Let’s talk about the value of monitoring Office 365 to proactively discover and resolve issues.
“But why?” I hear you ask. “This is the age of THE CLOUD. My tools live in that magical place in the sky that never breaks down.”
Well... hate to break it to you, but that’s not really the case. I mean, I’m not going to say that Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) doesn’t benefit corporations in numerous ways. It does, without a doubt! At the same time, when working with cloud-based applications, many organizations assume that large businesses like Microsoft won’t ever suffer from downtime. And there’s your problem.
Downtime from critical productivity SaaS applications such as Office 365 isn’t an outlier case. It can happen to anyone, any time. What’s more, it can cost your organization quite a lot in revenue.
The good news is that you don’t have to simply cross your fingers and pray that this kind of disaster won’t happen to you. To ensure your organization stays alert and can quickly pivot during downtime, take a look at Office 365 monitoring tools that notify you when users could be experiencing performance issues or cannot access the SaaS platform.
All right, all right, let’s back it up a little and start by answering the question...
Why Rely on Third-Party Cloud Applications?
Many businesses today rely on third-party applications rather than hosting them in-house. Granted, hosting in-house would provide businesses with a bit more control and it would be easier to trace the origin of issues if there are any outages. That said, SaaS rose in popularity quickly for many reasons.
The first and main reason for the rising popularity of SaaS is cost reduction. Housing infrastructure to host applications used by all users - both local and remote - is expensive. You need the infrastructure, the employees to maintain it, and the ability to secure it. All these factors cost money - and that cost increases as your organization grows.
SaaS applications offer a more convenient way for users - particularly remote users - to access business software. Office 365 is a full productivity suite. Giving users access to this software offers a convenient way for users to create, share, and collaborate on documents.
Although Office 365 is in the cloud and available to the world, it still has better security than self-hosted applications. That’s because you can leverage Office 365 internal authentication and authorization rules, which are far more effective than creating custom controls internally.
The cloud also offers Office 365 users better resiliency and uptime than on-premise infrastructure, despite the cloud’s occasional performance issues and outages. Most organizations must interrupt productivity or spend massive person-hours and money updating and patching internal infrastructure on the weekends. With cloud applications, patching and infrastructure updates are handled by a third-party.
In addition, the Office 365 service level agreement (SLA) guarantees you 99% uptime. Should the company fail to deliver, you could be eligible for refunds.
How Often Does Office 365 Fail?
It’s a common misconception that large technology organizations like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and others that host SaaS applications never have outages. As a matter of fact, all three suffer from occasional outages (let’s be honest - every company does now and then). This greatly affects productivity for any organization that relies on them for sales and revenue.
Let’s take, for instance, the fact that Microsoft’s Office 365 platform suffered a two-day outage that affected Outlook and Exchange servers. Exchange is the Microsoft service that delivers and receives email for users, so organizations that used the service could not send or receive emails. This created critical productivity downtime for any business that leveraged Microsoft for email.
Gartner estimates that downtime costs organizations an average of $5,600 per minute. This translates to over $300,000 an hour affecting business revenue and continuity. For large organizations, this cost could be even higher. In other words, what seems like a simple outage could be revenue-impacting across every department, from sales and their ability to perform customer acquisitions, to finance departments that can’t invoice customers.