How to Stay Current with Microsoft Office Versions (and Why it Matters)

Posted by Mark Jennings - August 21, 2018 - Office 365

office 365Investments in enterprise software are necessary to improve any company’s operational efficiency. While there are limitless software solutions for companies to choose from, Microsoft Office 365 remains a staple in business cultures, enabling organizations to stay productive while helping them to scale their operations.

However, regardless of the power and flexibility that software solutions like Office 365 provide, keeping these programs updated is critical to maximizing their benefits while delivering a digitally secure working environment. Here is an overview of the Office 365 Suite and why it's essential that you regularly stay up to date with your software's latest versions.

Microsoft Office 365 Suite Overview

For decades now, Microsoft Office has provided invaluable tools to help businesses manage their day-to-day operations while maximizing their departmental efficiencies. Whether creating and editing documents in Word, designing presentations in PowerPoint, or building powerful spreadsheets in Excel, Microsoft's popular software solution was designed to benefit all departments in any organization. Office 365 is a cloud-based upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016 and enables businesses to have immediate access to even more features of the program as soon as they become available.

The Importance of Regular Software Updates

When investing in a business software solution, it's crucial that you're able to maximize the value of that investment over time. By regularly keeping your software updated to the latest versions, you'll be able to ensure that all employees get the most out of the program while providing many other organizational benefits. Here are three important benefits of keeping your business software current.

Better System Security

Programs that have been around as long as Microsoft Office has are often more prone to attacks from cybercriminals who look to exploit previously released and outdated versions of the software. Manufacturers continually seek to improve their software over time to mitigate these risks and will regularly release updates to help patch, repair, or replace their older programs. Staying up-to-date with these releases and ensuring your software is always using the latest version is critical to protecting your business.

Better Reliability

As new business software is released, developers quickly realize inefficiencies in their builds when trying to integrate them with other software solutions. As bugs and flaws in functionality are discovered and addressed, updates and patches enable businesses to use their current software still while benefiting from a significantly improved user experience.

Better Employee Adoption

User experience issues can often be fixed by keeping your software updated. While switching software is always an option, it's important to note that employee adoption is the key to success when investing in technology solutions, and many times employees may hesitate to work with new programs they're unfamiliar with. Whenever possible, maximizing the lifespan of your current software solution before making a switch is the best practice.

Keeping Your Office Suite Regularly Updated

The beauty of Office 365 is its ease of use when it comes to ensuring its suite of products remains up-to-date. Users have many options when it comes to receiving their updates, including on-demand solutions that even allow you to benefit from new features of the software before they are officially released. Office 365 makes this possible in a few different ways:

  • Message Center - Office 365's Message Center provides news bulletins on official software announcements and changes coming to the software. These messages can be syndicated to your email, so you know exactly when new features and updates are available for use.
  • Targeted Release - Administrators of the software can sign up for a targeted release that enables smaller groups to receive their software updates first. This enables department heads and IT professionals to train on all new features of the program and help other employees adopt these updates efficiently.
  • Roadmap - Office 365 has developed a Roadmap that showcases short and long-term planned updates to the software. This insight helps businesses create their timelines regarding new updates as they become available, ensuring they continue to maximize the value of their software over time.
  • Microsoft Community - Microsoft has a faithful following of developers and industry professionals who all work together to make Office 365 the high-value software solution it is. This community is accessible through Office Blogs and allows users and developers to collaborate on the requested feature updates and their release dates.

Ensuring your business software remains up-to-date is a guaranteed way to maximize the potential of your enterprise solution, while keeping your business secure and employees engaged. Office 365 provides a hosted solution of tools and services that help companies maintain productivity and efficiency while making it easy for companies to ensure they're always operating on the latest software versions available. 

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about the author

Mark Jennings

Mark Jennings is SymQuest’s Area Vice President of IT Sales. Jennings works with SymQuest’s sales and service teams to educate customers on current best practices around data protection, disaster recovery, security, and overall technology planning.

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