Network bandwidth and latency issues are offsetting the productivity gains afforded by Office 365 a new report has claimed.
Office 365 is the world’s most widely used cloud application and has more than 85 million users. This figure is set to exceed 100 million in 2017 but this is still just seven percent of the total Office users around the world.
Microsoft touts Office 365 as a way of being able to access files on any device at any time, to collaborate with colleagues, and to eliminate the need for admins to rollout updates. But like any cloud service, it relies on a quality, reliable network.
Zscaler’s study of large enterprises suggests 78 percent have adopted the suite but deployment has been tricky because they underestimated the amount of network traffic Office 365 creates. More than two thirds have weekly network issues and for 30 percent, problems affect them daily.
Half underestimated the cost of infrastructure associated with rollout and 45 percent claim they have been unable to access crucial business material as a result.
Around two thirds have responded by either increasing bandwidth or the capacity of a firewall but this has had little or no impact.
It says Office 365 opens so many connections that network architecture designed for short sessions is flooded by requests. Zscaler suggests the issue relates to how traditional networks carry the traffic and that direct-to-internet connections would be superior.
“Through their own experiences, organisations are finding out that they simply cannot run a cloud application of the magnitude of Office 365 on legacy architecture,” said Zscaler’s Punit Minocha. “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.”
The firm’s research states that a third of enterprises have already done so, taking advantage of the fact that cloud apps work best via direct connections. Several major providers offer direct links to public data centres, eliminating the middle stages. Indeed, 70 percent of all businesses surveyed plan to eventually make use of direct links.
Microsoft declined to comment to Silicon.
Earlier this year Micrsooft suffered a significant cloud outage that left users of Office 365, Outlook.com and Skype unable to access services
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