Most people have become comfortable using cloud-based applications in their daily lives. We back up our photos, stream shows, and use online banking from multiple devices, all with the cloud. Beyond personal use, many workplaces have also started shifting certain business functions to the cloud.
Email is one of the first applications organizations choose to make cloud-based by moving their Exchange servers to the cloud. The next step is moving to communication-focused applications such as video conferencing, chat, and CRMs. Everyone can understand the benefit of having easy access to these programs. It is often easy and comfortable to make this change.
However, moving work files to the cloud is not as comfortable for most teams. Ditching the old local file server and replacing it with cloud applications is a prospect that still makes many organizations nervous. There are often questions about security, compliance, and access.
Despite these concerns, today’s work environment demands that employees be able to access their files from anywhere, just as they can access communication channels and other business apps. What business doesn’t want to make it simpler for team members to collaborate?
Luckily, there’s an easy solution that’ll allow you to replace your on-prem file server and move your business files to the cloud in a secure and user-friendly way.
Replacing On-Prem File Servers with Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 is a version of the software that allows you to use the same Office applications you’re familiar with. The difference is that it will make your files accessible to you and others on your team from anywhere. To borrow one of Microsoft’s descriptions, Office 365 + your device + the Internet = productivity wherever you are.
How can Microsoft 365 help you replace on-prem file servers? By using OneDrive and SharePoint, you can create the collaboration and accessibility your team needs. OneDrive allows file access from any device, while SharePoint is a team content management tool.
Why Replace Local File Servers with Microsoft 365?
On-prem servers have been a staple of most organizations for decades. Why replace them now? The biggest reason is that individuals in your organization may already be doing it. Employees will find a way to work the way they need by using personal Google Drive or OneDrive accounts, which means you lose control of your documents.
Here are several more reasons you should plan to upload your files to the cloud:
- On-prem offers basic, limited sharing options.
- Recovering files or securing folders with an on-prem server requires help from IT.
- Version control is limited with on-prem, and there is no retention or legal hold.
- Searching and finding the content you need with limited filtering options is challenging.
- On-prem servers must be monitored, backed up, and serviced by internal IT teams or a qualified managed services provider (MSP).
Once you make the leap and move your business files to Microsoft 365, the benefits to your organization will crystalize immediately.
- File versioning is available
- Improved document findability
- Enhanced collaboration
- No physical server to monitor and no patches or replacements to worry about
It’s Time to Replace Your On-Prem File Server With Cloud Software
If you’ve already moved most of your business applications to the cloud but have yet to migrate your file management, it’s time to take the next step. Microsoft 365 allows you to have your office, wherever you are, on all your devices. Businesses ready to shift to modern, cloud-based collaboration should partner with a qualified cloud provider to get started.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 21, 2019, and has been updated for accuracy and current best practices.