Poor connectivity is holding back the benefits of Office 365

Insights, Tech | Sanjaya Ranasinghe on June 07, 2017

The use of the internet and email revolutionised the workplace in the 1990s. Businesses had to be quick to adapt to new technologies or risk that they may be left behind. Nearly 30 years on, businesses are at another technology crossroad: whether to adopt cloud based platforms or to continue using desktop applications.

This transition is being pushed by tech giants such as Google and Microsoft, offering ease of access to data via browsers (rather than saved on desktops) leading to a huge reduction in time spent on software installation or updates. What’s more, unlike desktop applications, cloud based platforms have a seamless user experience across all devices as it effortlessly runs on Windows, Mac, and other hardware.

Many SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms are now reaching maturity in the market, including Microsoft’s Office 365, which is the fastest growing and most broadly used SaaS platform in enterprise deployments. Microsoft’s cloud based platform currently has more than 85 million users, and is expected to surpass 100 million by the end of this year.

However, the move to the cloud means that access to one’s data is entirely dependant on reliable, high quality internet connectivity. A high bandwidth, symmetric connection, will best accommodate frequent and large data calls to the cloud centre. Worryingly, a recent report from cloud security vendor Zscaler has revealed that many organisations are unable to take full advantage of Office 365 due to issues with connectivity.

According to Zscaler’s report, almost two thirds of users (64 percent) have suffered network issues whilst using Office 365. Additionally, 70 percent of users reported latency as a consistent weekly issue, and 45 percent were unable to access critical business material following deployment of the platform.

Therefore, getting the best out of cloud based platforms necessitates an office building which has a resilient and reliable digital infrastructure to support SaaS applications. If an office space has multiple points of entry and diverse horizontal and vertical pathways, then the building will have the physical capacity to accommodate existing digital connectivity demands, as well as be future proofed in anticipation of new technologies.

In boardrooms across the globe, the decision whether to move the company’s data to a cloud based platform is currently being made. As great connectivity underpins the success of Office 365 and other SaaS applications, company directors should first ask: does my current office space offer the quality internet connectivity necessary to use these new technologies? If not, are we at risk of being left behind?

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