People discussing Office 365 in a crowd.

Is Office 365 Right for Your Business?

For some SMBs, implementing digital workplace technology is just a pipe dream. For others, Office 365 is a way to get the benefit of a digital workplace without destroying the budget. The capabilities Office 365 offers can solve a number of problems many SMBs are currently facing.

What is Office 365?

Microsoft’s Office 365 is an integrated set of productivity software. The software includes:

  • Office Tools: familiar tools such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Teams: a hub for teamwork that includes chat, meetings and file sharing
  • OneDrive: online storage that syncs across devices and is accessible on any device, including mobile
  • Management tools: includes applications for scheduling, invoicing, and more

Office 365, with its wide range of capabilities makes the perfect solution to many of your business challenges.

Lack of collaboration

Collaboration is critical in today’s fast-moving business environment. The fastest way to get things done is to have employees from different disciplines work together in real time. The alternative is to pass projects from one department to another, which takes much more time and effort.

The collaboration tools in Office 365 give SMBs the same opportunity as large enterprises to allow employees to communicate easily. Teams can brainstorm ideas in real time, share documents and even initiate video conferencing on the fly.

Cybersecurity isn’t very sophisticated

It can be difficult for an SMB to hire the talent needed to develop a highly sophisticated network security system. Unfortunately, it’s important for you protect your systems against a world of hackers. Cyberattacks are increasing in number and severity. One attack could be deadly for an SMB.

In fact, in 2017, cyberattacks on SMBs cost an average of just over $2 million. Some organizations never recover from such a disaster.

Since Office 365 runs in the cloud, you would have access to much more sophisticated security, managed by highly skilled security experts.

Inefficient business processes

It’s typical for you to develop business processes over time. In the process, those processes can become less and less efficient. As you might expect, restructuring existing processes can be difficult and time-consuming.

Office 365 offers two tools to help. Microsoft Flow is a tool for turning tasks into step-by-step workflows. If there are opportunities for improvement, they are easy to spot during that process. PowerApps is an easy to use tool to create apps that can run on either a browser, or IOS or Android operating systems.

Once you streamline the workflows, PowerApps can automate the steps whenever possible. Luckily, users don’t need coding knowledge; the interface uses point and click tools. This reduces the amount of time knowledge workers spend completing administrative tasks, freeing them up for more value-added work.

IT budgets are already too large

Many SMBs focus on controlling IT budgets. The Office 365 cloud deployment typically reduces costs. Many organizations use managed IT services to contain costs.

You can reduce labor costs because the provider’s IT support team takes care of monitoring the operation of the hardware and software. They will do software updates without interaction with your staff and without any interruption to your operation.

In many cases, after going to the cloud, you may not eliminate your IT staff, but you can assign them to projects that will promote innovation and contribute to your bottom line.

There are also cost savings in terms of hardware. You don’t need to make capital outlays to create the infrastructure needed to support advanced capabilities. The managed services provider supplies the hardware you need.

Not only that, but working with a cloud provider lets you scale your operation quickly and easily. You can add more capacity for peak times and reduce it when you’re in a slower part of your sales cycle.

Final Thoughts

There are other benefits to using Office 365. For example, the interface is familiar to most of our employees, and the cloud implementation supports BYOD and remote employees.

Office 365 provides the collaboration and productivity tools that are critical in a competitive business environment. It’s technology that can significantly increase your competitive edge.