If you run a business, chances are that you’ve thought about moving to a productivity suite. The two most popular in recent years is Google and Microsoft’s Office 365. Touted as “innovative” and “the next big thing”, Microsoft’s productivity suite is a revolutionary concept when it comes to operating systems and computing.
But why choose Microsoft over the other guys?
- It’s cloud-based. Having all your computing done in the cloud means that you always have access to your files, as long as you are connected to the internet. You can use all of Microsoft’s Office tools on any PC/Mac, tablet, or smartphone. With 365, you can use the online versions of the productivity suite or install them on your device.
- It’s secure. Whether using the version of Office installed on your machine or the cloud version, you get the same level of security and encryption. The same set of Rights Management Services applies to both. None of your files can be accessed without the proper user credentials, set up and monitored by Azure. This provides the best security and control over your Office 365 data.
- Data is backed up. Microsoft’s Office 365 does offer its own form of checks and balances, 24/7 support that is always on-call, and OneDrive to store all your files. But it is never too much to have an extra layer of protection in the form of a Managed Services Provider (MSP) who can monitor these backups and add an extra layer of security, should your data become compromised or lost.
Pros (and cons) of switching to Office 365. As with anything worth doing, there are pros and cons with the decision to move your operations to the cloud. There are some major advantages to the cloud, but ultimately, the move is up to you. A few key advantages of Microsoft’s cloud are:
- You can work anywhere. If there is an internet connection, you can use your data from anywhere and on any device. You can check emails, access files, and work on a project all from the same place. Even If that place happens to be the other side of the world.
- Easy collaboration between coworkers. How many times have you had multiple people working together on the same project, only to have one version go missing or you risk losing it. With Office 365, collaborators can work on the same file and get changes in real time. You can also share files as links right from the OneDrive, rather than as attachments.
- Access to the latest versions of programs, always. Imagine having access to the most current versions of Word, Excel, and Outlook without having to pay extra or reinstall programs. All the most recent versions of everything in the Microsoft Office Suite are available with an Office 365 subscription.
- Great security features. How secure the cloud is, depends on what security measures you have in place. With Office 365, there are quite a few built-in security features to keep your data safe. These include:
- Encrypted email. Only the intended recipient can read the email.
- Data loss prevention. Checks and ensures that sensitive data (social security numbers, etc.) does not get sent out via email.
- Mobile device management. Allows you to control Office on your employee’s phones, protecting company information.
- Advanced threat analytics. Learns and protects company data, alerting you to suspicious activity on the network.
Alongside all the advantages of using Office 365, there are also a few cons:
- Subscription based model. You must pay a monthly or yearly subscription for your Office 365.
- If the internet is down, your data is down. Considering that Office 365 is cloud-based, if the internet goes out, you could be without access to your data. Even working on a slow connection could make working in a cloud-based system not ideal.
- Most people don’t use all its features. Most users don’t use everything that Office 365 has to offer. Most only use email, file storage, and access to Office programs. This isn’t a terrible thing, but it means you’re paying for features that aren’t getting used.
- Microsoft throws in some great extras. Office 365 comes with 1TB of storage space in Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service, free web hosting and the tools to use it, and a full 60 minutes of Skype minutes to make calls to a landline every month.
Microsoft Office 365 is a very good example of not just what a cloud service can be, but what more businesses are turning to for their cloud needs. Cloud computing is becoming a big part of more and more company’s tech strategy and Office 365 an excellent way to jump into the cloud.
If you’re in the market for an IT expert to walk you through getting onto Microsoft’s Office 365, give PC Help Services a call at (317) 585-0500 and speak with one of our IT consultants to get your business online today!