INSIGHT ARTICLE

Five potentially paralyzing problems that Microsoft 365 can solve

SUMMARY

Relying on yesterday’s business applications may be holding your company back at time when fast-paced change requires resiliency, scale and operational excellence. Microsoft 365 can accelerate your middle market company’s digital transformation and provide immediate gains.  

A modern, comprehensive technology platform such as Microsoft 365 can overcome these obstacles with frictionless data sharing, communication and collaboration; cloud-based software-as-a-service that greatly reduces maintenance needs; and end-to-end security. The result: a flexible foundation for the modern workplace that helps your business stay connected and get things done. The platform provides intelligent cloud services and world-class security, and includes tightly integrated productivity applications you and your employees are already familiar with, including:

  • Teams for online meetings, phone system, events and collaboration
  • SharePoint for secure enterprise-wide data sharing
  • Office 365 applications including Word, Excel and PowerPoint for real-time co-authoring
  • Outlook for easy scheduling and secure communication inside and outside the organization
  • Power Platform for low-code/no-code app development, business intelligence and business process automation.

Since Microsoft 365 is an integrated, cloud-based platform of services, your employees can connect from anywhere while staying secure and productive on any device. It can also eliminate the need for many legacy, standalone applications that make collaboration and data sharing more difficult, time consuming and error-prone than necessary.

Here are five potentially paralyzing problems that Microsoft 365 can solve: 

1. An outage of a critical system, such as email

Uptime of your company’s critical systems is paramount to keeping your people productive and your goods and services flowing. Unfortunately, incidents such as ransomware or a downed server can ground your operations for days or weeks while simultaneously racking up unexpected maintenance costs or even exorbitant payments to cyber criminals.

Microsoft 365 solves uptime issues with cloud-based applications that are always available and secure. It comes with built-in, enterprise-grade zero trust security features that are designed to protect your business information, devices, apps and data. Microsoft 365 applications also bring an extra level of protection to industries that have unique compliance needs. They provide data protection to reduce risk and manage compliance with the latest tools for auditing, rights management and e-discovery. They also enable content management and intelligent classification to automatically execute retention policies. 

2. Efforts to improve productivity aren’t working

No matter what industry you are in, digitally enabled communications and collaboration are most likely transforming the way you work and interact with your employees and customers.  But ineffective applications paired with inefficient processes can slow down vital productivity and innovation gains your business could be experiencing.

Microsoft 365 solves this challenge through productivity and collaboration tools such as OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams to enable collaboration, Outlook for communications and the Office 365 suite of integrated productivity apps perfectly designed to innovate.

For example, Teams provides a virtual workspace for highly collaborative and effective meetings. It includes built-in tools for real-time co-authoring, video, chat, whiteboards and polls.  It consolidates documents, calls and your favorite third-party apps right inside the tool to provide one interface for real-time communications. Teams also integrates with Exchange calendaring functionality, Outlook business email and OneDrive cloud-based file hosting. And, like other Microsoft 365 applications, the Teams mobile app ensures you can take this functionality with you while on the go. 

3. Your IT department can’t keep up with system maintenance and requests for application services

Many of today’s IT departments are understaffed and overburdened. Keeping up with the day-to-day administration and management of system maintenance and requests for application services becomes a hardship that can affect overall business performance and take resources away from mission-critical initiatives.

With Microsoft 365, applications are automatically updated and maintained in the cloud. Microsoft drives constant innovation into its application road map and customers benefit from always-on, always-available business tools that don’t require constant oversight from IT. Additionally, IT resources can be further supplemented with managed services for help desk, systems and application maintenance and security. A trusted advisor like RSM can provide guidance on Microsoft 365 as well as managed services that reduce IT infrastructure costs and a variable cost model that supports better business resiliency.

4. Inability to efficiently find and share digital content

No matter what department you work in, you’ve probably heard frustrated colleagues complain about never being able to find the documents they need, or that file sizes exceed email limits for sending and sharing.

Microsoft 365’s SharePoint securely stores your digital content in a single, secure repository and makes it available for sharing to authorized users through other Microsoft applications. Your business can share and manage content, knowledge and applications to empower teamwork, quickly find information and seamlessly collaborate across the organization. Connect SharePoint to Microsoft Power Automate to create automated workflows that eliminate manual processes.

5. Rigid applications won’t bend to cover changing business needs

Microsoft 365 grows and scales with your business without locking you into fixed business toolsets that cost an arm and a leg to acquire and maintain. With Microsoft 365, your business can use some or all of the applications on the platform, which integrates with other parts of the Microsoft ecosystem, such as Dynamics 365 and Azure cloud infrastructure and services.

This powerful combination marries flexible business applications with a secure, scalable IT infrastructure that gives your business the building blocks it needs to grow and innovate without compromise.

Conclusion

Siloed legacy technology can inhibit data sharing, collaboration and communication. It requires high capital investment in infrastructure and the ongoing cost of maintenance while still leaving organizations vulnerable to relentless cyber attacks. The modern workplace is data-driven, user-centric and secure by design. Close the door on yesterday’s applications and move your businesses’ productivity, resiliency and scale to the cloud with Microsoft 365.

To learn more about RSM’s Microsoft 365 practice, visit: Microsoft 365| RSM Technology Consulting (rsmus.com).

Speak to an RSM Microsoft advisor today!

Geoff Hopkins

Principal