A Cloud-First Approach

Many organizations can save money, increase security and efficiency with a Microsoft 365 Cloud-First strategy.

By Angie Hill

At Jadex Strategic Group (JADEX), we believe a holistic Cloud-First Approach using the Microsoft 365 ecosystem will save you money, limit your security threat vectors, and increase efficiency within the workspace.

Limit Threats & Save Money

Managing technology and the associated security costs that come with it, is not easy. Most organizations invest their technology solutions in outsourced IT providers, typically referred to as Managed Service Providers (MSP).

Trusting an MSP or IT provider may expose your organization to additional security risks, vulnerabilities, and costs. Traditionally, MSP(s) resell multiple third-party vendor tools that open the threat landscape for hacker.  Instead of having one threat vector to attack, hackers may exploit multiple vendors to infiltrate your systems. 

Have you seen a bank vault with more than one entrance? Typically, a bank vault has one access point with layered protection and security. Now, imagine your technology landscape. It is likely, that your organization has multiple access points from resellers, third-party vendors, and MSPs. 

Do you want to have multiple access points to your “vault” for your data, intellectual property, sensitive data, and business processes? Do you know the layer of protection being applied to each access point?  

Limiting your access points not only increases security, but it can also save you money. A cloud-first strategy encourages you to limit your levels of access and invest in utilizing your Microsoft 365 business tools and applications.

Listed below are tools and applications that come with most Microsoft 365 licensing and can provide immediate cost savings.

  1. Move over Zoom – No need to pay for Zoom, Blue Jeans, Google Hangouts, your subscription has a secure audio, visual, and chat function with Microsoft Teams.
  2. File Sharing/Storage Solutions – Are you paying for a server and Microsoft 365? Did you know that SharePoint/OneDrive, Microsoft’s file sharing/storage solution is standard with Microsoft 365 licensing? There is no need for additional purchases of Google Drive, Dropbox, Box or other.
  3. Centralized Workspace – use one space for communication, collaboration, co-authoring, file sharing, and video with Microsoft Teams.
  4. Bookings – Similar to the popular Calendly, you have a scheduling tool with your subscription.
  5. Planner – Paying for Asana, Monday, or Trello? Have you checked out Microsoft’s Planner? This tool integrates with Tasks, To-Do’s your Outlook, and Calendar to provide a light-weight project management tool.

“Invest in adding layers of protection and security to the system you already own.”

Why A Cloud-First Approach Makes Sense

Here are some reasons why taking a Microsoft 365 Cloud First Approach makes sense to us. 

  1. Access Anywhere, Anytime, and Anyplace –  your devices, your data, your people are accessible at your fingertips in real-time.
  2. Eliminate Additional IT Costs – Skip Zoom, Calendly, Asana, Trello, Dropbox, Google Drive, and other technologies. If you subscribe to Microsoft 365 licensing, all the functionalities of the aforementioned apps, come standard on the MS 365 platform.
  3. Limit Your Threat Vectors – with a simplified technology strategy. Trusting external vendors to provide routine updates and maintenance improves your risk of threats. Do research on the IT provider/MSP to better understand their cloud strategy and security protocols.
  4. Compliance & Security – Microsoft 365 E5 licensing offers advanced threat protection, data loss prevention (DLP), phishing, anti-virus, encryption and more. Do you have security compliance requirements like HIPAA, CMMC, NIST 800-171, or GDPR? Well, with Microsoft 365 E5 licensing you can upload assessments and configure your environment with controls to meet those regulations. You even get an intuitive dashboard with a score and place to upload policies and documents related to your compliance goals. Are you paying for an outside vendor to track your compliance documents, policies, procedures and paying for Microsoft licensing? Perhaps, it is time reevaluate those added costs.
  5. An Integrated Workspace with Microsoft Teams – Are you swimming in tabs at the top of your screen? Do you have a million +1 technology tools for collaboration, communication, and teamwork? Look no further: Microsoft Teams is a real-time workspace for centralized communication and collaboration. Virtual meetings, conversations, real-time conversations, co-authoring, project management and more.
  6. Enhanced Collaboration, Advanced Analytics, and Artificial Intelligence – By putting your data into a simplified environment, you open the doors for advanced analytics and increased collaboration. As your interactions and data stored in Microsoft 365 increases, so too do AI capabilities and ability to create data analytics with metadata and metrics. 
  7. A Holistic Solution with Microsoft 365 – Any organization looking to standardize their business processes, improve security, and/or wanting to simplify their IT environment, should think about investing in Microsoft 365. And, guess what? Most organizations are already paying for the Microsoft 365 cloud and only taking advantage of approximately 20% or less of its full capabilities.

 

Check out the Microsoft Cloud Solutions below that can help you create the holistic, simplified IT environment you desire:

  • Microsoft 365 for Business – Chat, calls, meetings, cloud storage, office apps and services, email and calendaring.
  • Microsoft Power Apps & Microsoft Power Automate – The ability to create interactive forms in SharePoint and automate workflows, tasks, or processes.
  • SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams & OneDrive – A universal toolkit for collaboration, communication, virtual real-time conversations, and virtual place to work.
  • Microsoft Graph & PowerBI – Microsoft Graph is Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence (AI). This integrates with PowerBI to provide data analytics with organizational data or other data types for advanced analytics.
  • Azure Internet of Things (IoT) – Is Microsoft’s managed cloud services that connect, monitor, and control billions of IoT assets.
  • Microsoft 365 Security Center – Simplifies protection, detection, investigation: and response to email, collaboration, identity, and device threats, in a central portal.
  • Microsoft 365 Compliance Center – Microsoft’s end-to-end compliance management solution. If you have compliance requirements this is a centralized location to manage controls, upload polices, documentation, and to test your requirements. Do not pay for an external tool to manage your compliance documents when you have this dashboard. (NOTE: Subject to the right Microsoft licensing.)
  • Microsoft EndPoint Management – A unified management platform with Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager for endpoint security, the ability to manage and monitor mobile devices, desktop computers, virtual machines, embedded devices, and servers.
  • Dynamics 365 – A combined cloud service of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) which includes the following modules: Sales, Marketing, Field Service, Project Service, Customer Service, Operations and Finance.

 

Interested in learning how your organization can adopt a cloud-first strategy? Contact Jadex Strategic Group. We are a collective of technology, national security, cybersecurity, and linguistic experts helping transform how people work.