Welcome to Kraft Kennedy’s advice forum, in which we answer your pressing IT questions. Submit your question in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are a small law firm with one office and outsourced IT. Is Office 365 right for us?
Office 365 is the right choice for some firms. The pros are significant. Firms running the cloud-based productivity suite, for example, will get enhanced features more often and faster. Overall, Office 365 offers more flexibility and requires less IT oversight, making it appropriate for smaller outfits that don’t necessarily have a full IT department. An Office 365 technology called Click-to-Run allows Office and its individual products (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint) to be downloaded and upgraded easily with less of a burden on bandwidth and CPU. And enterprise licensing, which can be a headache, is greatly simplified and less expensive with the cloud model.
But it does have its downsides, and some firms find that they are significant enough for them to stick with the traditional non-cloud model. Above we mentioned the frequent upgrades in Office 365—for some firms the frequency is a burden. Updates are all but required within a year since outdated versions don’t receive security fixes and become unacceptably vulnerable. Other applications that law firms use in conjunction with Office, such as for billing, document management, and practice management, have to come out with a compatible version in time, and this can sometimes be a problem.
So while Office 365 offers the benefit of frequent enhancements, for some firms it might be moving too fast.
If you find that the more lightweight Office 365 will reduce costs and management enough for the frequent upgrade schedule to be worth it, then the cloud-based version may be for you.
Get in touch with us to tell us about your environment and find out which model would support your firm best.