Article: Making the Case for Microsoft 365
by Cindy McManus
Cindy McManus is a Consulting Architect at Fulcrum Technology Solutions. McManus has been a part of the Infrastructure team since 2012.
It happened. You’ve been asked to write the business case for moving to Microsoft 365. Where do you start?
Start with the list of included applications and services in the subscription you expect to need. (You have to start somewhere, and I seriously doubt you’ll choose to work the justification for an E5 if you’re actually Business Standard.) Compare that to what you have in-house/on-prem already.
You’ll need to recognize gaps, offerings inconsistent with what you already have, and overlaps. Document those with notes about what would retire and what would have to be mitigated.
Next come the numbers. How much do you pay for your on-prem applications/hardware/licensing/environmental costs that would go away with a subscription to Microsoft 365? How much does it cost to support that? (That’s the people number.) Don’t expect those numbers to represent what goes away Day One with your subscription as you’ll have at least months of overlap as you migrate to Microsoft 365. Be sure to include costs to migrate and the cost of third-party tools used to migrate data. Then you’ll need the numbers for the Microsoft 365 subscription level and add-ons that you choose. Summarize those over 3 to 5 years and you’ll have ROI.
Now let’s look at the benefits of migrating to Microsoft 365. Among those are:
- Office apps are updated automatically to the latest version, with monthly security updates and twice-annual feature updates. (Woohoo, no more patching Office!)
- Provide increased functionality and business value to employees. This may be hard to quantify but it’s easy to describe.
- Retain or improve the quality of service. With a 99.99% uptime guarantee, that’s probably better than your on-prem environment was ever able to provide.
- Positioning to make better use of future technology innovations as new products and features are added to Microsoft 365.
- And don’t forget, you can export logs to your on-prem SEIM for unified alerting!
Now that you’ve gathered the information you need to start, decide how you want to present it. A lovely PowerPoint with snazzy graphics is always good but don’t forget to have your list of questions, the answers and numbers you received, and links to Microsoft pages for backup. You’re sure to get probing questions from those reviewing the business case before they ever approve it.
Writing the business case for Microsoft 365 can be daunting. Fulcrum is here to assist. We can ask the questions, collect the data, and pull that PowerPoint presentation together for you. When are you ready to start?
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