Should you choose Office 365 for your company?

Author: Kieron Doyle

If you are establishing IT systems for a company one of the key decisions to make is whether to opt for an on-premise system such as Exchange, or go for the cloud-based system Office 365.

Knowing which is right for your business needs is key and if you are considering going for Office 365 there are a few things to think about first. Here are some issues to consider when making your choice:

Have you already invested considerably in an Exchange platform and/or Office licences?

If your business has already invested heavily in an on-premise solution rather than Office 365 it makes more sense for you to stick with the existing system and get value for money – don’t move systems for the sake of it.

Does your company already have an internal IT infrastructure which will need to continue?

If you have a range of other applications on-premise which will continue to require IT support then it is logical to keep Exchange on-premise as well. In this situation, Office 365 is not your best choice.

Do you have high speed broadband?

If your broadband service is less than reliable Office 365 won’t be able to work effectively so you will be better off sticking with an on-premise service instead.

Is your current version of Office old enough to justify replacing it?

Has your current version of Office reached the end of its lifespan? If so then consider replacing it with Office 365 – you won’t lose anything if it needs replacing anyway.

Consider the long term costs of both solutions before choosing one

It’s worth looking at the long term costs for both systems, say over five years. It will change depending on the size of your company and needs, however Office 365 often works out more costly.

How many users will need the full Office licence?

If most of your users only use email, and don’t need the full Office licence then you should look at Office 365 as there are a variety of licence types with flexible offers.

Is your business brand new with no IT in place?

If you are just starting out from scratch then a Cloud-based system like Office 365 is the best choice – you will have no IT maintenance or additional hardware.

Do you have remote staff?

If you have a workforce made up of remote staff then Office 365 is one of the best choices as it provides amazing flexibility. It allows staff to work anywhere and on any device with an internet connection.

Do you have IT back up tools in place?

Both on-premise and cloud solutions offer back up tools and emergency recovery options.

What system works better for customers in terms of data protection?

You might find some customers have concerns if you are storing confidential and sensitive data within a Cloud-based system.

How reliant is your business on your broadband connection?

If you choose an on-premise solution you can generally continue working even if your internet connection were to drop out. A Cloud-based system requires internet to work.

Do you need to stay updated with Office?

If you always want to have the latest version of Office then the 365 solution updates regularly at no extra cost.

Hopefully this list of questions will help you to consider all of the variables before making your choice but if you would like to get expert advice then why not give our team at Clifton IT a call? We will come up with exactly the right solution for your individual business needs.

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