How to Become a ‘Mobile First, Cloud First’ Organization with Office 365
Microsoft’s “mobile first, cloud first” concept was a major topic at July’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2014).Essentially, “mobile first, cloud first” urges organizations to move business data, applications and infrastructure to the cloud and integrate mobile technology. It’s the underlying concept in Microsoft’s vision for the digital workplace as an environment in which information is accessible anywhere and at any time, and the reliability of internal, corporate systems is extended into your daily life.
Cloud first: Low-cost access to cutting-edge technology
Traditional on-premises software requires regular maintenance, patches and upgrades. The cloud-based Office 365 suite reduces the complexity and cost of managing these productivity tools. With Office 365, Microsoft is providing an ever-evolving platform with new capabilities being released on a quarterly basis. That means your IT team doesn’t have to upgrade your platform, allowing them to focus on providing key business services.
When it comes to securing your data, the onus is on Microsoft, not your IT staff. Many organizations are required to make considerable investments to protect their data from cyber-attacks, increasing the costs of hosting your own data and applications. With cloud platforms like Office 365, securing your data is included in the service.
Mobile first: Anywhere, anytime access for enhanced productivity
Microsoft’s Office 365 apps focus on individual applications (Word, Excel, Lync, etc.) and are free for mobile devices with screen dimensions no larger than nine inches. Depending on the needs of your enterprise, however, you may want to look beyond these standard apps in order to create a truly mobile digital workplace.
For instance, when you pull up a SharePoint Online site on your smartphone, the site may not have the same appearance or all the functionality you require. In particular, document libraries and lists often aren’t mobile-friendly in Microsoft’s standard apps.
Some organizations use third-party applications to extend the mobile capability of SharePoint lists and libraries, making it easier to produce, collaborate and edit documents with mobile devices. Another way to improve mobile productivity is to develop responsive designs for SharePoint pages and sites, so that the layout and capabilities adapt in specific ways that are tailored for any mobile device type and screen size.
In the past, you had to purchase Microsoft Office software in a shrink-wrapped box and maintain it on your own servers and desktops. But now, you’re able to deploy Office 365 with the click of a button. It bundles both familiar and new products into one solution that’s hosted in the cloud through Microsoft’s global network of data centers.
And since it uses the cloud’s popular subscription-based licensing model, small businesses as well as large enterprises have access to the latest productivity tools without the need to invest time, money and physical space in the infrastructure. While this is particularly appealing to small businesses with limited IT resources, Office 365 also presents a large return-on-investment (ROI) value for businesses with thousands of employees.
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