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A Business Executive’s Guide to Microsoft Office 365 and Cloud Computing

Businesses that are not using cloud services will be in the minority by 2020. Many are already at a competitive disadvantage — from the local bakery that scribbles orders on slips of paper to the large accounting firm in need of high-level data security.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the use of software and data storage offered by third-party providers over the Internet. Rather than installing software on local machines, users access it online. Cloud services such as Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange Online can reduce the expense of keeping an in-house IT staff on-call 24/7 and buying, maintaining, and upgrading hardware and software.

What is Office 365?

Cloud computing boosts collaboration among your staff and clients, and it saves money on in-house security, server maintenance, and data storage. Employees can work on laptops and tablets and even their smartphones from satellite offices, airports, and other remote locations. Other benefits for business include:

  • Enhanced connectivity for mobile sales forces, work teams, and customer service staff
  • On-demand access to applications and resources for clients
  • Unlimited scalability
  • Access to the latest business applications and processing power
  • Pay-as-you-go value without investing in IT infrastructure
  • A network of redundant servers and data storage to safeguard against data loss in the event of natural disasters or catastrophic system failures
  • Technical support and expertise from a highly skilled professional
  • The latest security practices and automatic software updates

Is Cloud Computing and Cloud Storage Secure?

Security is becoming a huge priority for businesses today. For Windows users, Microsoft Office 365 offers both access to essential business applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook and far better security than most internal IT systems.

Cloud service providers keep skilled security professionals on staff to monitor security in order to protect their business model. Their greater resources and vested interest in security issues, usually surpass what most small to mid-sized businesses themselves can allocate to security. In-house systems need constant updating, patching and reassessing, which drain company resources.

Keeping your business online and secure is critical for success, customer loyalty and your professional reputation. Microsoft Office 365 provides redundant storage, automatic backups of critical data, and fast restorations. If one server goes down in the cloud network, many other servers are ready to compensate. If you want to add a new service, you can implement changes at astonishing speed without configuring hardware and spending weeks on training your staff.

The need for data storage, on-demand applications, and collaborative working conditions among a diverse and mobile workforce continues to grow at exponential rates. Trying to maintain servers and software in-house becomes progressively more expensive and challenging. The cloud provides faster deployments, on-demand services, universal access for authorized users, and redundancy to protect your business from catastrophic server or network failures.

Empower Your Business

Cloud computing and data storage are waves of a future already here. Interested in learning more? Call or contact us. We’d be happy to talk with you about how Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange Online may fit into your business.