought were true about Microsoft 365—but aren’t.

Myth #1: Microsoft 365 is only tools in the cloud, and I can only use it online.

Fact: Microsoft 365 is a suite of cloud-based productivity services, which can include:

  • Microsoft 365 Apps for business or enterprise—the desktop client you already know and use, including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote, with the added benefit of being licensed, deployed, and updated as a service. These applications are installed on your device, so they’re available even when you are offline. Plus, you have the option to store data in the cloud for easy access to your data from anywhere.
  • Exchange Online for email & calendar.
  • SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business for collaboration, websites, workflows, and enterprise file sync and share.
  • Teams for voice, IM, meetings, presence, and collaboration.
  • Yammer for social collaboration.

Myth #2: If our data moves to the cloud, our business will no longer have control over our technology.

Fact: When you move to the cloud, your business actually gains control over your technology by reducing time and money spent maintaining hardware and upgrading software. Now you and your team can focus on strategically implementing technology for your business rather than being a repair service.

You will reduce expenditures to your capital budget by no longer relying on servers to store email and workloads. Instead, you can expect a predictable budget and focus on supporting your business in a much more agile fashion, with the ability to respond to needs quickly.

Myth #3: Keeping data on-premises is safer than in the cloud.

Fact: It’s becoming increasingly clear that on-premise systems aren’t inherently more secure than in the cloud, says Mark Anderson, founder of the INVNT/IP Global Consortium, a group of governments and security experts solving the growing cyber theft problem. Many companies are routinely hacked and don’t know it, says Anderson, a tech visionary and founder of Strategic News Service.

Microsoft is an industry leader when it comes to thwarting security breaches. For Microsoft 365 they use processes such as the Security Development Lifecycle; traffic throttling; and preventing, detecting, and mitigating breaches that many companies don’t have the resources to ensure, and Microsoft 365 has a 99.9 percent financially backed uptime guarantee.

Microsoft also maintains the latest compliance regulations and rules. You can visit the Microsoft 365 Trust Center to learn more about the security and compliance measures they take, which set the bar in the industry.

Myth #4: I have to move everything to the cloud; it is an all-or-nothing scenario.

Most implementations start with a hybrid approach, moving a single application, like email, and growing from there. The hybrid cloud creates a consistent platform that spans data centers and the cloud.
A hybrid model simplifies IT and delivers apps and data to users on virtually any device, anywhere. It gives you control to deliver the computing power and capabilities your business demands, and scales up or down without wasting your onsite technology investments.

The path to the cloud is different for everyone and the time needed to migrate varies as well. Start by moving workloads like file sync and share (OneDrive for Business) or email (Exchange) first, and then work out the right long-term plan for more difficult or larger projects.

Myth #5: Cloud migration is too much for my business to handle.

Fact: Considering how to move petabytes of data to the cloud, it’s easy to see why some people think “going cloud” is too big of a challenge. We’re not going to tell you it’s simple, but you can be up quickly with agile initiatives and calculated data migrations.

CCB can be your best resource to help you get started and avoid common pitfalls before migrating. Every IT environment is different and the solutions vary, so talking with one of CCB’s Microsoft 365 engineers, who have moved over 90,000 users to Microsoft 365 and have vast expertise in migrating different types of environments, is the right place to start. We can help you with firewall configurations, reverse proxy requirements, identity options, migration possibilities, and a phased approach for hybrid setups.

Myth #6: Corporate spies, cyber thieves, and governments will have access to my data if it is in the cloud.

Fact: This is the #1 fear many businesses have about the cloud, but it’s unfounded. Your IT team manages access, sets up rights and restrictions, and provides smartphone access and options. Your company is the sole owner: You retain the rights, title, and interest in the data stored in Microsoft 365.

Microsoft is the first major cloud provider to adopt the world’s first international standard for cloud privacy. The standard establishes a uniform, international approach to protecting privacy for personal data stored in the cloud. It reinforces that:

  • Microsoft does not mine your data for advertising or for any purpose other than providing you services that you have paid for.
  • You are in control of your data and you know what’s happening with your data. If you ever choose to leave the service, you take your data with you.
  • Privacy controls allow you to configure who in your organization has access and what they can access.
  • Microsoft provides strong security protection for your data. Extensive auditing and supervision prevent admins from unauthorized access to your data.
  • Microsoft encourages government inquiry to be made directly to you unless legally prohibited and will challenge attempts to prohibit disclosure in court.

Microsoft has strict controls and design elements that prevent your data from mingling with other organizations and even Microsoft’s data center staff cannot access your data.

Myth #7: Teams and Skype for Business are one and the same.

Fact: Microsoft Teams goes beyond the capabilities of Skype for Business – taking what was just a communication product and turning it into a robust collaboration tool. With this move, Microsoft has effectively created a single pane of glass for people to communicate, collaborate, and work simultaneously.

Skype for Business goes End of Life in July of 2021, so understanding the benefits of Teams in the context of the M365 stack, can be a huge motivator in making a move to Microsoft 365. In Teams, employees can:

  • Invite outside partners to join a meeting via an expanded web conferencing experience.
  • Experience increased audio/video quality even with limited bandwidth networks.
  • Gain access to a SharePoint site.
  • Leverage file storage delivered by SharePoint and OneDrive.
  • Integrate with over 150 third-party applications.

Myth #8: Email isn’t any simpler in the cloud.

Fact: By moving your business email to the cloud, Microsoft experts take care of the maintenance,  while your team controls your company’s capabilities and how employees use features.

Software updates and fixes are delivered automatically as soon as they are released, and Exchange Online is always first in line for updates. Although the management and updates are fully automated, you are in control when you need to be with the Exchange Admin Center.

Myth #9: Continuously updating Microsoft 365 will break my critical business applications.

Fact: Employees have to be able to access business-critical apps and add-ins with Microsoft 365, so downtime is not an option. Microsoft ensures M365 is compatible with your everyday tools by:

  • Offering the same worldwide standard of desktop applications with what you know and love, including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
  • Ensuring as Microsoft is updated regularly in the cloud, it does not impact areas that would affect other software applications. For example, for the past 2 years, monthly releases of Microsoft 365 have not resulted in object model or API changes.
  • Collaborating closely with leading software vendors, and providing them tools and early access to ensure that their solutions work with Microsoft 365.
  • Enabling side-by-side installs of Microsoft 365 Apps and your older versions, which gives you the time needed to remediate any issues.

Cloud Myths Busted

When you are busy managing disconnected systems, applications, and data with inflexible and slow systems, and taking heat from employees demanding access to the network and to new tools, it’s hard to squeeze in even a few minutes to keep up with new products and evaluate everything you hear. Now that you have a better understanding of the productivity and collaboration that Microsoft 365 provides, you can see how it can make your business more efficient while alleviating your workload and reducing IT costs.

Thinking about taking the first step?

Let CCB help. We are recognized across the U.S. as one of Microsoft’s top cloud providers and have helped more than 90,000 users migrate to Microsoft 365. Let’s get started!