As a small business owner, you have a lot of considerations when it comes to the things it takes to run your business and you often have to decide between different options to find the most value.
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Do you pay for company-owned mobile devices or have employees use their own smartphones for work? Do you try to manage your data security yourself or use a managed services plan?
Each of these decisions can have a big impact on your bottom line.
Another important decision is about the productivity software you use. If you’re like most businesses on the planet and use Microsoft Office, do you purchase a legacy copy or upgrade to the cloud hybrid Office 365?
Initially, some business owners may shy away from the thought of paying a monthly subscription instead of just making a one-time purchase for a software they own. But when you drill down into the value, Office 365 ends up being an excellent value for both small and medium-sized business owners.
Why Should I Consider A Monthly Subscription for Office?
If you’ve noticed, a lot of software that’s used daily in businesses has not only taken advantage of cloud technology, but it’s also gone to a subscription model. Besides Office 365, Adobe and QuickBooks are two other big names that have encouraged users to move from static hard drive-locked software to cloud-based platforms.
Here are a few reasons why:
- The cloud makes it easier for developers to keep applications updated
- New features can be rolled out to members at any time, instead of waiting years for the next version
- Developers can easily add in more perks for users (like storage space or another companion tool)
If you’ve been on the fence about committing to a subscription model for Office 365, read on to learn some reasons why it may be the better decision for your business.
Additional Collaborative Features
Office 365 is designed to help your team connect in new ways. This means being able to quickly chat and share files securely and collaborating in real-time on a document or spreadsheet.
Companies that promote team collaboration are 5x more likely to be high performing.
With Office 365 you gain access to more than just the four MS programs (Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Excel). Here’s what you get with a subscription:
- Publisher (PC only)
- Access (PC only)
- OneDrive (including 1TB of storage per user)
- Exchange (Premium)
- SharePoint (Premium)
- Teams (Premium)
All these apps have the ability to connect your team in a dynamic way to each other as well as those outside your organization.
Includes Cloud File Storage
Cloud storage for file backups and sharing is just about a necessity in today’s offices. If you’re following good backup protocols, that means having a cloud backup to rely on in case there’s a hard drive crash or physical disaster at your office.
Cloud file storage also allows a company to easy manage a central file repository that makes it easy to find, store, and share information.
Each user on your Office 365 subscription plan gets a full terabyte of storage in OneDrive free with your subscription. So, if you’re paying for a service like Dropbox Business (which is $12.50 – $15.00/user/month), you’d already have your Office 365 subscription covered for that price and would get your storage along with it.
When it comes to compliance with data privacy regulations (like HIPAA and PCI) and just general data security to help prevent data breaches, having a platform that is continually updated and patched provides excellent safeguards.
Additionally, Office 365 gives you quite a few access controls and ability to create user policies that protect your network. For example, you can force the use of strong passwords when users first set up an account.
Office 365 additionally meets several key international, regional, and industry-specific data security standards.
Low Cost of Entry
If you’re a small business just starting out, using a subscription service is much less expensive initially and in the first couple of years.
For example, here’s a cost comparison in year 1 and 2 for a business with 20 employees between purchasing Office 2019 and subscribing to Office 365:
- Office 365 Business subscription – Year 1: $1,980.00
- Office 2019 one-time purchase – Year 1: $4,999.80
- Office 365 Business subscription – Year 2: $3,960.00
- Office 2019 one-time purchase – Year 2: $4,999.80
While the costs will flip as you get near year 3, many companies end up upgrading when a newer version comes out, which is about 3 years if we look at the time between Office 2016 and Office 2019.
When you’re on a subscription, you always have the latest version of the software at no additional cost.
Powers a Mobile Workflow
The days of a person only working from a single computer at their desk are just about gone for most businesses. We work from desktops, laptops, tablets, and smart phones.
71% of workers spend over 2 hours per week accessing work applications from a mobile device.
Office 365 is designed to power mobile workflows, allowing you to access your Office applications and documents from any location and any device.
The subscription is also designed to accommodate today’s multiple-device workflows. Each user can install Office on up to 5 computers and additionally, 5 tablets and smart phones. (With a one-time purchase, you get just a single license to install on one computer.)
Get Help Transitioning to Office 365
If you’re a little wary about the transition to Office 365 from the static software, just remember, you don’t have to go it alone! Magnify247.com can help you with provisioning Office 365 and getting your team up to speed on all the great collaborative tools.