This is just one entry in a series of articles that cover a keynote presentation I delivered in April 2014 at the SPTechCon conference in San Francisco, CA. The first article in the series below sets the stage and explains what the series is about. All articles in the series are meant to be read in order, but hey… it’s your browser and mouse… click what interests you!
- Navigating the New World of SharePoint Online, Office 365 and On-Premises - Introducing the Series
- Level Setting and Definitions
- Why is Microsoft Moving to Office 365?
- Completely Unscientific Survey - Survey on Office 365 and Where Are You?
- Customer and ISV Takeaways from the SharePoint Conference 2014
- My Thoughts on The Challenges with Customer Acceptance of Office 365
- My Thoughts on How to Approach Office 365 & SharePoint On-Premises Today
- Office 365 Call to Action - What Should You be Doing?
In this series I wanted to talk about some of the challenges we've all faced in adopting Office 365 and understanding where we are today. I do honestly believe that this is a great product offering for many customers. Like all products and services, it doesn't work for everyone as we will never see one size fits all. Throughout the series I wanted to be as honest and to the point about why I think so many people have a confusing perception and feeling towards Office 365. But as you saw int he later parts of the series I think this helps in understanding where we are today and to approach the challenges in a better way. This approach was validated from the keynote I did at SPTechCon in March 2014 in San Francisco... what this series is based on (those are pictures of my slides in each installment).
In this last installment I'd like to give you some parting thoughts in how I'd recommend you approach Office 365 if you are not already on board. My guidance can be summed up by a pair of phrases a good friend, Dan Holme summed it up:
Don't move up, move forward
If it increases value & reduces risk consider it
- Dan Holme
First and foremost, don't stick you head in the sand and hope Office 365 goes away or Microsoft will pivot back to on-premises SharePoint. SharePoint is moving to the cloud in Office 365... it's inevitable and Microsoft has been very clear on this. New features and innovations will go to SharePoint Online and Office 365 first. Therefore you should really pay attention as a SharePoint person to what they are doing in Office 365. Maybe you want to simply consume some if it using your on-premises deployment as a hybrid setup. Maybe you want to look to start consuming it all together... who knows. It's up to you!
Just know that there's no urgency or rush to get to Office 365. Maybe it doesn't make sense or is technically / legally / or conforms to regulations you must adhere to in your organization. What I'd recommend you do is figure out exactly what you are looking to do first, then look to see where it makes the most fit. Should you look at an on-premises deployment, an Office 365 tenant or should you do both with a hybrid solution?
Regardless of what you are thinking about going forward, if you are currently on-premises, today you need to do one thing right away: when you look to build something in your farm think about if and how it would be architected and solved in Office 365. The last thing you want to do is build something that you have to completely rethink when the brass at your client or company tells you they have made a strategic decision to move to the cloud because of something they heard at the golf course that weekend. In other words, don't paint yourself into a corner and rush to build everything as a fully trusted farm solution. You know those will never work in Office 365, so why do it?
Office 365 might have got off to a rough start, but we're moving in the right direction... this is where we want to be in the future, so let's take time to make sure it's exactly what we want.