The business case for collaboration: 5 Office 365 stats you need to read
According to Deloitte’s 2015 Q3 CFO survey, finance professionals are reporting a real drop in optimism and are perceiving greater uncertainty than any time in the last three years. There’s a whole range of reasons for this sense of pessimism across UK corporates. It’s partially related to China’s slowdown, the rate rise and weaknesses in emerging markets. With the markets looking uneasy, CFOs are keen to tighten their belts and avoid risk.
So, where can you make quick cuts in your business without reducing productivity? One stand-out area is IT. Maintaining company servers, paying people to keep them up to date and dealing with downtime are major costs, eating up the lion’s share of your technology budget. In recent years, however, the Cloud has merged as a credible alternative to the traditional IT model, and promises to save companies hundreds of thousands of pounds.
What is the Cloud? Technically, it’s a way of hiring out computer power from third party providers rather than using expensive servers on-premises. We can take the analogy of the word ‘cloud’ to explain why exactly it’s so powerful.
If data was water, you could store it all in your closest reservoir. However, you’d need to pay a lot of money to maintain said reservoir, ensuring it was secure and keeping it water-data-tight. Alternatively, you could use the cloud – ‘evaporate’ (or upload) all your water into the sky and let someone else manage it. You no longer have to maintain your water, but can still connect to it whenever you want. You also don’t need to physically be at your reservoir to use your water – you can get at it wherever you are. Just remember to bring an umbrella!
What is Office 365?
Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud-based enterprise communications and collaboration platform – and a pretty popular one at that. Besides providing a (very) cheap alternative to storing your data in local servers, it also offers a huge range of additional benefits which boost productivity and help you save cash. If there are clouds on the horizon for UK CFOs, Microsoft’s has a silver lining. Let’s look at five statistics about Office 365 which will have you walking on cloud nine.
1. ROI of more than 150%
ROI is surely the benchmark for any CFO. Are we going to get our money back if we invest in Office 365? The simple answer: yes, definitely. Here’s how. The technology analyst Forrester calculated the total economic impact of moving from Microsoft’s earlier SharePoint 2010 environment to Office 365. In a firm with 6000 employees, you could expect $5.6m (about £3.7m) risk-adjusted net present value over three years. According to Forrester’s conservative estimation, that’s ROI of 163%.
2. Upfront costs: a grand total of £0.00
The cloud is especially popular with small businesses because it means their start-up costs are incredibly low. Microsoft’s cheapest Office 365 packages costs just £3.10 per user per month. With a team of ten staff, that works out at £372 per year for all your IT needs – including 1TB of file storage.
Even today, a server with that kind of power is going to cost you at least £500 and you don’t get any of the additional productivity tools that come with Office 365 (like the Microsoft Office Suite, SharePoint Exchange and Skype for Business). And of course, once your server is full, it will slow down and you’ll have to buy a new one.
3. FREE software updates
In the past, companies would spend huge sums of money investing in and installing the latest software. Avoiding staying up to date resulted in compatibility problems, yet catching up with every new release of a tool cost a lot of money.
However, once you subscribe to Office 365, you’ll never pay for software updates again. Microsoft now provides all their customers the latest updates to Office 365 for free, as and when they’re available. Because Microsoft can deploy updates centrally from the cloud, you’ll no longer depend on having to go out and buy new software – it’s done for you.
4. Claw back 30 minutes of productivity per day
According to Forrester’s estimates, Office 365 can save about 30 minutes of lost productivity per user per day. Office 365 is incredibly intuitive, and features like Delve – which uses machine learning to surface relevant documents to specific users – or Yammer, which makes it much easier to find colleagues – all contribute to saving time. Across your company and over the course of a year, that’s a huge potential boost of productivity.
5. See revenue increases of up to 33%
According to MYOB research, businesses that operate in the cloud can expect a revenue growth up to 33%. How might this be explained? A subscription to Office 365 gives your colleagues access to an enormous range of tools which can have a profound impact on revenue. They’ll be able to access world leading Business Intelligence with free access to Power BI; instant, secure smartphone and tablet access will mean your employees can be productive on the move; collaboration tools like Groups and Yammer that cut out the confusion and time wasting of email and help people get more done faster.
Interested in how Office 365 could help your organisation cut costs and boost productivity? Contact Content and Code today, or read our blog series on the Office 365 Value Journey.
Simon joined Content and Code in August 2014 as Managing Director and is responsible for leading the company.