There is a lot of buzz around businesses getting into the cloud. Storing data off site offers many advantages from always having access to your work to cutting costs. The question then comes down to which cloud service do you use? It seems these days that there’s a new cloud host popping up every other hour. There are two giants in the field at the moment: Microsoft and Google. Microsoft offers Office 365 and Google has its cloud apps like Google Docs. Here are some factors to consider when picking one.
Microsoft began its journey into the cloud over twenty years ago with its Exchange Service line. In all that time the software has been battle hardened and honed for enterprise purposes. Office 365 is a collection of all the Office Suite programs that you know, like Word and Powerpoint. These programs are then given sharing capabilities that allow them to communicate with the Cloud. These programs can also be used offline which is probably Office’s biggest advantage over Google. The downside is, as with most Microsoft programs, price. Office 365 comes in many forms and the version that contains the most useful tools like Sharepoint cost extra.
Google Apps’ standard version is free. All that is required is a Google account. It offers is own versions of spreadsheets, presentations, and a word processor. One of its bigger strengths is its ability to mesh perfectly with the Android platform, giving it greater mobility with smart phone users. However, its all online and that comes with its own problems. Google Apps are a bit clunky and lack the polish that Office 365 has. There’s also an issue with ease of use. Office has been around a long time and has had much more time to be tested and rendered for users. Though it may take some getting used to, Google Apps can be accessed by anyone anywhere with an internet connection.
It would take a week and a hundred thousand words to go into detail about these two cloud services. There are hundreds of variables to consider when addressing a businesses cloud service needs. More information can be found by talking to your IT department or here.