1. Regular Software Updates
Subscription services like Office 365 offer access to a suite of services which are regularly updated for security and new features. This means the process of updating is continuous and frictionless – there is no need to go looking for them, or pay extra costs, and installation is usually just a matter of a few clicks. Ongoing updates make for significant improvements to security, enabling Microsoft to identify vulnerabilities and release fixes on an ongoing basis.
2. Cost Control
Costs are regular and predictable – you can pay a consistent monthly or yearly fee rather than having to buy a whole new system every few years. Aging infrastructure tends to cost businesses more time and money as it ages; Software as a Service aims to circumvent this issue.
The tools in Office 365 are either the same as, or updated versions of, widely-used business applications – this means most business customers will find integration with their current systems to be seamless and intuitive.
4. Work Anywhere, Anytime
Office 365 also offers web-enabled access to documents, email, contacts, and calendars, meaning your employees are able to work anywhere, anytime. To this end, apps can be installed on multiple devices without significant activation hassles. The goal is to maximise flexibility and function.
5. Security and Availability
365 comes with built-in tools to give you granular control over security, for example the ability to set permissions based on employees or specific roles, or to remotely wipe devices if they are lost. Among other security features, 365’s Advanced Threat Analytics uses machine learning to detect suspicious behaviour on your network and alert you and your employees. Cloud storage provides redundancy, making the threat of data losses much less likely.
…and 3 issues to consider
Before moving to a new product it’s important to consider potential issues alongside the benefits. While we’re confident in recommending Office 365 to a wide variety of customers, we have identified a few downsides you may want to consider:
1. Compatibility with Line of Business Apps
Depending on what other applications you use in your Line of Business, always having the latest version of Office software may not necessarily be an advantage. If your company’s core applications work well with your current office software, you will want to make a thorough check of compatibility before making any decision to upgrade.
2. Changing Features
Office 365’s features change frequently, much more so than those of conventionally-licenced software. This can lead so some inefficiencies as you might find you and your employees are spending more time than usual getting used to new ways of working with your software.
3. How Much Functionality do you Need?
While there are a number of Office 365 packages with different options for which apps are included, most users don’t use every single part of their package – some commentators suggest that the average client uses only 20% of Office 365’s functionality. This needn’t be a deal-breaker as long as the features you do use are working for you; but it may lead some users to feel that they’re paying for more than they need.
Having looked at some of the pros and cons of moving to Office 365, if you are considering moving to the cloud for all your office software we would be happy to provide a complimentary consultation to talk through the risks and rewards for your specific technology needs.