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10 Reasons to Migrate from On-Premised Office to Office 365

December 3, 2015 by Sekhar Sarukkai

Very few people know that Microsoft Office first debuted separately, starting with Excel (under the name Multiplan), followed by PowerPoint (purchased by Microsoft for USD $14 million). Even fewer people would guess that the packaged Office suite was first released on August 1st, 1989 for Mac OS. It wasn’t until a year later on October 1990 when Microsoft released Office for Windows.

Since those early years, Microsoft has continued to build on the Office suite, adding new software and additional features. But over the last 5 years, Microsoft has undergone a paradigm shift in how they want to deliver MS Office.

4 years ago, on June 28th, 2011 Microsoft released Office 365 after encountering growing competition from Google’s cloud based Google Apps. Today, Microsoft sits atop the mountain, having overtaken Google, Box and even Salesforce as the undisputed cloud application leader with the largest user-base.

The early adopters are turning to Office 365 in droves for obvious reasons. However, Office 365 will truly explode when the rest of the business world begins to understand the advantages provided by Office 365 over the On-premises version of MS Office. Below are 10 reasons to migrate to Office 365.

1. Office 365 does away with software updates. With Office 365, companies always have the latest versions of Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook, as well as cloud-based collaboration and productivity platforms OneDrive, Exchange Online, Yammer, and SharePoint Online.

2. Office 365 facilitates collaboration internally and with business partners. One of the main driving force behind the rapid adoption of SharePoint Online and OneDrive is the fact that they give employees the ability to invite co-workers and business partners to access and edit documents and other content in real-time. To collaborate using the on-premises version of MS Office means sending email attachments, and even then, working on the same file at the same time and seeing changes appear in real time would be impossible.

3. Office 365’s security features are more robust than almost anything that can be built on-premises affordably. Despite the fact that data security remains the number one reason why some businesses haven’t moved to the cloud, Office 365’s security features are extremely robust.

For example, Office 365 provides per-file encryption, where every file has a unique encryption key, any updates to the file is encrypted with a new key and the encryption key itself is encrypted.

The keys are distributed geographically in data centers and use physical security measures such as badges, smart cards, biometric scanners, motion sensors, security officers, video surveillance, as well as two-factor identity authentication.

Over the last few years, Microsoft has shed its reputation as an easy target for hackers while spending an estimated $1 billion a year on security related initiatives.

4. Office 365 let’s businesses do more with less. Building and maintaining data centers is a costly endeavor. With Office 365, businesses can decrease the size of their data centers — or eliminate their data centers altogether. The reduction of the numbers of servers, the software cost, can significantly reduce IT costs without impacting an organization’s IT capabilities. This frees up the IT staff to do more innovative things that may have been out of reach in the past.

5. Office 365 allows businesses to only pay for what they use. Traditionally, companies using on-premises MS Office services had to purchase server and infrastructure capacity that was enough for peak usage. This meant during off peak periods, a lot of the capacity was sitting idly. Office 365 turns this concept on its head. Capacity can be purchased then decommissioned as needed, leading to tremendous cost savings.

6. Office 365 is better suited for today’s mobile world. The advent of smartphones has been a game changer. Employees are no longer tethered to their workstations. Office 365 takes advantage of this by making itself available anywhere, anytime. Employees can use Office 365 from their work computers, but they can also go home and use it from their personal computers, knowing that they’ll have access to all their files no matter the time or location.

7. Office 365 allows for faster time to market. Traditionally, when a business adds new employees, a version of MS Office would be earmarked and installed on the hard drive. This could easily take hours. Multiply this by 1000s of employees, and the cost of simply installing software skyrockets. With Office 365, all an IT admin needs to do is buy an additional license, create the user credentials and apply access controls. Instead of hours, the turn around time is reduced to minutes.

8. Office 365 accelerates M&A activities. Office 365 enables faster changes so that two companies can merge much faster and more efficiently. Traditional the on-premises MS Office would require months of migrating software and decommissioning data centers before two companies are running on the same MS Office stack.

9. Office 365 may lead to a reduced environmental impact. Though this may not be a priority for most IT professionals evaluating Office 365, the fact is that we all have a shared responsibility towards protecting the environment. With fewer data centers worldwide and more efficient operations, we are collectively having less of an impact on the environment. Companies who use shared resources via Office 365 improve their ‘green’ credentials.

10. With Office 365, your favorite apps are in one place. The Windows Store has a host of useful productivity and business applications. Anytime an app is downloaded, it can be accessed from the Office 365 home screen. This makes for a superior user experience while ensuring greater workplace efficiency.

Posted: December 3, 2015
Sekhar Sarukkai
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Sekhar Sarukkai is a Co-Founder and the Chief Scientist at Skyhigh Networks, driving future of innovation and technology. He brings more than 20 years of experience in enterprise networking, security, and cloud services development.