The key benefits of using Microsoft 365
In many ways, Microsoft 365 embodies the current trend of digital transformation in the modern workplace. Microsoft has almost seamlessly transitioned from being a software vendor to a cloud service provider, and the popularity of its products has transformed businesses with it, altering common working practices.
These businesses have taken advantage of a range of benefits conferred by Microsoft 365, not just in comparison to previous Microsoft software, but to traditional practices still in place in many companies. Read on to learn about some of these key benefits of using Microsoft 365, and how they apply to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Software installed locally needs to be updated, both to patch in new features and fix security flaws. Businesses sometimes avoid doing this for a number of reasons: from not knowing about the updates, to not having an IT department to coordinate them, to simply not wanting to retrain employees when software changes substantially. The result is that businesses miss out on productivity benefits, and run the risk of coming under cyber attack.
As Microsoft 365 is cloud-based, you’ll always be using the most up-to-date version. Microsoft performs updates to 365 on their servers, with clients accessing those servers to use the software. As a result, you’ll receive updates the moment they’re applied, meaning that you’re always secure and up-to-date. You’ll benefit from automatic upgrades as part of your subscription based model, with no extra costs – you simply have access to everything, at all times, straight away.
One of the most transformative features of Microsoft 365 is collaborative working. This invaluable feature – used by many businesses during the pandemic – allows employees in multiple locations to work on the same document simultaneously, seeing and responding to each other’s edits. This feature is central to SharePoint, which can be used to give all staff access to important work documents.
Microsoft SharePoint is a browser-based collaboration and document management system. It allows companies to set up a centralised shared storage space for document sharing in “the Cloud” – in other words, on a server that anyone can access. As well as the ability to add user file/folder security permissions and restrict downloadable content, you can even see who is in a document at any given time, and when they are working.
Microsoft Teams is also designed to improve the collaboration and workflow between users within a company. A slightly lesser-known adjunct of Zoom, Teams allows employees to communicate efficiently using a variety of media, including instant messenger, HD voice and video conferencing. It also integrates seamlessly with 365 and other software, allowing for easy file sharing and editing within the app.
Security and reliability
One of the chief concerns many businesses have before adopting cloud computing is security. There’s a sense that files are safer on your local network than on an internet server, a feeling that has been heightened by some notable public security breaches. This is particularly important when it comes to the kinds of sensitive files, documents and other data you might usually be editing in Microsoft 365.
Worry not: Office 365 is an entirely secure environment that meets the most stringent security measures. With features such as two-factor MFA, unauthorised users can’t access your files if they manage to get access to your device. Hosted in Microsoft’s data centres, your documents are protected by Microsoft’s security, with your data being constantly secured and monitored, preventing unwanted access and logging any access attempts.
One of the obvious downsides of storing data locally is the potential for an IT disaster. A security breach or hardware failure could lead to the loss of some or all of your data, which could set your business back massively. Daily backups are always recommended, but this isn’t an economic reality for all businesses, and these can sometimes be affected too.
With Microsoft 365, your files are regularly backed up to multiple locations, and auto-saved whenever changes are made. This not only provides you with redundancy (and the peace of mind that brings), but also the benefits of full version histories. You can even restore documents to different points in time, allowing you to revert any unwanted changes that have been made, and see who made them in the first place.
When you work with an experienced IT provider, they will take responsibility for a smooth transition to Microsoft 365 and cloud computing. At Sota for example, our expert technicians do the planning, with full project management for the implementation and migration process. This allows you to seamlessly switch to cloud software without any interruption to services, getting all of the benefits with none of the usual IT hassle.
Get in touch with our expert team to discover more about the benefits of Microsoft 365, and how we can help you transition your business to the cloud.