How Legacy Apps Are Moving to the Cloud: Office 365

Microsoft Office is the definition of legacy software. First launched in 1990, Office had over one billion users worldwide by 2012. Ever the innovator, Microsoft expanded Office to incorporate now-invaluable apps like Yammer, SharePoint, and OneDrive. And with its launch of Office 365 in 2011, Microsoft signaled its intention to migrate its services to the cloud. 

As one of the most foundational enterprise software programs, Office 365’s move to the cloud marks a shift in how we use legacy apps, indicative of a fully realized cloud-based future for the business world.

Why move to the cloud with Office 365?

As familiarity and confidence with cloud-based technologies increases, an estimated 33% of users are predicted to adopt cloud-based office suites in 2017, jumping to 60% by 2022. Since Office and other Microsoft tools are integral to corporate networks and productivity, this move presents plenty of challenges and opportunities.

On the benefits side, moving tech to the cloud increases efficiency while reducing costs. Migrating from a product to a service model makes costs predictable. Businesses are no longer faced with suddenly having to purchase and roll out costly new systems across their entire network. It reduces physical infrastructure and hardware needs so organizations can focus on ensuring they have adequate network bandwidth.

In terms of efficiency, employees and IT save time and frustration by no longer having to deal with tedious software updates. Employees can access their work applications outside of the office, improving their satisfaction and productivity while traveling and working remotely.

While offsite data storage comes with its own risks, security of cloud-based technologies is improving. Due to economies of scale, cloud-based service providers are able to dedicate more resources than in-house IT to keep data secure through innovations like encryption. Since data is backed up in the cloud, disaster recovery becomes much less of a headache. Further, moving to the cloud ensures organizations no longer need to worry about lost or stolen company devices leading to massive data breaches.

Mitigating risks and complications

Office 365 is a complex service. It encompasses desktop, web, and mobile versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneDrive, as well as services like SharePoint and Lync. Especially for companies where employees requirements vary, rolling out Office 365 can seem daunting.

Okta’s identity services simplify this process by integrating with Active Directory (AD), HR software, and thousands of industry-leading apps to centralize and automate the lifecycle management process. IT can create groups and policies that can be deployed to entire teams based on attributes. This makes provisioning and deprovisioning simple and quick. In addition to reducing individual onboarding time, it also means that businesses can scale seamlessly.

With so many firms suffering high-profile data breaches, security is critical when considering any technology shift. A migration to the cloud presents opportunities for businesses to implement extra security measures. Okta’s security solutions enable IT to create and enforce organization-wide security policies from a central location. Our Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) helps businesses ensure the highest levels of data protection whether their employees are accessing their work accounts on-premises or remotely.

As employees use more SaaS apps, issues can arise as they try to keep track of all their various accounts. While syncing passwords in the cloud might seem like the simplest solution, choosing federated identity saves more time in the long run. With Okta, end users get single sign-on (SSO) capabilities, using a single set of credentials and running in a single session. This makes life easier for end users while decreasing helpdesk calls for IT.

Bringing your Office 365 to the cloud

Okta Cloud Connect for Office 365 is a free, pre-configured version of Okta that enables your IT team to deploy Office 365 in less than an hour by automating much of the configuration process. Click here to find out more about all the ways Okta can simplify your Office 365 adoption.

Try Okta Free

Okta Cloud Connect is free forever for one app—you can connect your Active Directory to Office 365 for an unlimited number of users.