It seems everyone is in the cloud these days. In fact, over 70% of business across Canada and the US have already moved to the cloud or will do so in 2020-2021. You probably see a lot of ads and blog posts about Microsoft 365 and switching to the cloud – and you may have even clicked on a few. But is Microsoft 365 a necessary upgrade for your small business? The answer is yes! It’s more than a refreshed and always up to date set of cloud tools. It's a security and productivity powerhouse. Here are 7 good reasons for Small Business to switch to Microsoft 365 and retire your Windows Server this year.
Managing Your Server Is Becoming Riskier
Managing and securing your server or on your own is becoming increasingly risky. Cyber threats in Canada have exploded in growth in the last 5 years – especially so since 2019. In fact, ransomware infections in the first quarter of 2020 exceeded all ransomware infections in 2019. Not only that- the cost of a ransomware infection has greatly increased too. And even if you pay the ransom, there is no guarantee you will get your files back.
Small Business Servers are big targets for cyber criminals. Moving your applications and email to the cloud, where Microsoft and your local Microsoft Certified Partner manages a lot of your security for you, helps reduce your risk.
Data security is built in to Microsoft 365 Cloud
Unlike your aging server (which you may or may not be patching and updating daily as recommended), Microsoft 365 was created with data security at its core.
The security graph is always working for you. Your stored documents are safer than on your server. Your stored documents have version control in the backup and can be rolled back if infected or corrupted. With 1 TB of storage space, you’ll have plenty of storage too.
Your IT company can help you turn on, manage and use powerful built-in compliance and security protocols. Working with a local IT company will help you optimize your Microsoft 365 subscriptions.
Licensing Is Easy
Forget buying and tracking expensive Client Access Licenses, or having half of the team using old versions of Word and Excel, and the one lucky person on the team with the updated version.
Sharing documents across the team when the team isn’t working with the same set of tools frustrates and slows everyone down.
With Microsoft 365, everyone has the latest set of tools.
Managing the tools and licenses is easy in the Global Admin portal.
Now everyone can get focused on doing business – not Excel frustrations.
Better time management & work flows
Your team and customers have a lot going on, juggling meetings, emails and contacts – usually across multiple platforms. Microsoft 365 brings all those elements together, in the cloud, accessible by any device. The result is seamless access from anywhere, better time management, simplified and improved work flows, and greater productivity.
Customers and team members like to work with modern tools and modern companies. It’s time to upgrade your business to the cloud to reap these benefits. You can learn more about some of Microsoft's automations for small business here.
In the past, planning upgrades created a lot of stress and frustration for you – and upgrades were likely delayed more than once due to the large, all at once cost attached. Now, with Microsoft 365 and even with your IT Services Partner, you can enjoy predictable monthly fees – no big surprises. Along with predictive spending, you have always up to date tools and technology, and support when needed.
You can choose a plan based on your needs and change at any time. Add or remove licenses as your team scales up and down. You can do it yourself in the Office 365 admin portal, or just have your Managed Services provider do it for you – since managed services include unlimited tech support.
Work remotely and from anywhere
Even if you were not aware of them, the risks associated with granting remote access to your server are incredibly high when not done right. Then came the days of cheap and plentiful remote access tools – many of which were interested in making abuck – not your security. Many no longer exist. Microsoft is a stalwart and a global leader in cloud and remote work security. Working remotely is baked right in to your Microsoft 365 subscription – no risky server access needed.
Your team can now securely access their files from home, during their commute, or in meetings with clients. With data and presentations always at their finger tips, they are more impressive and more productive – and that’s good for your bottom line.
Virtually no downtime
Your server is prone to fire, flood, a dead hard drive, corrupt backup, viruses, ransomware and more. Yes, you can recover your business after this type of server failure – but it can take your business down for days or weeks, and costs thousands of dollars to get back up and running. And not all businesses make it through – about 25% of small businesses shut down permanently this type of data loss or cyber attack.
Eliminate the risk. With Microsoft 365, all your data is stored in the cloud with built-in backups for redundancy. No matter what happens, your data will be there, and your business stays up and running – and always in the game.