The business benefits of a cloud office
17 Apr 2020
Cloud office suites can help to reduce costs, improve collaborative “anytime, anywhere” working and ultimately offer an efficient path for your organisation to improve productivity levels. The term ‘cloud office’ refers to a suite of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) collaboration and communication tools that combine email, file-sharing, instant messaging, conferencing, as well as document management, search and discovery. Popular examples of cloud office suites include Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite.
According to global market research analysts, Gartner, the process of migrating to a cloud office involves consolidating and transferring a collection of workloads from source systems to a cloud-based office platform. The content items that are typically included in these workloads are:
- Document types
- Related metadata
- User permissions
- Compound structures
- Linked components
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the business benefits of migrating to a cloud office solution and what this involves.
What are the business benefits of cloud migration?
Research from Gartner predicts that at least 70% of businesses will have completed a move to a cloud office platform by 2021. To understand why this is happening, let’s look at some of the important benefits that a cloud office suite can offer:
Elevated Collaboration Opportunities
Cloud office suites present your users with a plethora of ways to work collaboratively. By storing content in a centralised, cloud-based repository such as SharePoint Online, documents and records can be edited, viewed and interacted with by multiple users. Apps such as Microsoft Teams give users the power to work, communicate and collaborate in real-time, regardless of location or device.
Smarter Enterprise Search
Both popular cloud office suites offer intelligent search solutions, such as Microsoft Delve and Google Cloud Search. Both these solutions provide higher quality search and data discovery capabilities compared to on-premises deployments.
Increased or Unlimited Storage
Most cloud office suites provide the attractive benefit of increased storage space per user. In fact, Office 365 provides each user with a very generous 1TB of storage space via OneDrive for Business (easily increased to 5TB), while Google G Suite provides 30GB per user as standard.
Unified Meeting Solutions
Messaging applications such as Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts make it easy to initiate and maintain persistent conversations and real-time meetings, which can easily be integrated with relevant content tools to provide a substantially richer meeting experience.
Easy to Manage Security
Attitudes towards the security capabilities of the cloud have now shifted from scepticism to positivity, thanks to cloud office solutions, such as Office 365 that include DLP, IRM, encryption, archiving, e-discovery, legal holds, two-factor authentication and email governance built into their primary applications.
Better Mobile App Support
Users are increasingly demanding access to productivity tools on both tablets and smartphones; allowing them to continue work while away from the office. Modern cloud office suites answer this challenge with optimised mobile apps designed to deliver continuous working experiences.
Several tools and capabilities unavailable from on-premises deployments can be found in cloud office suites, opening a range of opportunities for organisations to improve business practices. Microsoft’s Office 365 includes:
- Teams for collaborative communications, including instant messaging and group meetings
- Delve for searching and discovering content items within your business information system
- To-Do for lists, tasks and reminders
- Stream for sharing corporate videos with colleagues and teams
- Planner for creating new plans, assigning tasks, sharing files and discussing work progress
- Graph for accessing business intelligence data
- Flow for automating workflows
- PowerApps for building mobile applications from selectable templates
- Power BI for business analytics
- Yammer for employee engagement
What does cloud migration involve?
Cloud office migration can take several forms depending on the legacy source system the business is migrating from and the new target cloud office solution that it is migrating to. Perhaps there is a need to migrate from an on-premises solution to a cloud office solution, or even from one cloud office to suite to another.
As cloud office suites mature, some projects even deal with converging or splitting up cloud office tenants due to a merger or acquisition. However, regardless of where an organisation intended to move from or to, the process of moving content and data from source to target can present several complexities.
How to get the most out of your cloud migration project
Of course, the size, scale and technical aspects involved in such migration projects are going to differ based on your specific business requirements and to ensure success, you would need to consider:
- Prioritising workloads so that the migration project can be scoped as accurately and efficiently as possible.
- Conducting deep and detailed content analysis to not only ensure important documents are migrated safely, but to also determine which documents are no longer fit for purpose and can therefore be discarded or archived before the migration process starts.
- Ensuring all business content is easily discoverable so that users do not find it difficult to locate their work in the new cloud office.
- Defining administrative processes that are comprehensible for users to follow when they start working in the new cloud office, such as ongoing platform governance, integrating third-party software applications and cross-platform shifts.
- Optimising the overall architecture of the new cloud office so that the workflow processes and content management is not being replicated from the previous non-cloud system or cloud-based platform used.
- Providing clear and comprehensible training to users to ensure everyone adopts and follows the new cloud office effectively and efficiently.
Want to find out more?
Proventeq is a representative vendor in Gartner's 2019 Market Guide for Cloud Office Migration Tools report, where there is plenty more information on migrating to new cloud office suites. To obtain your complimentary copy, click here. Migration Accelerator software can help accelerate your move to a Cloud office solution.