Like any investment, you should weigh the pros and cons of moving to a new email solution like Office 365 for your small to mid-sized business.
The answer for many businesses is yes. You can unlock the ROI of Office 365 quickly through accessing new business applications and gaining remote capabilities you probably didn’t have before. The cloud also lightens the IT load for mid-sized businesses compared to on-premises solutions, significantly slashing infrastructure costs. Here are more financial advantages of migrating to Office 365 that your business can experience as early as the first few months to a year.
The ROI of Office 365
Businesses with Office 365 tend to notice fewer licensing and support costs as well as increased functionality over their old on-premises solutions. Office 365 is designed to meet virtually every business need and provide an inclusive solution that doesn’t have to depend on third-party software for additional capabilities. Exchange Online is one of the most widely used systems for business email as well as one of the most powerful. With an integrated presence and video conferencing capabilities, few other Cloud solutions come close.
Office 365 brings the familiar Office suite of products online. Email is integrated with IM, calendars, tasks, contacts and more. With Skype for Business and SharePoint online, teams can collaborate on projects online to stay connected wherever they are. The Office Cloud servers easily integrate with desktop versions of the Office suite users are already used to.
Cost and savings
Small and mid-sized businesses don’t usually need a dedicated IT administrator, which means the skills and budget to deploy and maintain an on-premises solution often requires a third-party vendor (and added costs) to maintain the network. On average, a company with a few hundred users only pays around $9 per user monthly and a low annual fee, including all maintenance, updates and security.
Your business also no longer has to worry about paying the high cost to maintain, store, power and cool physical servers. Although these costs vary by location, the low cost per user that businesses pay for Office 365 plays a large role in saving the cost of operating under a physical environment. Because everything is available in the Cloud, businesses can also save overhead costs by allowing employees to telecommute or use their own personal laptops and devices for work.
On-premises solutions require constant monitoring, patching and backups. All this is provided through Microsoft with Office 365. When you add up the cost of physical servers, OS licenses, client access and server applications licenses, air conditioning and the physical space required, the cost to set up and operate Office 365 is minuscule.
With a cloud-based computing option, your employees will stay connected more often regardless of their location. Documents, email, calendars and contacts are accessible from any device. Business processes and workflows can be automated through Office 365 as well. Under business process automation, businesses can approve and reject new processes, collect feedback, track projects and issues and discover automation retention rates.
Team collaboration comes into play with team sites, shared documents, tasks and discussion boards for each team member to contribute to. By eliminating wait time between sending documents and spreadsheets, employees can be more productive faster.
Get the most out of Office 365
Some businesses end their search for cloud solutions through SharePoint Online and hosted Exchange. In order to get the most ROI of Office 365, businesses must leverage SharePoint Online, automation processes such as HR functions and automated workflows.
SharePoint Online also offers a list of application templates that provide most of the functionality businesses need — such as a community site, social features, external user collaboration and OneNote integration. Document libraries, SharePoint site tracking through the Sites page, task tracking,and tracking project and site mailboxes are other features available with SharePoint Online.