Managed Office 365
office 365 - pros and cons
Office 365 offers many benefits and simplifies potentially complex aspects of Microsoft Office but it may not be for everyone.Let's look at some the reasons to migrate to Office 365 then some of the reasons why you might want to delay.
The first benefit of Office 365 is that is allows your team to work from anywhere. Because it's cloud based, all of your files, email and the programmes you use are online, no matter where you are. In many cases, you can work from pretty much any Internet connected device including your PC laptop, Mac, tablet or phone. It's very convenient and is great if your business has remote staff or you're working with contract or consulting staff anywhere in the world.
Extending the theme of working anywhere is the ability to collaborate easily. Sharing resources, information and documents means that there is little risk of common problems like version control. Mistakes occur when one or more people are working on a document, not realising that it's not the latest version. /collaboration also means that the team has direct access to a file, when they need it, and that files are not being emailed around. These simple features means fewer errors, less rework and greater productivity.
Because 365 is online and managed by Microsoft, everyone has access to the latest versions and features. This means that teams do not experience file incompatibilities and that, when a new productivity feature becomes available, everyone has access to it at the same time.
Microsoft now releases tools, applications and functions in 365 that may not be available in desktop Office. Collaboration tools like Teams, Yammer and Sharepoint are included in 365 by default and facilitate new opportunities for 365 users.
Because 365 is subscription based, you can pay a low monthly fee per user rather than a large upfront capital outlay. This is especially attractive as the fee includes upgrades so you'll never have to pay for the next big upgrade. Because of the subscription delivery model, you can also mix and match plans so that you only pay for the features that the user needs.
Office 365 also includes many security features which ensure that your data is safe, that emails are encrypted and that lost mobile devices don't expose business information.
On the other side of the coin, there are some reasons why you might not want to transition to Office 365 just yet.
Some businesses prefer to pay once and be done with it until the next upgrade. Monthly subscription, particularly with a changing workforce, can add to administration as someone has to keep track of outgoings. Office 365 does offer annual subscription, often at a discount on the monthly payment, so this might be an attractive alternative. It's really a matter of choice.
With Office 365, the customer doesn't get much say on upgrades. They just get rolled out. This can sometimes create confusion as feature sets change. People can generally handle the O365 style of incremental changes more easily than the big installation version updates but it is a shift from what people are used to.
Some businesses have customised applications which depend upon certain features or behaviour of a limited number of versions of Office. This is often particularly the case with applications which integrate with Outlook. The nature of Office 365 updates may disable critical functions of these applications, particularly if the application developers are not keeping up to date. This is often the killer impediment to Office 365 deployment.
The break even point of subscription versus purchase is about two years. Some businesses have fairly low requirement for Office functionality. They might only use 25% of the features available in their current Office version and they may skip entire version upgrades. This means that there is a risk of paying for a lot of functionality that may never be productively used. In these cases, the benefit of Office 365 must be examined against the cost.
For a new business or a business considering an upgrade from an old version of MS Office, say two to three generations behind, Office 365 is a compelling option.
If you need more information or advice, please call or contact us. We'll be delighted to help.