Changing productivity platforms is no small task. In fact, the process usually takes several months from start to finish. Here are a few things credit unions should consider when moving to a hosted Office 365 solution.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, we want to be very clear about one major factor: change is inevitable. That is to say, if you’re a credit union looking to keep your licenses current and legal, you’ll have to migrate to Office 365 eventually. Soon, Microsoft won’t renew or support earlier versions soon.
The Mental Hurdle
The first step in any major change is getting mentally and culturally prepared. For credit unions aiming for increased productivity, functionality, and security, it’s a change that makes sense. Nonetheless, changes to the status quo can be met with frustration and resistance.
Preparing for the switch to the cloud can take a lot of mental and cultural preparation. In our experience, we’ve seen hosted Office 365 solutions ease that stress.
Any competent do-it-yourself-er can tell you that there are some jobs best left to the pros. Sure, you can change your own oil, but it’ll cost you almost as much in materials as the shop would charge total. Plus, you can’t guarantee the safety of your own work, and it’ll take the pros much less time to finish the job.
For credit unions migrating to Office 365, considering a hosted solution isn’t much different.
Transferring data and migrating platforms takes its toll on any IT department. Without getting bogged down in details, there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of when exposing massive amounts of sensitive data to risk
One of the fundamental conversations before turning to the cloud is how best to secure member data. Having the best processes, policies, and procedures in place is absolutely vital in such cases. Between NCUA regulations and cybersecurity assessment tools, credit unions have plenty of external factors to consider in addition to the internal logistics of migration.
Sometimes, the best solution is to hire an expert to handle the transition. Any credit union considering a hosted Office 365 solution can rest easy knowing that their information is guaranteed to be safe.
Moving to a new version of a productivity suite is going to cost money no matter which way you cut it. Hiring an outside consultant has an obvious price tag. However, tackling the same job in-house carries its own hidden fee.
Just like with changing your own oil, the costs are comparable between doing it yourself and having it done professionally.
Ultimately, it comes down to cost-effectiveness. Sometimes, the cost difference between a hosted office 365 solution and managing your migration internally is minimal to the point of nonexistence. In most cases, it’s actually cheaper to outsource the move.
The Employee Factor
Not all costs involve money. The burden of migrating to a new productivity suite is a huge burden on your IT department. Unfortunately, IT departments tend to be shorthanded under normal situations—task them with converting a legacy license to a cloud license will stretch them very thin.
For purposes of staff morale, wellbeing, and retention, it’s beneficial to keep their workload reasonable. Keeping your IT staff focused on their daily duties and member-facing services will keep them happier and more comfortable and reduces the risk of error or burnout.
Short- and Long-Term Solutions
Before moving to a hosted Office 365 situation, credit unions might consider how much help they want. Some credit unions just need a little help through the transition period, after which they begin moving services internally again. Other credit unions see the value in hosted Office 365 and stick with third party offerings.
No matter which solution feels right in the long run, any credit union could benefit from looking into a hosted solution.