Between 2016 and 2017, business adoption of Office 365 doubled, passing 120 million active commercial users per month. And the trend continues to surge upward. Organizations across the globe have reaped the benefits of Office 365 migration as they implement a growing number of business cloud services.
Teams collaborate more effectively, with increased support for remote workers. Security features built into the system protect sensitive data, and Office 365 easily expands to match business growth. At the same time, organizations tap into these benefits while reducing the IT workload in-house.
1. Intelligent Collaboration
Office 365 offers organizations the tools to develop truly intelligent teams. For example, using Microsoft Teams, colleagues can collaborate in real time from multiple locations on a single document. Built-in Skype functionality makes video conferencing a breeze. And using OneNote, team members can collect handwritten notes, emails and images from a project all in one place.
Because the Office 365 apps update automatically, everyone operates on the same version of the software, eliminating incompatibility issues. In addition, when team members store shared documents in OneDrive, they know they are always working with the most current versions of those files. If necessary, they can also see and restore previous versions of a document.
2. Mobile Access
The modern office has turned virtual, with staff frequently working from remote locations. Office 365 empowers a mobile workforce by allowing employees to work on any device, from anywhere. For instance, workers can begin tasks on their tablets on the commute into the office and resume without interruption on the desktop.
With increased mobility comes increased need for security. In response to that need, Microsoft has developed Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Office 365. With MDM, organizations can define policies for mobile access to email and documents. They can also remotely wipe a mobile device that has been lost or stolen.
3. Built-In Security
In fact, many organizations cite security as a primary concern when they contemplate moving to the cloud. Fortunately, Microsoft has built several key security features into its Office 365 suite, in addition to Mobile Device Management. Some of these features include:
- Encryption – Automated encryption ensures that emails and stored documents are encrypted both at rest and in transit.
- Policies for Document Sharing – The SharePoint and OneDrive Administration Center allows administrators to define policies for sharing documents outside the organization.
- Advanced Threat Protection – This optional service uses machine learning to detect unusual behavior and deliver alerts to suspicious activity on the network.
In the old days, expanding business meant purchasing expensive servers and installing or updating software on each additional computer. Office 365, on the other hand, greatly simplifies the process of adding more users to the system. Businesses subscribe on a per-user basis and can add new employees at any time. A single license covers five devices per user.
5. Reduced Burden on In-house IT
One of the key benefits of Office 365 migration is that it allows small businesses to take advantage of full-featured software without the need for substantial in-house IT support. Because software and data are stored in the cloud, Microsoft handles server maintenance and guarantees 99.9 percent uptime.
That means that without any intervention from local IT, every employee has access to the latest version of Office. Updates and bug fixes download automatically on a regular basis, increasing both productivity and security.
Plan Ahead to Tap into Benefits of Office 365 Migration
Keep in mind that the move from on-premises solutions to the cloud brings challenges as well as opportunity. As Marielle Sedin of Zeno Group warns, modern cloud applications require modern cloud architecture.
Old hub-and-spoke networks can prevent organizations from realizing the full benefits of Office 365 migration. However, businesses that plan ahead can avoid network performance issues related to running cloud applications on networks designed for on-premises solutions.
eMazzanti business technology experts bring years of experience guiding customers through Office 365 migrations. We can help you ensure the optimal architecture to take advantage of the collaborative and mobility features of Office 365, while ensuring vital business data security.