The evolution of the modern office – are you on board?

by Paul Caffrey, cloud solutions specialist, MJ Flood Technology

Office 365 and the services within it provide true collaboration and we-centric productivity that gives serious competitive advantage to those that embrace it.

Office 365 is five years oldOffice 365 is 5 Years Old….and counting

On the 28th of June, 2016 Office 365 turned 5 Years old.  The platform was the successor to Microsoft BPOS following a successful public beta.

It is safe to say that consuming services from the cloud has become mainstream.

By 2020, a corporate “No Cloud” policy will be as rare as a “No Internet” policy is today, according to Gartner.

In the same press release, Gartner even goes on to predict that within the next three years, 30 percent of the 100 largest vendors’ new software investments will shift from cloud-first to cloud only.

So with the cloud maturing and mass adoption becoming a thing of the norm, how has the “Modern Office” (as Microsoft phrases it) improved?

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Email in the Cloud a No-Brainer

Office 365 provides industry leading email services via Exchange Online. With a 99.9% SLA, 50GB mailbox and the added allure of not having to manage and maintain email servers locally, it has become a ‘no brainer’ for businesses who reach refresh time.

There’s no doubt, an email server refresh does accelerate cloud adoption. And although the modern office enjoys lots of benefits from cloud email, some believe that other services within the Office 365 stack make more of an impact.

Shift to “We-Centric” Productivity

One of the biggest shifts we see as we help businesses migrate technologies to the cloud is the transition from “me-centric” productivity to “we-centric” productivity.

Working on a project is no longer bound by location.  Layer a home working policy on top of this along with ever cost increasing office space and you see the challenges that IT face.

Tools such as Skype for Business and SharePoint facilitate an environment where virtual teams, often spread across wide geographic areas, can collaborate seamlessly.  For example, several people can work simultaneously on documents, avoiding data sprawl with multiple document versions doing the rounds via email.  Teams can conduct face to face meetings, share desktops and presentations and work together as if they were located in the same office.  The net result is quicker decision-making and faster time to market for organisations focused on product or service development.

network-vectorProfessional Networks to Explode in Popularity

A research paper by Frost & Sullivan has predicted that the number of workers globally who use business social networks will grow from 208 million in 2013 to over 535 million in 2018.

Business social networks are providing the modern office employee with a safe, secure environment to access company information and knowledge. Enabling employees to build their own internal network of people is helping businesses become more innovative, responsive, improve self-learning and solve business problems.

Email First, Competitive Advantage Next

Moving email to the cloud is the first step that many businesses take. It makes a financial saving and improves email functionality. It is the other services that sit with email that provide the competitive advantage.

Better professional networks and real-time collaboration tools drive the collective productivity of a business and are the essential elements for any modern office today.

If your business faces any of these challenges or is looking at moving their email to the cloud and would like further information, please get in touch.