Your organization likely relies on dozens if not hundreds of apps to manage workflows, data storage, communication, and business processes. Whether you’re ready to migrate apps to the cloud for better security and lower costs or you want a more efficient, scalable app stack to improve productivity, it’s worth considering Microsoft 365 migration.
Here’s how Microsoft 365 can benefit your organization with a single platform of cloud services and productivity apps.
Top Microsoft 365 Benefits for Businesses
In 2020, Office 365 was largely rebranded as Microsoft 365 to emphasize the broad services beyond the core Office software such as AI and cloud-based productivity tools. To make things confusing, the Office 365 brand still exists but refers mostly to the suite of productivity apps that are part of Microsoft 365. There are some separate Office 365 Enterprise plans that do not include Windows 11 and a handful of other services that are reserved for M365 plans.
There are several plans to choose from with predictable monthly or annual subscription fees to fit the needs of your organization. Here are the 7 most important benefits of a Microsoft 365 migration for your business.
#1. Microsoft 365 Migration Supports Better Communication & Collaboration
Improving communication and collaboration is one of the biggest drivers of Microsoft or Office 365 migrations. The communication backbone of M365 is Microsoft Teams, a comprehensive chat-based collaboration hub. Teams provides a single interface to centralize messaging and meetings which reduces email flow and keeps conversations, notes, and meeting reminders in one place.
Microsoft Teams supports internal communication and team cohesion with customized channels, easy notifications, one-on-one and group chats, and the ability to hold meetings and share files through integrated apps. Real-time collaboration is simplified with OneDrive for Business which allows multiple people to edit documents simultaneously and share secure links externally. Other cloud-based M365 services like SharePoint and Exchange Online offer other platforms for collaboration, data storage, and developing corporate intranets.
Other popular conference and communication tools include Slack and Google Meet/Chat. Google’s alternative is split between two platforms: Google Meet for video conferencing and Google Chat within the Google Workspace Suite. Slack can work well for smaller teams that rely more on messaging than calls and want flexibility with add-ons and customized notifications.
For larger businesses and organizations looking for a single platform with a focus on collaboration and centralized data, the benefits of Microsoft 365 offer a better investment than Slack. The number of Slack to Microsoft Teams migrations is on the rise as more organizations invest in a more robust cloud strategy. With integrated tools for collaboration and document sharing, Microsoft 365 gives your organization a secure, multidimensional environment to collaborate efficiently.
#2. Office 365 Benefits Include Productivity Tools & Innovative Features
M365 goes beyond email and chat with dozens Microsoft 365 features and benefits that support productivity and make workflows more efficient. Here are just some integrated Microsoft 365 tools that can improve business processes and reduce the risks of shadow IT.
- Microsoft To Do – keep track of tasks, set reminders and due dates, and prioritize items with customized to-do lists that can be assigned in Teams and linked to SharePoint documents.
- Microsoft Planner – simplified, visual work management platform to assign and organize tasks, create plans within teams, share files, and more.
- Microsoft Project – an integrated project management platform to manage complicated projects and collaborate between departments. Easily see project details and assigned team members, generate reports, manage timelines, and create milestones.
- SharePoint – create a mobile, smart intranet to share files, resources, and data with a site customized to the team’s work.
- OneDrive – cloud-based storage to share documents, collaborate in real-time, back up data, and access documents from any device.
- Microsoft Bookings – schedule services or consultations without conflicts with automatic confirmations and reminder emails
- Virtual Appointments – schedule and hold meetings with clients without requiring a Teams account by sharing virtual appointment links. See scheduled appointments and manage cancellations, set up a customized waiting room, and implement optional analytics for improved insight.
- Copilot – an AI-powered assistant to help with formatting, managing reminders, scheduling meetings, and more. The Business Chat feature summarizes information from meeting transcripts, calendar entries, and customer contacts to suggest action items, prepare discussion points, draft status updates, and more.
- Microsoft Forms – a drag-and-drop tool to create forms and surveys that can be embedded or shared.
- OneNote – functions like a digital notebook to take meeting notes, organize thoughts, and jot down ideas that can be organized and shared.
#3. Advanced Security & Compliance Tools
Microsoft 365 offers robust security features, especially for businesses. Standard features of Microsoft 365 Business include anti-malware, anti-spam, and anti-phishing protecting, while Microsoft 365 Business Premium provides advanced cybersecurity protection for endpoints, email and collaboration protection, and information protection.
Beyond security, M365 provides compliance tools that help organizations protect sensitive data and meet regulatory requirements.
Plus, nearly unlimited storage allows organizations to retain and centralize archive data in a secure environment while automatic patches and updates take the burden off IT teams and ensure a fast response to emerging threats.
Microsoft 365 security features include:
- Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) to find, organize, and protect sensitive data across endpoints, apps, and cloud environments
- Threat protection with automated, integrated solutions including Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and Extended Detection and Response (XDR)
- Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions
- Security and risk assessment to identify and remediate threats quickly
There are additional cloud security and compliance management features designed to improve visibility and simplify your Microsoft Office 365 migration. The central hub for managing security is the Microsoft 365 Security Center. The Microsoft Compliance Manager simplifies managing compliance requirements and audit reporting and Microsoft Cloud App Security (CAS) keeps cloud data secure and improves visibility with central management across clouds.
