Can Office 365 add value for private equity firms?
There are many potential benefits of making the switch to Office 365 both from a financial point of view as well as the productivity and collaboration incentives.
Financial incentives to switch to Office 365
For many private equity firms, the thought of changing the way their IT functions is considered a daunting prospect, as well as a costly one. Although the upfront costs of migrating to Office 365 may appear steep, the long-term value of the technology is well worth it. Firstly, for many private equity firms who still use on-site servers to store all their data, there are multiple reasons why the switch is a good idea. Simply, servers are both expensive to purchase and maintain. Many firms have outdated servers which are proving to be more expensive than upgrading to new Office 365 technology (Biztech), as well as a potential security risk if not patched and upgraded regularly.
Furthermore, two of the Business level plans and all the Enterprise Office 365 products include tools such as Skype for Business, which eliminates the need for private equity firms to spend extra money on other communication tools and allowing for HD video conferencing, which is vitally important within the private equity sphere.
Much more than a cost-saving change
Although the switch to Office 365 can save private equity firms money in the long run, its true value lies far beyond the financial impacts.
Office 365’s SharePoint allows private equity firms, who may have several employees who work remotely or are travelling, to not only use the same software on their own devices, but also allow multiple users to be accessing the same document at once. Previously two employees working on a document would have to work independently, constantly badgering each other for their respective updated versions, before making further changes. Or they would end up with two separate versions of the document, that would have to stitched together, a time costly process. However, Office 365 allows multiple users to make changes to the same document at the same time, and furthermore, they can track their movements around the document, so as not to get in the way of one another. This is just one example of how Office 365 can add value for private equity firms.
Helping firms meet security and compliance targets
These new ways of working are not only crucial to boosting productivity, but they also increase the security of your data. When sending attachments to clients and customers, businesses lose all control once they send their data over. With Office 365 you can set limitations as to who can see the data and furthermore, revoke their access privileges as and when you want. This allows businesses, especially those with a remote workforce, to retain a much larger degree of control over their data, and decide who can and cannot access it.
In this age where many private equity firms are embracing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) amongst their workforce, Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), a function of Office 365, enables firms to make sure that sensitive data is stored separately to employee’s personal data, on their devices. If an employee loses their device, EMS allows users to delete all sensitive company data from the phone, without employees losing their own personal data, limiting the chances of data leaks, because of accidental loss of theft of a user’s device.
Office 365 also possesses a function that enables you to keep a duplicate of any emails, either sent or received by employees. The new system can monitor and notify the relevant individual if any suspicious or malicious behaviour is detected. This feature is particularly relevant to private equity firms, as confidential data is extremely common and potential breaches very costly, both financially and for a firm’s reputation.
As has been shown, Office 365 can be of enormous value to businesses, notably the private equity sector, given the amount of sensitive data. The technology offers a significant opportunity for firms to improve their productivity, whilst not sacrificing any of the necessary security measures that should be taken. The monthly subscription allows firms a lot more flexibility that they are not afforded by purchasing in house servers for which they must pay large, up-front payments to obtain a licence, which can be restrictive in the future.
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