This blog was originally published by WatServ here
How Cloud Technologies Can Enhance Business Productivity
Microsoft rose to dominate PC software because of two really important products – their Windows operating system and their suite of business support tools called Office. The tools in the Office suite are known globally and have often become synonymous with systems they represent – such as talking about an Excel sheet instead of a spreadsheet.
But one of the drawbacks of Office in the past was how it required the user to buy and install software, keep it up to date, and the focus was always on the individual user. If you edited a Word document or Excel sheet then you had to save a copy and mail it to your colleagues so they could take a look.
The world is far more collaborative today. Now known as Office 365, the entire suite of tools has moved into the cloud and now allows users to pay a subscription. This is a far more attractive proposition for enterprise customers because they can just pay a monthly charge to use the software – only users that are actually using it will be charged and there is no upfront fee.
There is also no installation, updates, or maintenance required. The entire system is always going to be the most recent version of the software because you access it on the Microsoft cloud.
This creates significant opportunities for these business tools to enhance productivity in the organization, such as:
- Simultaneous Editing: multiple users can now work together on documents at the same time. There is no need to work on a document with change tracking and then send it over to your colleagues, just all work on a single document at the same time.
- Communication: email and calls are all built into the same suite of tools using Teams – a tool that has become particularly important during the pandemic, but as a part of the broader Office 365 suite is extremely important for helping teams to work together.
- Automated Prioritization: because all the office systems are inter-connected the system is able to learn which of your most urgent tasks are priorities – this allows you to avoid clutter. This is particularly important with email because the system learns who your important contacts are and which documents you are working on – other messages can be moved to less urgent folders.
The list of business productivity advantages could continue – I’m sure that Microsoft has listed many more – but the point is that office productivity has been revolutionized by the use of the cloud. This has been possible for some time, but when companies were trying to remove their individual copies of Microsoft Word a decade ago it was big news.
Integrating your storage and other applications into your use of the Office 365 suite of tools can further enhance team productivity and because all the systems and documents are located in the cloud this also immediately facilities secure hybrid work – your team can work from home in exactly the same way that they would if they were in the office.
Flexibility like this is becoming essential in the post-pandemic business environment. Executives need to consider how they can be more flexible, secure, and in a way that enhances teamwork and productivity. Office 365 is a great start.