Microsoft Office for Business: Should I Upgrade My Microsoft Office Version or Subscribe to Office 365?

“Should I upgrade my Microsoft Office version or subscribe to Office 365?” This is a question we get asked often when we meet with our clients.  “Should our company subscribe to Office 365, or should we just keep purchasing Office licenses every few years?” The high-level answer is this: If your business model or industry in which you operate requires you to upgrade your Microsoft Office version every 2-3 years, then Office 365 is right for you; however, if you tend to run your current version of Microsoft Office for 5-6 years, then you should purchase Office “perpetual” licenses.

One caveat is that Microsoft will most likely be doing away with perpetual Office licenses within the next few years, and moving everyone to subscribe to the Office 365 model.  The software world in general has been moving to subscription based licensing model over the past number of years.  It is natural that most businesses will understand moving their core Microsoft product licensing to the subscription model as well, but some see it as an increased expense, since it is a monthly recurring cost.  While that may be true, it depends on how often your business is upgrading its Microsoft Office platform currently.  We have found that the breakeven on the cost side is about 36 months.  So, if you’ve historically upgraded your Microsoft Office software every 2-3 years, subscribing to Office 365 is actually less costly.  However, if you’ve historically upgraded your Microsoft Office software every 5-6 years, then subscribing to Office 365 is more expensive.

Subscription or Licenses?

There are also a number of additional benefits & features of subscribing to Office 365 versus continuing to purchase perpetual licenses.  For one, since the Office 365 subscription is user-based licensing, you can install the software on multiple devices.  Additionally, there are a number of additional software applications you’ll have access to, such as SharePoint, Skype, and OneDrive cloud file sharing & storage, to name a few.

It really comes down to your unique needs and depends on what makes sense for your business.  We’d be happy to have a discussion with you to determine the best approach for your environment, and in that process we can parse out how your current Microsoft software would work into life-cycle planning of your technology system and assets.

Get in touch with us to get started.

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