Report argues network issues persist with large scale Office 365 deployments

A new piece of research from cloud security provider Zscaler looks at the issues with deploying Office 365 in large organisations – and found that companies still suffered from latency despite upgrading their firewalls.

The study, which polled more than 200 respondents from organisations with between 1,000 and 5,000 employees, found more than two thirds of respondents had beefed up their firewalls in preparation for Office 365 – a typical tactic for deployments – yet 69% reported post-deployment latency.

Almost two thirds (64%) of respondents in the survey admitted they had concerns over the impact of Office 365 on their bandwidth before deploying, while 69% expected to see a bandwidth increase of more than 50%.

The figures got worse once companies took the plunge. Almost half (48%) of those polled said network infrastructure and equipment upgrade costs for Office 365 exceeded their estimates. This is despite 28% of respondents believing the total cost of IT, security and network infrastructure needed to deploy Office 365 was at least 75% of their typical budget.

Yet increasing the bandwidth did not result in a faster Office 365 experience, the research found. 30% of respondents reported daily issues, with 69% reporting weekly problems, impacting on business operations and productivity.

As a result, organisations are ‘beginning to realise that legacy applications were not designed to handle the network demands of Office 365’, as the report puts it. 

“Through their own experiences, organisations are finding out that they simply cannot run ac loud application of the magnitude of Office 365 on legacy architecture,” said Punit Minocha, VP business development at Zscaler. “To fully leverage the power of Office 365, a majority of organisations are looking to transform their networks from traditional hub-and-spoke implementations to ones that securely access the Internet directly from branch offices.”

As Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, noted at the company’s BUILD conference earlier this month, Office 365 now tops more than 100 million monthly active users (MAUs). Zscaler also said that Office 365 was the fastest growing software as a service (SaaS) application on its cloud.

You can read the full report here (no registration required).

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