A cloud expert has said that Office 365 doesn't live up to the hype, and that he needed to buy four additional services just to get it to function as well as Microsoft claims.
Nick Iannou, head of IT at Ratcliffe Groves Partnership, explained that the problem with software-as-a-service is getting it to work and cutting through the marketing spiel to see what it actually does.
"I have four other services working alongside Office 365 just to get it to do what you think it does," he said.
"The SLA does not include spam. So if you want a spam filter that actually works, you pay for it. If you need to archive for compliance purposes, you pay again.
"If you want detailed reporting, you need something else. People sign up with a credit card and think it all works and it's done. But that's not the reality."
Iannou was speaking at Computing's Cloud and Infrastructure Summit held recently in central London.
He added that he had a problem with one cloud supplier that decided to keep track of the software clients in use at his firm by using Windows version numbers.
"But Microsoft keeps changing version numbers with every update, which breaks the software. And Microsoft sold me a system called Advanced Threat Protection, which I now call 'slightly better threat detection'," said Iannou.
"I'm basically paying to test something because I picked up two flaws while using it. That's not good enough. I'm paying for it. When it's something regarding security, that philosophy doesn't work because you're relying on it to protect you. That flaw lets in a threat, and you can't accept that."
He urged companies to maintain responsibility for their own failsafes, as cloud vendors can never fully be trusted.
This chimes with the views of a panel at a recent security event which argued that you can't outsource responsibility.
"It's the same when you get a car, but you still get breakdown cover, you're still insured and you have a spare tyre. You factor in for things to go wrong. It's the same with cloud. Don't assume backups are there from the vendor and that you don't need to do it," explained Iannou.
"You say to the vendor that you need that back-up from six months ago, and they'll say they don't have it. They only store back-ups for 30 days. So check these things out upfront. You may need to pay slightly more, and overall you don't save money, but you'll get something much better."
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