Because of the development of the cloud in recent years, where we can now access information remotely with a Wi-Fi connection and run our businesses on the move, products like Microsoft Office have developed to meet current demand. You can now opt to use Microsoft Office or Microsoft Office 365, but is there any real difference between the two?

The traditional MS Office is provided by one download and gives you access to the latest version of the software, usually for a price of around £100 plus (more if you go for the full business package). With MS Office 365, the software is provided by a subscription service where you pay for the number of users on a monthly basis, accessing your documents and tools such as Word and Excel through the cloud.

The Pros and Cons of Microsoft Office

You can get all the usual tools for Microsoft Office and for the most part there will appear to be no difference between this provision and the MS Office 365 package. You own the software outright and can use it on as many machines as the licence permits. The problem is that when you want to update to a newer version you will need to download and pay for the package, along with licences, again.

The Pros and Cons of Microsoft Office 365

There's a great deal to be said for the subscription service that Microsoft Office 365 offers. You can download it onto a number of devices, as you would for Microsoft Office, but that's just the start of the benefits.

  • First of all, it provides a cheaper outlay than with MS Office, with monthly subscriptions available from £3.10 per user per month.
  • You get more for your money with Microsoft Microsoft Office 365 with additional features and capabilities that can make a real difference to your business.
  • You can download it to a variety of devices including your smartphone which means that you are less dependent on your office pc and can work more effectively on the move.
  • In addition, you get all the updates needed automatically and can stay current with the new versions and also receive support 24/7.

The downside for Microsoft Office 365 is that there is little chance for customisation but that shouldn't be a problem for most businesses. There is also the issue of security – the service is connected to the cloud which means you might assume the threat level to be higher. However, as you would expect, Microsoft have heavily invested in robust security systems.

Which is best for your Business?

A large number of SMEs and other businesses will see the benefits of moving to a platform such as Microsoft Office 365, not least because of the cost benefits. The issue that many businesses will have is how 365 integrates with their other software and how flexible it is likely to be. The notion of being able to access important things like documents and emails practically anywhere in the world where there is a Wi-Fi connection is also highly desirable in today's fast paced commercial world.

Working through a good cloud service that includes a hosted email service that is highly secure means there are now no barriers to doing business. You can perform a host of tasks from web seminars, instant messaging and sharing documents between teams.

Bring in the right IT Consultancy

It's not just a question of signing up for Microsoft Office 365. If you want your business to be entirely secure and benefit from a host of web-enabled tools, you need to choose the right IT consultancy who can advise on what your business needs and what features will benefit you most.

Source by Erika Chitty