There are many people with questions about whether to switch to Office 365 or to have on premises Exchange server. There are many other options as well these days.

Top reasons to consider:

  1. We will have full controls of all operations if it’s on premises.
  2. All the data resides locally, you have more control over data, handling data and security.
  3. Cost of Electricity, Exchange server, Hardware, network bandwidth, security certificates, licensing.
  4. Cost of installation, maintenance, updates to hardware and software, downtime due to failures.
  5. Office 365 costs may vary as time passes. The interface changes may not be easy for users to adopt.

Now let’s discuss in depth about how some factors should be considered,

Advantages of moving to Office365:

  1. Scalability: You can get same storage quota for email like 50GB that can be accessed over multiple different platforms using ActiveSync. You can add new users or decrease the number of users every month.
  2. Cost cutting: There are different subscription plans to choose from that most suits your needs. If you consider all the overhead of installing, maintenance, electricity, hardware costs, updates to hardware and software over time, Office 365 provides simple solution without having to micro manage all these aspects.
  3. Security: You don’t have to worry about keeping security update and having to manage certificates, licensing etc. Extra personal to handle the security is also avoided. You get all enhancements and updates released right away.
  4. Data: Data management is a huge risk and cost when having maintain backup, integrity and reliability of it. You have multifactor authentication option that enables more security in Office365. It also gives safety from natural disasters which on premises setup wont have.
  5. Availability: Upgrades happen automatically and thus there is no downtime for maintenance. This is a crucial part as this means business will run smoothly. No overhead of making sure things will run correctly after maintenance as expected.

Disadvantages of moving to Office365:

  1. Administration: You will not have full control over all the activities. Subscription plans may not be suitable for your needs and hence cost may not become effective. You have data control. Also, this means there is no network bandwidth usage and can access locally.
  2. Migration & Rollback: The process of switching from an existing Exchange server on premises setup to Office 365 can be a complex process depending upon version and setup of Exchange server. Rollback from Office365 back to Exchange server one premises can be confusing without proper support available.
  3. Security & Privacy: There will be concerns from users about privacy and security of data being stored on cloud. Data deletion after account termination and how it achieves compliance with Laws of country. Encryption keys used are not in only in your possession.
  4. Bandwidth: Network bandwidth can cost a lot depending on where you are situated. Internet facility may not be available all time and hence connectivity issues can occur. Accessing data can become slow due to bandwidth limitations.

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