Move your Professional Practice to cloud
Updated: May 24
COVID-19 seems to be a watershed moment in our lives.
This period created two distinct classes of Professional firms:
1. Those who could seamlessly shift to work from home because of their IT infrastructure, systems and processes.
2. Those who struggled to do very little as their infrastructure did not permit “work from home” OR their team members were not technically savvy or equipped.
This period also gave an opportunity for all of us to pause and introspect at the way we have been working so far. Several firms could see the real benefits of “work from home” in the form of increased efficiency and the possibility of cost-saving. At the same time the challenges of working in a different environment brought to the fore, quite a lot of challenges.
The news headlines by Tata Consultancy Services CEO grabbed everyone’s attention when he announced that 75% of the time a staff can work from home. TCS converted this challenge to an opportunity by revisiting their 20-year-old working model and came up with a new plan, which is more efficient and cost benefit.
Globally Google and Facebook have permitted the majority of their employees to work from home till 2021 while Twitter CEO went a step further by saying that employees can work from home forever.
Moving towards Cloud
Why moving data to cloud will benefit us?
Teamwork and Productivity
Popular options available for Cloud Collaboration
G Suite is a cloud-based business productivity suite offered by Google. It is one of the best options for small businesses that want to take advantage of user friendly email boxes using Google’s Gmail service, communicate with co-workers using the Google Meet feature, collaborate on documents, and leverage cloud apps like G Drive, Docs and Sheets, etc.
G Suite has an endless number of app integrations between Google Drive and many Project Management tools, CRMs, and other business apps that small businesses can make use of.
Microsoft 365 (Office 365)
Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based business productivity suite offered by Microsoft. Office 365 comes in many different plans tailored as per the needs – one can choose from Basic, Standard and Premium options depending on the requirement Desktop Apps and Higher Level of Security.
This is possibly the best option available across every firm size. For a Professional Firm where team members may use sophisticated and powerful features that are available in Outlook and Excel, there may not be a substitute.
For small firms with a limited budget, Zoho Workplace is also a good option. Zoho Workplace is an Indian cloud-based productivity suite of business apps similar to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Zoho Workplace includes a Zoho writer, Zoho sheet, presentation, and a Zoho business mail application that can be used for free for up to 5 users with 5GB of mail storage space.
Office 365 vs Google Suite (workspace)
Microsoft office 365 and G suite are available at different pricing plans. Both are having robust and rich in features. Unlike the usual free application offered by these two tech-giants, paid plans of these comes with a plenty of features.
Illustrative plan and pricing suitable for professional firms;
Techadwise suggestion: Microsoft 365 (Office 365)
We found Microsoft Office 365 helped solve many of the technology issues we and most professionals are trying to solve. Here are just a few things Microsoft 365 can do for you.
Access to major business software:
Office 365 is not just a web-based (cloud) offering but can also deploy widely-used applications like Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to the desktop in addition to providing access to web-based editions of the same software known as Office Web Apps.
Scalability and Accessibility
Office 365 subscriptions exist for virtually every size of Professional firm.
The per-user subscriptions in many cases provide:
the ability to install Office on multiple-machine – up to 5 devices per user
business-class email eliminated our in-house storage needs
Web-conferencing, instant messaging, and share presence improved internal and external communications and help our team members better collaborate across multiple locations
Eliminated the need for in-house storage through their cloud storage.
Documents were accessible from any machine anywhere
Any tablet, including iPads, could now be used more productively.
Microsoft maintains spam and malware protection.
Microsoft ensure 99.9% uptime. It utilizes geo-redundancy (multiple locations) to ensure uptime and backup continuity
Lower Total Cost Solution
Total Cost of Ownership for Office 365 has proven to be significantly less than maintaining similar resources on-premise or with other service providers.
These are just a few of the benefits we found when we deployed Office 365 to multiple clients. I am sure many more will come.
Whether you are new to cloud or have been contemplating this for a while, Cloud technologies from major companies with proven track records will provide the least risk for those firms deciding to adopt this latest technology.