Recently, I studied how small businesses use cloud-based tools in their daily operations and was surprised with how few were using any. Using the cloud allows businesses to grab the benefits of internet-enabled technology without having to make big investments in new hardware or software. The suite of applications that make up Office 365 has a lot of features that small businesses can benefit from. Office 365 is a set of web-based versions of Microsoft’s most popular business software. If you’re a small business owner who uses Microsoft products, paying for an Office 365 subscription might be right for you.
First, follow this checklist to see if Office 365 is the right fit for your business
If you’re considering Office 365 as a solution for your business, here are five questions to ask first:
- What types of files do you need to access? If your business needs an office suite that meets the needs of both home and office users, then Office 365 is the right fit for you. That’s because it gives you access to all of the core features of Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook and more. This means that you can have an efficient desktop experience with the flexibility of the cloud.
- How do you want people accessing your files? If most people are accessing your files from within their own company or institution, then there’s no need to segregate content for different devices. But if you have employees working away from an office but still need access to corporate data or information that’s shared across multiple locations, then Microsoft SharePoint is a good fit for your business.
- What security features do you need? If your company has sensitive documents or customer data that needs to be protected at all times, then it may make sense to use only an enterprise version of Office 365 Home Premium or Enterprise E5 plan. With these plans, the data lives in the cloud with added protection measures like multi-factor authentication. But if you don’t require this level of security or privacy protection, then 365 Home Premium works well with higher privacy settings for Office 365 services.
- What kind of support do you need? If your business relies on keeping its systems up and running at all times and depends on 24/7 support to keep things running smoothly, then Microsoft Teams is a good fit for your business. With Microsoft Teams, customers can create team rooms that allow many people to collaborate simultaneously on documents and share information with each other in real time.
- How much time and money are you willing to spend on IT infrastructure? Have someone manage the set-up process for your company. Even though an IT department can install Office 365 for your entire organization, having a specific person in charge of setting up the service for individual users makes sure there are no hiccups along the way. It also means that this person now has responsibility for making sure all the features are working properly each time new people sign on.