Office 365’s monthly pricing is hands down more affordable than the up-front licensing cost of its predecessors. It shift’s your company finances from a CAPEX-based to an OPEX-based model. Flexibility gained from pay-as-you-go plans can free up your cash flow and enable you to spend on other projects. But the benefits of moving to Office 365 is more than just about cost-savings.
Here’s how productivity looked like in the past. Let’s say you’ve started working on a bunch of files at your office in Lake Forest. If you wanted to have access to those same files at home, in a coffee shop in Irvine, a customer’s store in Mission Viejo, or some hotel across the globe, you’d have to either copy those files to a laptop or save them in a USB stick.
What if you lose your USB stick or your laptop crashes? That should result in some downtime. Not with Office 365. Office 365 allows you to maximize your working hours by enabling access to your files through OneDrive, Microsoft’s file hosting service. Through this cloud-based service, all you need is an Internet connection, and you can access the same files anywhere you go – even on your customer’s desktop.
And because Office 365 comes with iOS and Android apps, you can also access those files on your mobile device. That means, you can easily review that report, presentation, or spreadsheet on your way to your appointment.
In the past, collaborating on a document meant sending email attachments back and forth. After reviewing and editing a document, you attached it to an email and then sent it to your group mate. The problem with this method of collaboration is that, you usually ended up with several versions of the same document.
Also, team members couldn’t work simultaneously. You had to wait until the other party was done AND the file was handed back to you before you could make your own changes, comments or suggestions.
In Office 365, documents are stored on the cloud, so all team members can access the same document (not several copies of the same document) and then make comments, suggestions, and edits at the same time. Because there’s no waiting time and collaboration is done in real-time, projects can be completed much faster.
Less risk, more security
Software updates are essential to all software applications. It helps ensure an application has the latest features, functions, bug fixes, and vulnerability patches. But in order for updates to be truly effective, they must be applied as soon as they’re available. Otherwise, you’ll be giving malicious individuals the opportunity to exploit a known vulnerability. Unpatched vulnerabilities are often the entry points of ransomware, exploit kits, viruses, worms, rootkits, and other malware.
Of course, while timely updates are ideal, they’re easier said than done. Small businesses seldom have a dedicated system administrator who can regularly check for the latest updates and apply them. That shouldn’t be a problem in Office 365 because updates are done automatically over the Internet. In other words, you can be sure your copy of Microsoft’s office suite is always the latest and safest.
Enhances business continuity and disaster recovery
In this cut-throat economy, you can’t afford to have any extended downtime. But that can happen when a disaster strikes. A malware outbreak, long power outage, fire, flood, or destructive cyclone can prevent you from doing business.
Because Office 365 stores copies of your files in the cloud, they can be retrieved as soon as you have access to a computer. If your entire office (and the computers in it) is completely incapacitated, you can rent a couple of Windows-based computers, access your Office 365 files from there, and get back into business.
An Office 365 migration provides tremendous benefits to small businesses. It’s one of the most affordable ways of improving several areas in your organization. No wonder most companies have already moved to it. Unless you want your competitors to enjoy a head start in this area, the time to migrate is now.