Once only considered suitable for stand-alone users or small business, Office 365 has come a long way in the last couple of years and now strives to move into the medium to large corporate market. However all that glitters may not be gold. There are a number of pros and cons to either the subscription (Office 365) or perpetual (Retail) license model.
A simple web search will bring up a number of sites that will outline these and after reading through them I don’t envy any business having to make the choice.
For example, does having the very latest version of Office matter to your business? Certainly at home I want it, but in an office environment where productivity and stability go hand in hand is it the right course? What other applications link to your Office application and how will they be affected?
Does cost matter? The op-ex costs of a subscription-based service can look attractive, however don’t for one minute think that over a 3-5 year period it will be cheaper. You are also likely to be paying for product features you may never use.
The one thing I have noticed that is either never mentioned or only whispered about is “lock-in and data ownership”. Once your company makes the step into the subscription, cloud-based model how much control are you prepared to give up/hand over to Microsoft? Imagine 3-4 years down the road, how much say will you have over your own IT strategy? How easy will it be to swap suppliers if required? How easy will it be to obtain all your data back?
Who indeed owns your data?
One thing is sure, the continued battle between Google and Microsoft as to who will own your online presence can only be a good thing for the consumer but not for those smaller cloud providers.
Subscription and cloud based licensing maybe indeed be right for you, however it does need careful consideration so tread carefully.
Are you considering migrating to Office 365?
Register for our webinar on 19th November at 12pm which looks at some of the potential pitfalls of Office 365 Migration and discusses strategies you can employ to ensure your migration is quick and successfu