Cloud is one of the best things that happened to the IT world, as told and agreed by most of the developers. This is why, cloud applications are in, almost everywhere, replacing the local installations. Cloud-based, hosted applications like Office 365, offer easy access, mobile compatibility, and convenience. But, cloud-based applications like Office 365 are really worth switching for? Will switching to Office 365 can potentially be a good solution for your company? Do you actually need to move to cloud-hosted applications from desktop applications? You can get all your answers by knowing the good and bad side of the Office 365 suite. In this blog post, we have tried to cover up all the potential pros and cons of Office 365 that your company may experience.
First of all, you don’t need to be too worried when switching to Office 365 or to any other cloud-based application. Deciding to make any change in your operation will definitely bring some waves to your pendulum thinking. But, this guide will probably save you from ricocheting between the pros and cons of Office 365. Below, in this guide, we will illuminate some of the most significant differences between Office 365, and its locally hosted version. In this guide, you will learn about both, the drawback and the benefits of cloud-based applications; especially those are offered by Office 365, in order to help you put in a better position to decide whether you should take that deeper plunge into cloud networking.
What if your employee brainstorms at 3:00 a.m. in the night? He must have to grab a pen and paper to make notes so that he does not lose the grip on an idea. Being an employer, you must provide your employers with all the necessary resources; and documents are one of them. With Office 365, your workers are not to bound by time, and they must not wait for the morning to reach office to access their required files and piece together the idea from some jotted notes. With Office 365 development, all they need to do is to switch on their laptops or tabs and start working on the presentation or email, regardless of the timing and place where they happen to be. No only this, but they can also connect and communicate with their colleagues by using the collaborative features of Office 365 suite such as editing and sharing through cloud-hosted software like SharePoint Online. This could be an incredible turn to your productivity levels as it tends to have great implications about how your employees manage their work and routine. In fact, with Office 365 and other similar cloud-hosted software and applications, you can also loosen up some restriction over working from home option; while also saying yes to more online conventions, meeting and conferences. Because, with the facility of staff being online and present from anywhere, while also having access to all the data, why not give them the option to work from anywhere too.
We completely understand that in-house IT teams already have too much on their plate, and making them deal with the hassles of application installation, troubleshooting and system updates is probably too much. With Office 365, one of the soft benefit is that it takes away all these hassles from your IT team. Freeing them up a little bit helps them utilizing that time in other more valuable tasks and also boost their productivity level. You might wonder that who resolve the troubleshooting, updates and app installation issues then. The answer to this is that, these kind of IT concerns are forwarded to the IT experts. Microsoft Admin Center has a well-devised whole setup process, which is way much easier than setting up or configuring up an exchange server. Additionally, new updates automatically occur at your system, right after the minute they are officially released; however, you can turn these updates if you want to.
Security vulnerability may never be a deal-breaker, if the cost savings are done right because money always talks. Microsoft has been the pioneer in providing powerful business and commercial software for decades; and most importantly it knows where the mouth is so that it can put its money in. Microsoft undertook a joint study with Forrester Consulting which found out that small-to-medium-sized businesses are successfully getting 154% return on investment (ROI) simply by switching to Office 365. The study also reveals that most of the businesses that have switched to Office 365 have attained their paybacks within the duration of 5.1 months on average while eliminating third-party services and software and lowering their overheads by $8,100. Usually, companies experience lower licensing costs, if they install and purchase Office 365, because there is no requirement to buy all-new licenses and software every time a new software release become available. Instead, companies prefer paying monthly subscription fee per user. While being regular, this fee typically includes new releases, product updates and security patches.
With cloud-based applications and services, one thing is confirmed that they are not going anywhere soon from the market; and this is the reason why most of the businesses are moving them with their new products and services. And, Office 365 is one of the most trusted cloud product which serves as the introduction to cloud computing for most businesses. In other words, it is some sort of a soft launch that allows you to experience the goods and the bad of the cloud world without moving too much of your data and operations online. At Code Creators, we help businesses taking a decent leap every day, by leveraging them our strong set of skills and experience in IT services and networking, so that their transition to Office 365 is as smooth and seamless as possible. If you are also looking forward to implementing the cloud network and Office 365 to your company, or have any question about transitions, we are happy to take your call.
On the opposite side of the picture, there are some factors that you may not find good. For example, sometimes the users of Office 365 are found complaining about experiencing setback when using browser application. This is because the Office Word’s browser version does not allow users to access document that are password-protected, nor they are allowed to use macros within the document when working online. Likewise, Excel users cannot set up data validation within the browser workbooks. Moreover, some other features such as INFO function and TODAY function may behave differently online that they usually do. But in any case, the functionality gets lost and make the online working process at least confusing if not impossible.
IT administrative savings are not worthy if you still have to worry about security flaws. Microsoft work relentlessly to ensure data safety and protecting its cloud from security and hack threats, by using techniques like Advanced Threat Protection and Data Loss Prevention. But this does not mean that they are 100% secured and that your data security can never be jeopardize. For instance, security research team of Google’s Project Zero discovered a very high-risk security concern in another Microsoft’s project named ‘Edge’. According to the research security team, the product had a bug which was allowing attackers to control information that was saved in the memory of the application, which could have potentially devastating consequences for the data security. Another serious bug was reported in the security flaw of Edge which potentially disclosed the sensitive user data stores within the Windows server. And unfortunately it took Microsoft several months to release a successful security patch to encounter that vulnerability. Although Edge is not a part of Microsoft Office 365, yet risks like these are worth considering when you are opting to switch over any cloud-based application.
Another drawback is that your business might not be able to reap as much benefits under a subscription base payment model, that you can get with annual commitments. Office 365 Enterprise is Microsoft’s most robust platform for Office 365, and it has monthly subscription fee of $35 per users and also requires an annual commitment. Moreover, a lot of people are found complaining about the fact that they only use 20% of the provided functionalities. Well, in that case there are many affordable and free cloud based tool such as Google Docs. Although all these program does not offer all these benefits that Microsoft Office 365 offers, but many companies also feel that they don’t need the additional features too. All in all, it is all worth investigating what you need and what not along with a cost and benefit analysis before plunging into this decision. In case if you need help, Code Creators has a team of experts that can help you decide with. All your need to do is make a call.