‘G Suite or Office 365?’ will determine the future of IT of your company

Businesses around the globe are rapidly adopting cloud technology and many of them choose to start their journey to the cloud with office software, something everybody uses for work. Speaking of cloud-based office software, it is impossible not to talk about Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365. Many companies either choose G Suite or Office 365 as if there are the only available options in the market. Not until a company becomes accustomed to the new tool and the new way of working will they start to consider other cloud solutions to replace its legacy systems. Usually the very first cloud service that a company adopts will influence user preference and behavior that ultimately force the company to stick with it and even use more. Apart from that, once a company engaged with a cloud provider, it is not easy to change. Therefore, deciding which cloud service provider to choose is a very important decision that will eventually determine the future of IT of a company.

You can’t compare apples and oranges

Most of our customers are companies that have already decided to purchase G Suite, therefore we are seldom asked to do a head to head comparison of the two products. For those who want to do comparison, just type something like ‘G Suite vs Office 365′ into Google, you should be able to find tons of related content on the web. However, what we often see are some absurd comparison tables made by the supporters of one party to conceal the weakness, exaggerate the strength of one product over the other. In fact, G Suite and Office 365 are different by design; comparing the two products is just like comparing apples and oranges, it’s meaningless. How do you compare one thing over another if the two are fundamentally different? Instead of comparing, placing the company’s current condition and desired business result in the center of the evaluation seems to be more rational. For this reason, we want to share three very important factors that we always ask our customers to think about with every business that is also considering whether to choose G Suite or Office 365.

Age distribution of employees in your company

Human nature tends toward comfort and is hard-wired to resist change. If you have a larger group of employees that are in their 40s, it is very unlikely that they would accept G Suite as easy as changing TV channels. These people have been living and breathing Microsoft Office ever since the day they started working, therefore having very little intention to learn a new tool, if not objective. Things might be easier if you choose Office 365 instead. On the contrary, if you the majority of your employees are around 20 to 30 years old, they might be happy to see and even support company’s decision to go Google. This is because many of them are already familiar with G Suite (the education edition) when they are in school thanks to Google’s visionary investment in the field of education. It seems natural for them to choose what they are already familiar with (G Suite, so to speak) over something they don’t (Office 365).

Do you still need the Windows-Office combo to get things done?

Many businesses stay with Microsoft Office because of these concerns:

  • Most of the enterprise content are made with Office.
  • Files that need to be shared externally are made with (or has to be) Office.

The good news is, Google has always been working to improve the interoperability between G Suite and Office. Starting from 2019, G Suite users can now open and edit an Office file directly from their G Suite interface even if they don’t have Office installed on their PC which significantly eliminates the need for the Office software in an organization. Since G Suite is a browser-based application, no matter what device you’re on, whether it’d be a Windows PC, a Macbook, a tablet or a mobile phone, you can access your work materials anytime, any where. A true bring-your-own-device work style that has been very popular recently can therefore be realized. Take ourselves as an example, although we are a G Suite-using company in terms of software, most of the hardware we use in our workplace are Windows devices. In fact, Thinkpad X Series is the default or preferred device type in our company. We have a named device type not only because it’s easier to manage but also because this will avoid compatibility issues that might occur between employee’s devices and the organization’s equipment. Employees are still allowed to bring their own device to work though. This shows that even for a company that has a Windows environment who wish to keep it as it is, it can still be using G Suite and enjoy all the benefits of G Suite without any trouble. Nevertheless, having more choices is never a bad thing for most of the users. From the company’s standpoint, however, having a conversation around G Suite or Office 365 might be a good chance to re-examine the status quo.

To maintain status quo or embrace a new way of working

Both G Suite and Office 365 are a suite of productivity tools that let you perform common business tasks in the cloud. What really matters is choosing the one that best suits your company. If you are satisfied with the status quo, upgrading the traditional Office software to Office 365 will not only allow your company to continue to use the software that you’re already familiar with but also be entitled to all the benefits of the cloud. On the other hand, the idea of ‘Work Transformation’ that Google has been advocating represents the idea of a revamption or innovation of current work style: no more hardware and software lock-ins, a more collaborative way of working and communication, etc. The new way of working as Google described, is fundamentally different from the so-called ‘Microsoft-Office’ way which has dominated the business world for many decades. If you are unhappy about the current work style of your company or even having a strong feeling for change, G Suite may be a good cure for your company.