When it comes to workplace computing, Microsoft Office has been a household name for years – but rapid technological advancement and evolving customer needs, from enterprise through consumer, are now compelling the brand to reinvent itself. After years of the same bestselling formula, Microsoft is shifting its longtime software-only vision to a new business model centered on the cloud.
Cloud computing has been a topic of conversation for several years; but while some organizations have been quick to go virtual, many have been wary of making the switch, citing concerns about security and accessibility. For the firm believers that the cloud is a trend, traditional perpetual licensing is still available. But for those willing to be swayed, Microsoft’s response is Office 365, the company’s cloud-based application suite, which promises 99.9% uptime in every contract to eliminate any lapse in service.
As a subscription-based service, Office 365 has multiple plans to ensure the most suitable software suite for all users. Plans vary depending on intended use, ranging from home and personal versions to those suitable for small and mid-size business, large enterprises, schools, or nonprofits. Most importantly, all versions feature familiar software like Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint that work as seamlessly in the cloud as they do in traditional downloads. This easy transition has made Office 365 the most commonly deployed and fastest-growing cloud-based software today.
Another advantage of Office 365’s virtual interface is its potential for greater productivity when working remotely. A consistent user experience from any device is incredibly convenient on its own, and add-ons like OneDrive and SharePoint are available to enhance mobility with file storage and sharing options. OneDrive, which also offers encryption for confidential file sharing, lets users view files and save changes from any device. For more collaborative file sharing, SharePoint works like an internal internet, or intranet, for users to edit documents back and forth from any location.
Ever-changing business conditions require organizations to be agile, and that means investing in solutions that provide reliability and choice. Office 365 implements secure access to a cloud-based platform, which allows organizations to work on any device, anytime, anywhere. As flexible workplace setups become increasingly common, cloud computing is poised for continued growth as a critical IT infrastructure tool. Browse through this Office 365 Roadmap to see updates currently planned for applicable subscribers.