Deployment Predictability with Exchange Online from Office 365 - dummies

Deployment Predictability with Exchange Online from Office 365

By Ken Withee, Jennifer Reed

Most decision makers cringe when they hear the words custom development. You will hear horror story after horror story when it comes to a custom software development project. If you get really good developers who have been working together for a decade and use a solid agile process, then you might have extraordinary results and the best software available.

On the other hand, you may end up with something that doesn’t do what you want it to do and costs 12 times what you thought it was going to cost in the beginning. For this reason, many decision makers want to remove the risk and go with packaged software.

Because packaged software is already developed and only needs to be installed and managed, the risk associated with adopting the software is greatly reduced.

You will still hear horror stories, however, about the implementation process for packaged software. It generally falls along the lines that someone thought someone else had configured the backups and the person that the other person thought had configured them had already left the company. Oh yeah, and the system was designed to be redundant so that if one key server went down everything would keep working.

The only problem is that you only find out if everything works properly when something goes wrong. If the proper procedures were not followed during the implementation, then your organization may find itself in a very bad position.

Those with experience will say that it is often not the fault of any particular person. IT teams are overworked and stretched beyond their capacity to handle everything effectively. For this reason, using a SAAS is becoming increasingly popular. With service-based software, another company specializes in managing the software and keeping it available, reliable, and backed up.

You pay on a monthly basis and connect to and use the software over the Internet. This last realm removes the risk for chief technology officer-type decision makers. Not only do they not have to pay someone to develop the software, they don’t even have to worry about stretching their valuable IT resources beyond the breaking point.

And, should the worst-case event happen, another company is liable for the problem based on the service contract signed.

Because the hosting company is liable for anything that goes wrong with hosted software, making sure that the company is reputable and capable of dealing with a major issue is important. Microsoft is one of the biggest names in the software industry with an established business record and lots of money in the bank.

Your cousin’s friend who started hosting software in his basement probably doesn’t have the same resources that Microsoft has in case something goes wrong.