In 2023, the digital solutions small businesses are using will be more important. Could Microsoft 365 be the best solution of them all?
There is no denying that the last few years have been especially challenging for small businesses. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing all businesses to adapt to new ways of operating, small businesses in particular had to move quickly in order to weather the storm.
One of the things that became abundantly clear was that the businesses with the best chances of survival were the ones that utilized digital business solutions that allowed them to be flexible and adaptable. For many, the go-to business solution for this was Microsoft 365. We spoke with a Microsoft Solutions Partner – TechQuarters – whose small business IT support London-based SMBs have been using for over a decade. According to them, Microsoft 365 was crucial to their own adaptation to the ‘new normal’, as they relied on products like Microsoft Teams for communication, and SharePoint and OneDrive for file sharing and storage.
What does Microsoft 365 Include?
Microsoft 365 contains a number of different apps and services. With its roots in the Microsoft Office suite, Microsoft 365 has undergone many changes and developments over the years. In its latest iteration, it is a software as a service (SaaS) solution that offers businesses the fundamental tools for business productivity, communications, file management, and more. According to TechQuarters, who are a Managed IT Services Companythatis essentially a ‘business-in-a-box’ solution. So, what products come in this ‘box’? In Microsoft 365 Business Premium (which is specifically aimed at small businesses), the available services are as follows:
- Microsoft Teams
- Publisher (PC only)
- Access (PC only)
- Microsoft Defender
- Azure Information Protection
- Azure AD Premium P1
- Azure Virtual Desktop
At £16.60 per user, per month, the Microsoft 365 Business Premium plan aims to fulfil all the fundamental needs of small businesses – not just productivity, but security as well. Having provided IT support for education and other sectors in the UK – and businesses all around the UK – rely on, TechQuarters gave a strong argument as to why small businesses should consider Microsoft 365.
Reasons to Consider Microsoft 365
- Small Businesses Security
A very important thing for small businesses to consider in 2023 is the quality of their cybersecurity. Gone are the days where smaller organisations can convince themselves that they do not need proper cybersecurity in place, simply because they are a small business – the overwhelming truth is that every business is a target.
The good news is that Microsoft 365 Business Premium offers high quality security at an affordable price. With Microsoft Defender included in the plan, businesses will get cross-platform endpoint protection, ransomware protection, and many other features (in addition to the security that is built into the Microsoft 365 apps and services).
- Unified Communications
Another major aspect of business that requires attention is communication. In 2023, business will only become more fast-paced, which means organisations need to have efficient communications. This is easily guaranteed with Microsoft 365 Business, because it includes the hugely popular Microsoft Teams. Rising to fame during the pandemic, Microsoft Teams combines chat, telephony and video meetings into a single platform. Alongside Microsoft Outlook and Exchange Email Server, Microsoft 365 unifies all the most common forms of communication that businesses are likely to use.
- Cloud-Driven Scalability
Microsoft 365 is a software as a service (SaaS) product. This means that all the data and infrastructure that makes up the M365 stack is hosted in the cloud – but what exactly does this mean? It means that Microsoft 365 offers the scalability that modern business demands. There are many scenarios where business’ usage of Microsoft 365 may fluctuate – such as with businesses that experience seasonal demand, and therefore have a workforce that scales up and down throughout the year. Microsoft 365 makes it easy to scale licensing up and down, to ensure that a business is only ever paying for the licenses that are actually in use. This ability to manage expenses with M365 is valuable for all businesses – but especially for small businesses, who need to be even more mindful of resources that their larger competitors.