Benefits of Office 365 for Business

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Understanding the benefits of Office 365 for business

Microsoft has been very open about the fact that it sees Office 365 as the way forward for businesses. While Microsoft has had varying degrees of success pushing customers onto its choice of products, when it comes to business, it tends to have a very good idea what its customers need and want and how to deliver it. Here are just some of the benefits Office 365 offers to businesses.

Reducing capital spend

The most obvious example of this is the fact that Office 365 is paid by monthly subscription whereas Office 2019 is a one-time, standalone purchase. Perhaps a less obvious example of this is the fact that Office 365 can allow companies to reduce their spending on IT infrastructure.

Even though Office 2019 is far from the most demanding piece of software on the market it is still much more resource-intensive than Office 365. This is because Office 2019 requires all the processing work to be done by the host computer, whereas Office 365 pushes the processing work onto Microsoft’s back-end servers. This means that even fairly modestly-specced computers (and mobile devices) can use demanding apps such as PowerPoint and Access.

Flexible licensing

The fact that Office 365 is a monthly subscription service means that you only pay for what you need when you need it. For example, if you only have a small permanent team, but need to bring in extra staff for peak periods, then you can just buy subscriptions for those staff during those periods and cancel them when they leave.

As a bonus, sticking with Microsoft Office also means that you’re almost guaranteed to be on the same productivity page as any temps or freelancers you use as it is basically the industry standard in every sector and every country. This means that they can focus their energy on learning what they need to know about your organization, which means they get up to speed and become productive more quickly. This improves their job satisfaction and saves you money.

Remote working

Benefits of Office 365 for Business

Even if you very much prefer to have all staff working from one designated location, there are all kinds of reasons why it makes sense to be able to offer some element of remote working. To begin with, it often increases staff satisfaction and hence retention. This point is important because the ability to work remotely, at least from time to time, is increasingly being seen as a standard rather than a perk and so you want to be seen to be keeping up with the times.

Secondly, it can be easier for staff on the go to work with Office 365 than with Office 2019. Even though Office 365 has limited offline functionality, that’s often enough to keep people going. What’s more, these days there’s often a big difference between being on the move and being genuinely offline. Between WiFi hotspots and cellular data, it’s usually possible to get a reasonable degree of internet access.

The reason mobile staff generally prefer Office 365 to Office 2019 is that Office 365 is designed to work with mobile devices and carrying a tablet (even with an add-on keyboard) is usually massively easier than carrying even an ultra-portable laptop (plus the battery tends to last longer).

Last, but by no means least, staff being able to work remotely gives you an obvious disaster-recovery solution. It also covers you for occasions when you may need (or want) to vacate your building such as when noisy maintenance work needs to be done or when you need all the space you have for an event but still want staff to be able to work.

Collaboration

The “online first” nature of Office 365 is ideal for collaborative work, especially when people are working remotely. In fact, it can even come in very useful when people are technically near each other but might have problems getting together physically in one place.

Even though most offices do have some designated meeting spaces, the demand always seems to exceed the supply and in some offices, the meeting spaces can often become offices, if only unofficially, for example, to accommodate temporary staff.

If you regularly work with third-parties, such as agencies and freelancers, then using Office 365 can make life easier for everyone since people are almost guaranteed to be familiar with it.

Regular updates

When you buy Office 2019, what you buy is what you get for as long as you use the product. The only updates are security updates. When you sign up for Office 365, you get regular functionality updates for as long as you remain a customer.