Microsoft Office 365 Benefits: Are You Using Everything It Has to Offer?

September 24, 2021
Microsoft Office 365 Benefits: Are You Using Everything It Has to Offer?

Microsoft Office 365 usage had been growing rapidly prior to the pandemic, but in 2020, Microsoft added 95 million users.1 As companies needed to lock down and support their employees who were working from home, the need for an integrated productivity tool skyrocketed.

You may already be using Office 365, which Microsoft renamed "Microsoft 365" last year. For many people, it’s the gold standard for collaboration. Interestingly, there are so many things it can do, it’s likely that you aren’t using Office 365 to its fullest potential. Read on to learn what Office 365 can offer.

Microsoft Office 365 Benefits

1. Cost Savings

Microsoft commissioned a Forrester Total Economic Impact Study for Enterprise Customers2 and Small and Midsize Businesses.3 Forrester looked at five areas related to the use of Office 365: technology, mobility, control and compliance, business intelligence, and social.

For small and midsize businesses, Forrester identified a return on investment of 154% with payback coming in 5.1 months. For enterprise businesses, they identified a return on investment of 162% with a payback of 7 months.

2. Advanced Collaboration and Continuous Updates

Virtual collaboration among employees has become even more important since so many businesses were locked down during the pandemic. Today, hybrid workplaces are becoming the norm. A hybrid work model can be set up in several ways. Some employees may work from the office all the time, while others are only in the office on specific days. Some companies like Google4 have announced that they are making the hybrid workplace permanent. The company forecasts that 20% of their employees will work from home, 20% will work from an office, and 60% will be on a flexible work schedule. Salesforce is also moving to a hybrid workforce.

As a result, the collaboration tools available in Microsoft Office 365, especially the Teams app, are making the hybrid workforce a successful reality. The ability to connect electronically is helping employees stay engaged and productive and keeping teamwork alive. That said, it can be confusing to know which tools to use in Office 365 to really get the most out of the solution. We recommend using Teams for program-level collaboration, project-level collaboration, and department and general-level collaboration. Use Yammer to post a question to a larger swath of your organization to solve a problem or gather communities of larger groups to collaborate. Use SharePoint to work on a document in real-time with others to speed up revisions and task completion. And OneDrive is useful for saving files and documents securely while syncing them to all types of mobile devices.

Microsoft also continues to update and enhance the platform.5 For example, Microsoft is incorporating Teams messaging into the newest operating system, Windows 11. That capability will allow those who aren’t using Teams to participate in the messaging activity.

3. Secure Cloud Access

The move to the cloud accelerated throughout 2020. Gartner predicts6 that 85% of enterprises will have established a cloud-first strategy by 2025. With cyber security threats increasing at a rapid pace, the move to the cloud is helping businesses win the battle. The cloud is more secure for a number of reasons:

  • Automatic updates eliminate the problem of hackers taking advantage of unpatched security issues
  • Moving your computing power off-site eliminates the problem of local security
  • Cloud providers have expert staffs that focus on cyber security

Microsoft Office 365 runs on Microsoft’s cloud Azure. The company is working hard to enhance the security of their servers. For example, Microsoft recently acquired CloudKnox Security7 to give IT teams actionable insights that help control multi-cloud entitlements and permissions. We recommend examining your current levels of cyber security to make sure you're leveraging all the security benefits of Azure through your Office 365 platform.

4. Other Benefits of Office 365 Running on Azure

The Azure cloud provides a range of benefits that make using Office 365 even more useful. One of the most important benefits is the fact that the cloud can save your business money.

These cost saving benefits were detailed in Gartner’s Total Economic Impact Study. Other benefits include:

  • Easy scalability. Whether you’re growing or downsizing, it’s easy to make on-demand changes to storage space and computing power.
  • Easier budgeting. When you use Office 365, you’ll pay according to usage, helping you better forecast budget.
  • High reliability. With the extensive network of data centers, Azure provides excellent availability and redundancy.
  • Best-in-class cyber security. Microsoft prioritizes cyber security, and all data stored on the servers are protected by a multi-layered security model including advanced encryption and two-tier authentication.
  • State-of-the-art compliance. Integrated compliance tools help you stay compliant with regulations like HIPAA, ISO 27001, GDPR, and others.

5. Business Continuity

We all learned hard lessons about business continuity in 2020. The difference between disaster recovery and business continuity became plain. When businesses needed to lock down, there was no threat to their data. The threat came from the fact that many businesses had no easy way to give system access to employees who couldn’t be in the office. As a result, business operations stalled.

Disaster recovery is critical if you’re faced with a ransomware attack, for example. But business continuity describes your ability to continue to function even in the face of a disruption. That disruption could be caused by a natural disaster that cuts power to your location, or by the need to close your offices due to a pandemic. During a disruption, your business can continue to operate if you're working with cloud-based tools.

This is where Office 365 shines. Microsoft offers much higher levels of availability and redundancy than you find with on-premise systems. Users can access the system on-demand with redundancy built into every layer, outstanding load balancing strategies, and continuous monitoring. Data is stored in the cloud on Office 365, and the multitude of data centers and redundant servers that Microsoft maintains enables you to access your applications even if your premises suffers an outage.

How to Take Full Advantage of Office 365 Benefits

To a large extent, Office 365 is the basis of digital transformation. However, even a powerful platform like Office 365 can have issues, and for Microsoft in particular, the issue is support. That’s where Enterprise Visions can help you get the most from your Office 365 installation.

Enterprise Visions, along with its partners, can provide any level of support you need. We helped a midwestern financial services company with several dozen locations across the central U.S. migrate from traditional premise-based software platform to a cloud-based O365 solution. Working with Enterprise Visions, you’ll get the support you need in a way that makes sense for your long-term IT strategy.

For example, we can provide managed support for Office 365 because we’re always up to date on the latest technology, and we have years of experience working with the Microsoft stack. As a result, we can even help with the minor questions you may have about optimizing Office 365.

When you want Office 365 support, if you need help taking full advantage of Office 365, or need any SaaS related guidance, contact us today. Our expert staff can help you ensure that you get the cost savings, collaboration, security, and business continuity you need to grow your business.


  3. 365 tei.pdf