Hosted SharePoint vs. Office 365

There were some well publicized issues  last week the surrounding the SharePoint Online Component of Office 365. As expected, Microsoft is working diligently to address these problems but this has illuminated a very good point about the operational differences between the Office 365 monoculture and traditional hosted SharePoint implementations. The typical hosted SharePoint environment is static and any changes made via hotfixes, service packs, or full version upgrades are carefully examined for potential issues BEFORE installation. In the Office 365 world the approach seems to be – upgrade/patch first THEN triage any problems as the support tickets roll in. While this may be perfectly acceptable for some customers I suspect that most prefer to come in every morning and have their SharePoint environment running exactly the way they left it the night before. I think this “Surprise – your site has been upgraded!” process represents a new variable in the Office 365/SharePoint Online risk analysis equation.

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