Office 365: The Move to the Cloud Continues
Office 365 has taken the business world by storm. Way back in 2015, Office 365 surpassed Google Apps in terms of cloud usage. Why? It’s mostly been due to Microsoft’s determination to move everyone to its cloud platform – Office 365 — by providing a rich set of features at reasonable costs.
SharePoint Online in particular is playing a large and growing role in Office 365, with new capabilities being added. Last May saw a number of announcements about SharePoint’s resurgence.
Even more enhancements and features will be announced at the upcoming SharePoint Conference North America in Las Vegas this May. Crow Canyon is a Gold Sponsor of this event (use “CC50” for a discount when registering). This conference is highly anticipated, as it will be an opportunity to see the latest and greatest in SharePoint and Office 365 technologies.
Office 365 isn’t just a collection of traditional Office applications accessible through the cloud. While that may be its core focus, the platform is rounded out by the wide variety of related modules and services that, as a whole, comprise the new Office ecosystem. This includes communication (Skype for Business), storage (OneDrive), collaboration (SharePoint Online), Power BI, Exchange Server, Delve, Mix, Sway, and more.
Office 365’s dominance, from a cost perspective, is possible because the cloud enables Microsoft to leverage its massive investment in physical back-end infrastructure. Since 1989, Microsoft has invested over $15 billion in its hardware infrastructure, resulting in over 100 data centers globally, each one containing 1 million+ servers that process over 1.5 million server requests per second. All of this sits on fiber optic networks distributed throughout the world.
Modules within the solution, from Word to PowerPoint, are upgraded automatically and are accessible from any device, whether it’s an iPhone, Android, tablet, or traditional desktop. All the common benefits of the cloud also apply here: accessibility, collaboration, upgrades, common platform, etc. Office 365 services are delivered instantly (for the most part) without an internal engineer needing to lift a finger.
So are there drawbacks? Most of the cons surrounding Office 365 are ones common to the cloud in general, which essentially come down to the security of corporate data, regulatory issues, and a lack of control. Office 365 is a cloud-based platform, so once in, there’s no easy way to return to an on-premises situation. Users also relinquish backup and recovery control to Microsoft along with handing over critical data.
If an organization is subject to strict compliance with government or industry regulations, then the ability of Office 365 to meet these requirements needs to assessed. This issue could be resolved through a hybrid approach, where critical data is kept on-premises and Office 365 is used for non-regulated purposes. Here is an informative article from Microsoft that addresses security and compliance in Office 365.
Looking at the big picture, it is clear that Office 365 is not a mere collection of apps but a significant force determined to re-define how business is done. The cloud has facilitated the rapid growth of a solution that, just a few years ago, was subject to a multitude of physical obstacles. Office 365 is now surging to the forefront of cloud services — its usage has been rising quickly and will, without a doubt, continue to do so.
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Crow Canyon Software delivers the power of a connected, digital workplace to your organization, helping you be more successful and competitive. We provide the tools that allow you to gain the maximum benefit from SharePoint and Office 365, Microsoft’s premier collaboration platforms.
Want to learn about how our business productivity applications for SharePoint and Office 365 can power up your organization? Give us a call at 1-925-478-3110 or contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!