Moving to the Office 365 cloud environment can seem like an ominous prospect. It is understandable that many will want to stick with the technology they’re familiar and comfortable with. It is also very easy to be sceptical of the new cloud system with so much hype surrounding it. However, cloud computing is not just a fad, with 340 million MORE people expected to move to the Cloud by 2016 ¹. Likewise in relation to Microsoft’s R&D budget, 90% is being used to improve cloud computing technology ². Clearly the Cloud is here to stay.

So why Office 365? Office 365 is a cloud-based service run from Microsoft data centres that provides email (Exchange), collaboration (SharePoint and Yammer), storage (OneDrive), audio and videoconferencing (Lync) as well as the familiar Office applications. It provides the most up-to-date Microsoft services directly to the customer as a managed service, making IT much more straightforward to administer.

Here are five reasons why switching to Office 365 can be an empowering change for organisations of all sizes and sectors:

1. Increase productivity

Being in the Cloud means you have access to all your important business documents from anywhere with a web connection and from any device – from desktops and laptops to tablets and mobile devices. This lets you work when and where you want and allows you to respond to requests immediately. Another big benefit of applications in the Cloud is that you can simultaneously edit documents in real-time with multiple colleagues, regardless of their location. This saves the time of ‘back and forth’ emails and increases productivity.

2. Lower IT costs

The cost of providing technology to new employees is much lower because a cloud-based model reduces setup time. Pay-as-you-go pricing means you have predictable costs now and in the future. Office 365 also gives flexibility by allowing you to provision users with only the services they require, making it more cost-effective than traditional software provision.

3. Improved communication

Empower employees to communicate from anywhere. Alongside the ability to access emails from anywhere and any device, Office 365 also offers expanded communication options such as instant messenger chats with colleagues and customers, and online audio or video meetings.

4. Low Maintenance

Allow Microsoft to take care of running your IT services so you can concentrate on managing your business. Microsoft will look after updates and provides financially-backed 99.9% uptime guarantee, as well as first-class virus protection. Get the benefits of using Office without having to maintain it.

5. Improved Collaboration

Office 365 offers simple and secure collaborative tools so you can share and store work, files and ideas. Share important business information and calendars with other users and customers. Perform online meetings with colleagues and business partners through a variety of means.

Moving to the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 can help your organisation increase productivity whilst saving costs. To learn more about the technical requirements and uncover more benefits of Office 365 for your business, try our Readiness Assessment today!

¹ DeVry University (2014), ‘Cloud Computing – Fact or Fiction?’, http://blog.devry.edu/2014/02/infographic-cloud-computing-fact-or-fiction.html
² WebsiteBox (2013), ‘Cloud Computing: Work from Anywhere at Anytime’, http://www.websitebox.com/blog/entry.php?41-Cloud-Computing-Work-from-Anywhere-at-Anytime