Should You Replace Microsoft Office with an Online App?
What feels like the sudden arrival of a multitude of online app options -- like Google or Zoho -- has allowed IT managers to ponder a move they would never have even considered just a short while ago: Replace Microsoft Office with an online office suite.
What feels like the sudden arrival of a multitude of online app options -- like Google or Zoho -- has allowed IT managers to ponder a move they would never have even considered just a short while ago: Replace Microsoft Office with an online office suite.InformationWeek explains why this way of thinking is applicable now more than ever:
"Until recently, the idea of online applications replacing locally-installed software was, to say the least, impractical. In fact, before a majority of computer users were on broadband connections, it would have been completely useless: if you're only online a few hours a day you can't confine your word processing and spreadsheet activity to those hours. That has changed in the last few years. Most of us are online most of the time -- certainly, we have continuous access to the Internet at work and at home. As a result, using an online word processor or calendar app sounds a lot less ridiculous than it did before. And there are some things current software applications do rather badly (such as sharing files for collaborative work) that online apps are a lot better at."
InformationWeek writers, Serdar Yegulalp and Barbara Krasnoff, note that while there are a number of commercial and free office online apps out there, it is Google and Zoho that "have taken the lead in offering online applications that have the potential to, one day, knock Microsoft Office off its pedestal."
But is it time for you to lead your company down this path? Yegulalp and Krasnoff take a long, hard look at what these two offerings can do, matching them up to six of Microsoft Office's applications: Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Access.
Their verdict is mixed and depends most heavily on what your company needs its office suite to do. But most telling is Krasnoff's closing line in her appraisal of Google's apps:
"If you're a heavy user of online resources, it wouldn't be a bad idea to make the acquaintance of at least some of Google's applications -- there's a good chance that they will be ready for the big time fairly soon."
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?