As cloud services are now more the norm, it’s easy for employees to use a multitude of collaboration tools for free or for a nominal monthly fee. While this might seem at first to take some of the burden off IT departments, it quickly sprawls. You start to see tickets and support calls come in for issues that you may or may not be equipped to handle.
Maybe you’ve already seen examples of this, like users who create box, Egnyte, and Dropbox shares for collaboration, or subscribe to Webex as a best-of-breed web conferencing solution. This becomes a criss-crossed stone soup of problems waiting to happen – it brings us right into the Hercules and Hydra story, in which our hero faces a multi-headed beast. In the IT version, departments struggle when they try to tackle these issues on a case-by-case basis, instead of rolling out new capabilities in their environment (it goes without saying that the IT Director definitely=Hercules).
In this case, the beast is a growing employee base that grabs new solutions using a credit card and a mouse click. IT might be able to cut off one “head” by replacing Trello with an enterprise-approved solution for project management like Project server or Planner in Office 365. But we quickly see two more heads grow in its place (Slack and Basecamp).
The concerns go beyond Support horrors, though, as many of our clients work in regulated environments. Security is paramount, and one-off solutions make it almost impossible to gain any kind of visibility into who has access to what.
In most cases, Office 365 features win the day, as they tie into all the other operational facets that IT is managing.
But it’s not just about having the right platform. To combat the multi-headed Hydra, IT departments must evaluate solutions in the 365 tenant quickly and come up with light governance to ensure the right tools can be managed and rolled out to users. OneDrive is a solid replacement for existing file collaboration solutions like Egnyte and Dropbox, for example, and Microsoft Teams can replace skunk-works implementations of Slack.
The key here is for IT organizations to move swiftly to evaluate 365 capabilities and match them to a workload in their environment so they can quickly replace multiple one-off solutions or solutions that don’t meet Enterprise standards.
Lastly, don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. While you may think you’re not ready to support a specific feature in 365, it’s likely better than the alternative: your users finding their own tool. It’s more practical to offer a solution that’s part of your suite; that will help you avoid a migration down the road and will ultimately save your budget and sanity. Just ask Hercules – we think he’d choose 365.
If you feel your enterprise environment is suffering due to mixed app adoption, give us a call to find the right solution.