Why does Office 365 GCC High has Higher Costing?
Several businesses and IT administrators in the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) are estimating the advantages of moving to Office 365 GCC High and in the process have several concerns about licensing. One of the most constant concerns occurring is about the pricing. GCC High is definitely more costly than other ‘versions of the program, but there are reasons why.
Here are the reasons behind the high pricing of Office 365 GCC High:
Reason 1: Added Security Standards
It costs Microsoft more funds to run and manage data centers that have greater levels of security. Companies opt for a cloud program because buying and managing on-premises systems can be expensive. Microsoft takes a part of these savings for GCC High customers (PaaS and SaaS).
The data centers of Microsoft’s GCC High fulfill the standards of DISA Impact Level 4 and FedRAMP High. This covers a high degree of physical security and enhanced access control standards and much more.
Reason 2: Added Licensing
2nd reason is more of a flaw than a reason. Generally, businesses migrate to GCC High for compliance and security purposes particularly DFARS 7012, CMMC, and ITAR. These compliance and security objectives also need extra products and functions not covered in less expensive license models. For example, Office 365 E1 license or Exchange Online Plan 1 will not fulfill the specifications of DFARS 7012/NIST 800-171 or CMMC Level 3.
Hence, part of the extra expense is arising from the requirement for additional functions found in the Microsoft Defender for Office 365 licenses and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EM+S) suite. More ability leads to more charges. To fulfill the compliance and security demands, you just require more of the local Microsoft security products or some integrations from additional third-party tools.
Reason 3: Added Compliance
To fulfill ITAR and additional export-controlled data demands, Microsoft has funded massively to make sure that all elements of GCC High are US-based. All data centers are within the continental US, and all Microsoft employees hired for these data centers are people based in the US and establish severe background checks and qualifications. Some of the costs associated with creating a physically and logically separated environment from other data in the offerings of Microsoft’s commercial Office 365 are likely connected to license charges.
CMMC also further creates the requirement for cloud providers to fulfill similar obligations as GovCon (government contractors) in contractual agreements. Hence, only a few authorized Desktop as a Service providers can sell GCC High subscriptions. Microsoft already fulfills the specifications found in NIST 800-53 and 800-171 in how it manages client data.
The reasons behind the difference in costs stated above are just a part of it, but they are the majority of drivers. Make a note that if you are searching for SaaS or PaaS options in the cloud environment you need to evaluate the plans depending upon the previously mentioned capabilities or features.
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