When you open up a document, or start a spreadsheet, you probably don’t think too much about the software underpinning your task.
However, not all document management suites are created equal. For business executives who are looking to help their company become more efficient, the Microsoft Office 365 suite can be a great place to start.
What Are the Advantages of Office 365?
There are several key advantages that an Office 365 licence has over a once-off Office purchase:
Flexibility – an Office 365 licence can be downloaded on up to five devices at any time. This allows you to have your products on your desktop computer, laptop, tablet and mobile. (You even get free mobile apps). If you replace one of these devices, you can continue on your new device with no issues. A once-off purchase is device-specific, so if you replace your computer you would have to buy Office again.
Collaboration – have you ever wasted time trying to align different versions of the same document via email? With Office 365’s SharePoint, multiple people can edit a document simultaneously. This means all changes are immediately incorporated into the master version.
You can also share documents with individuals outside the organisation, such as clients or external partners. The owner of the document can control who has access to edit the document, meaning that you are in control of who can edit and how long they have edit access.
Much more than just documents – an Office 365 E3 plan comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, Teams, Planner, Skype and Access.
This allows you to do so much more than just creating documents. You can communicate via Teams, plan workloads using Planner, store your documents in OneDrive or SharePoint and communicate with clients and colleagues via Skype. Office 365 can support communication on a number of levels.
Your Office 365 account can improve internal collaboration through digital communication. This means larger organisations can eliminate the need for other tools such as Slack or Asana.
Security – moving to the cloud can be seen as risky, but not with Microsoft. They are the most certified data centre provider in the world and offer enterprise-grade data security to all users. This is a great advantage for SMEs, who would be unlikely to afford the same level of protection on an in-house server.
Some of the key security features include: data encryption both at rest and in transit, email encryption, multi-factor authentication, administrative access controls, 24/7 threat management & security monitoring and built in antivirus and anti spam.
Up to date software – with Office 365, software updates happen automatically, so you always have the most recent version. This firstly is a security advantage – as patches for security issues are implemented automatically (reducing the likelihood of a WannaCry-style breach). Secondly, it means that you don’t have to spend a large lump sum each time the ‘next version’ of the software comes out.
Office 365 also includes operating system updates. If any of your devices are currently running Windows 7, switching to Office 365 means you can avoid paying upgrade fees to Windows 10 or buying new devices. See our article on this for more information.
Pricing – moving from a once-off fee to a continual subscription can be a difficult mindset change. Stable companies who are happy to use one set of core devices for many years may find that they are happy to continue making once-off purchases when required. Companies with growing or changing teams, a desire for flexible working, or an interest in keeping up with modern technology changes, would probably benefit from a subscription licencing model.
Should I Make the Move?
One of the reasons that Office 365 has been so successful is because it supports many of the modern working principles that benefit both employers and employees.
Flexible working helps employees at all levels better manage the different aspects of their lives. It also helps businesses to serve clients more flexibly and to make the most of the working time of employees whose jobs involve travel.
Better collaboration helps employees to be more effective. This increased productivity is beneficial for employers who should reap the financial benefits and for employees, who can gain career experience and career progression at a faster rate. It can also increase job satisfaction when employees are not being frustrated by inefficient working practices and internal miscommunication.
Office 365 is the foundation upon which you can build a modern and effective workplace. If you are interested in finding out more, speak to one of our Account Managers today to decide on the best Office 365 package for your business.