#4. Office 365 Migration Delivers a Scalable & Cost-Effective Solution
One of the major benefits of Office 365 is the subscription model that gives you predictable costs and scalability. There are many Microsoft 365 plans to customize services to your workloads with the ability to add or remove licenses, add-ons, and users as needed.
With a single monthly or annual subscription fee, your organization can operate in the cloud with Microsoft handling IT and threat protection.
Choosing the right plan for your organization can be challenging initially with confusing service families and names.
Microsoft 365 Business plans are best suited to smaller businesses with up to 300 users while large organizations are better served by Microsoft 365 and Office 365 Enterprise plans that have an annual commitment per user. Enterprise solutions also include Compliance and Information Protection services that help you comply with regulatory requirements and industry standards.
Enterprises enjoyed an average 135% ROI within 3 years of migrating to Microsoft 365 E3.– Microsoft-commissioned Forrester Consulting study
You can see a breakdown of M365 features and benefits from the Microsoft Office 365 Plan Options page. Keep in mind that services available across plans may have different features depending on the plan. For example, Azure Information Protection is included with Microsoft 365 E3/Office 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5/Office 365 E5 plans but must be purchased as a separate add-on with Office 365 E1.
#5. Microsoft Office 365 Eliminates Workplace App Fatigue with a Single Platform
App fatigue refers to the burnout people experience when overwhelmed by downloading, using, or adopting new applications. It isn’t just a problem for app developers; staff can also be overwhelmed by the growing number of apps they need to use to do their job.According to an Okta survey, the average workplace uses 88 apps, up 21% in just three years. About 10% of Okta’s customers use 200+ apps. The 2023 State of SaaSOps Report had similar findings: organizations use 130 SaaS apps on average, up 18% from 2021.
The Challenges of Workplace App Fatigue
- Increased costs
- Reduced productivity
- Low morale
- Maintaining traceable, consistent data inputs & outputs
- Data security and compliance
- Onboarding & offboarding users
- Managing team capabilities
- Time-consuming app configuration & maintenance
- Security risks of shadow IT
Without an optimized app stack, employees are forced to switch back and forth between multiple applications to carry out their tasks. This doesn’t just reduce productivity; it leads to confusion, data silos, and higher rates of errors. Adoption of new processes and technology is likely to suffer with employees defaulting to a preferred method. This allows shadow IT to creep in which brings security risks.
There’s also the cost of an overwhelmed app stack: subscription costs, configuration, maintenance, reduced productivity, and security threats quickly add up.
App fatigue in the workplace can decrease morale, undermine productivity, and introduce security risks.
Migrating to Microsoft Office 365 is one way to combat app burnout in the workplace. An office suite bundle provides a single platform for collaboration, communication, project management, data storage, task tracking, and more.
While developing a Microsoft Office 365 migration plan, it’s helpful to first audit your app stack and identify your organization’s needs. Your organization may not benefit from an exclusive Microsoft environment, but you will be able to fill in gaps and choose additional apps for their standalone functionality without redundancies and extra costs.
#6. Flexible Mobile Access & Business Continuity
Some Microsoft 365 benefits aren’t obvious until you need them. While it may not be a major reason for a Microsoft Office 365 migration, the suite of mobile apps and OneDrive cloud storage adds flexibility for employees and may help with business continuity.
M365 apps are based on individual applications like Microsoft Teams, Office, Outlook, OneNote, and OneDrive. Employees can remain productive while working remotely or during travel. This flexible mobile access can also be used to avoid downtime in case of a network outage or disaster.
Organizations can also expand beyond standard Microsoft 365 apps to develop a mobile digital workplace. Applications may be built with PowerApps that are accessible via mobile devices.
#7. Automatic Upgrades & Ongoing Support
Cloud computing comes with its own security challenges, but Office 365 migrations eliminate the regular patches, upgrades, and maintenance required with on-prem software. With largely maintenance-free service, automatic updates and upgrades, and no compatibility issues, IT teams can focus on more critical tasks.
Microsoft 365 also offers comprehensive support for administrators and end users with technical support, training, and resources that help organizations get the most benefit from the platform.
The automatic updates, reduced cost, and improved security are primary drivers behind an Exchange to Office 365 migration. Microsoft is gradually ending its support for legacy Exchange servers. With support for Exchange 2013 ending in 2023, legacy servers will be exposed to even greater security threats. Even with support, the burden is on the organization to patch and maintain on-prem servers. Email migration to M365 helps support business continuity with the benefits of integrating other Microsoft 365 tools like Teams and OneDrive.
Planning a Microsoft Office 365 Migration? We Can Help
Not sure if M365 is right for your organization? Need help with email migration, securing your data, or your overall cloud strategy? Infracore can help make the Microsoft Office 365 migration process seamless without disruption. We can help with nearly any Office 365 migration scenario and ensure your M365 environment is optimized:
- Tenant to tenant migration
- Exchange to Office 365 migration
- Gmail migration to Office 365
- M365 license management
- Business continuity and disaster recovery planning
- Security and compliance
Get in touch today to discuss your upcoming Microsoft 365 migration and how we can help you digitally transform your operations.