Whether you operate on-premises Exchange or a cloud platform such as Google Workspace, there are multiple benefits of migrating to Office 365/Microsoft 365.
Before we dive in, let's address naming conventions.
Office 365 has rebranded to Microsoft 365 for most plans, but the E3 and E5 licenses remain under the Office 365 banner. In short, small and medium-sized organizations use M365 while larger enterprises use O365 (although O365 can still form part of advanced M365 tenants). If that's left you scratching your head, check out this detailed breakdown comparing Office 365 vs. Microsoft 365.
Anyhow, Microsoft's cloud service (whatever you call it) is now used by over one million companies and adoption continues to grow, with FY22 Q2 Earnings stating: “Office 365 Commercial revenue growth of 19%.”
Improved communication via Microsoft Teams is often cited as a driving force for Office 365/Microsoft 365 adoption, and enhanced collaboration is certainly one of the key advantages of using a cloud-based Office suite.
Essentially, Teams becomes your workplace communication tool – a central hub for meetings and messaging, typically reducing internal email flow. The Google alternative comprises two platforms – Meet and Chat – whereas Teams offers a single interface.
Slack has also been a big player in this space for a number of years, but Slack-to-Teams migrations are now growing in popularity as organizations look to centralize data and maximize cloud investments.
Of all the Office 365 benefits for end-users, productivity is surely the most hyped, so we won't labor the point too much but, ultimately, cloud connectivity empowers:
Mobility: You can access applications remotely from any device, allowing you to work anywhere and instantly switch between desktop and mobile apps. This is particularly helpful for attending Teams meetings while on the move. Additionally, you can work offline, and files will automatically sync across devices when you reconnect.
Real-time collaboration: OneDrive for Business enables several people to co-author documents simultaneously, updating a single file rather than emailing new versions each time changes are made. Secure links can also be shared with external contributors, so everyone can literally be on the same page without losing track.
New solutions: In addition to the traditional suite of Office apps, the cloud-based portfolio is bursting with new tools such as Planner, Editor, Forms, and Power BI. These integrated products offer new ways of working, boosting productivity while reducing the specter of shadow IT; you can keep more content within Microsoft rather than multiple third parties.
Resiliency: Should physical devices fail, business continuity is eased with cloud access to all email, files, and applications. Although not ideal, end-users can continue working from smartphones or tablets while awaiting new laptops. When their new machine arrives, users simply log in to find all Office 365 data and settings available within minutes.