Despite its massive popularity, many businesses have still not upgraded their corporate productivity suite to Office 365.
While the reasons for these lapses are as varied as the companies themselves, for many, the consequence for failing to embrace the O365 future is the same: they suffer both reduced productivity as well as lost resources. Outdated programming interferes with productivity drags top talent away from mission-critical work to resolve unnecessary and expensive technical problems.
The legacy Office suite remains popular …
A 2017 Spiceworks survey revealed that Microsoft Office remains the most popular set of productivity tools across all industries, with 83 percent of the reporting companies using it in some form. Technology officers from over 1,000 American, Canadian, and UK organizations admitted using Office products, often incorporating several versions into their mix of technologies:
- 83 percent still use some form of Office 10;
- 68 percent still use some form of Office 2007;
- 46 percent remain loyal to some aspects of Office 2003, and
- three percent are comfortable with Office 97. (!)
The challenge with relying on these outdated versions, according to some experts, is that their security features are only as current as their age.
… but causes problems
Older versions of Office don’t have all the programming necessary to protect against today’s increasingly stealthy cybercriminals and hackers, which is ironic considering that the most significant concern for today’s CIO’s and tech leaders is cybersecurity. Worse, research reveals that an astonishingly high percentage of the corporate IT budget goes to maintaining and managing legacy programs that 1. don’t provide the depth of services available with current iterations, and 2. (again) don’t have the security sophistication needed to provide an adequate defense against any evil-doer.
Application maintenance, on-prem data centers, infrastructure, and disaster recovery management consume as much as an astonishing 25 percent of IT budget and attention in these legacy-loving organizations, yet they have little or no competitive edge to justify the expense.
Most data security programs were designed to respond to a specific (and often narrow) class or category of security threats. Consequently, the legacy security programming in the outdated Office products only responds to the concerns that were threatening when that program was designed, in this case, 2013, 2010, 2007 and 1997 (!).
The reliance by these companies on these outdated legacy programs is not just expensive, but is also downright dangerous, considering the depth, breadth, and scope of the talents of today’s top cybercriminals.
The ROI of Office 365 upgrades
An investment in Office 365 results in comprehensive responses to all the concerns noted above:
- Office 365 is cloud-based, so customers gain all the benefits of its use but experience none of the headaches associated with maintaining highly complex computing systems.
- Office 365 offers ” … the most complete suite of apps and services for workplace productivity,” including the ubiquitous Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher, and Access. In addition, its Dynamics CRM and SharePoint are available both online and on-prem, and its Azure IaaS and PaaS provide the flexibility needed by most of today’s industries.
- Not insignificantly, Office 365 also provides the most comprehensive set of security tools available. Its four core tenets include:
- built-in security in each separate product;
- “privacy by design” that empowers users to choose their personal preference for privacy controls;
- continuous compliance capacities that help prevent ongoing activities from derailing industrial standards, and
- transparent operations that ensure every aspect of every operation is visible and recordable.
It’s no surprise that Microsoft’s Office products remain so popular; it is a surprise that more companies haven’t embraced its advanced tools so their top leaders and talent can focus on proprietary activities and not security or computing maintenance. You can leverage your top talent by transitioning to Office 365; Datavail’s managed IT services can help you make the switch.
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