Even in the information age, your choice of tools has a major bearing on productivity and profit. Pick the right tool and your employees will sail through the day, manipulating information to gain new insights and drive profitability. Pick the wrong one and the tool becomes more of a hindrance than a help – and productivity goes out the window, taking your profits with it.
So when it comes to productivity software, which do you choose – Microsoft Office 365 or G Suite?
The always-on millennial factor
The incumbent workforce will almost certainly have grown up using Microsoft Office, helping to establish it as the de facto standard for productivity. And for many years Microsoft has heavily subsidised the cost of Office to ensure that schools continue to use their software in lessons.
But the falling costs of computer hardware means that the millennial generation grew up with computers at home, where Microsoft weren’t quite so keen to slash costs to encourage adoption. As Cloud technologies developed and improved, Google saw this gap in the market, launching G Suite and Android as way to encourage uptake of their services.
This, coupled with the increasing consumerisation of IT means that millennials are increasingly driving IT strategy, bringing their love of easy-to-use, low-cost software and hardware from home and into the workplace. Which goes some way towards explaining why G Suite is growing at a phenomenal rate.
In fact, research by BetterCloud found that businesses where the average age of employees fell between 18 and 34 years were 55% more likely to have opted for G Suite over Microsoft Office 365.
What this means for established businesses
The reality is that G Suite is not just for start-ups and tech-friendly “young” businesses, but for any company serious about cementing its future. Young users are actively choosing not to use Microsoft’s tools. And business will need to think twice about using Office 365 with a 10% price increase across the EU starting from the beginning of August.
Obviously you could try and enact a company-wide ban on G Suite, Android and other third party tools, but doing so may cause more problems than it solves. Not only does this kind of ban come across as draconian and obstructive (whether it really is or not), you may actually severely limit the talent available to you; as we covered on the Kimbley IT blog a few months back, your choice of technology and the effect it has on a millennial’s home and work life is actually extremely important.
Choose the wrong technologies and you may find you are unable to attract the best and brightest talent of the next generation workforce.
The future is defined by the next generation
If your business is serious about maintaining a competitive advantage in the coming decades, it pays to keep one eye on the next generation. And when it comes to productivity tools, it is clear that millennials and even children, are choosing to use Google Apps at home, school and work.
The work any place, any time, any device functionality of G Suite is a powerful incentive for a generation keen to work in the new productivity-focused model of doing business. G Suite allows millennials (and even Gen Xers who can make the necessary change in mindset) to better balance work and home lives, and improve their quality of life in the process.
Millennial or not, there are distinct advantages to choosing Cloud productivity. But if your business is serious about building a healthy, future-proof workforce, the choice between Microsoft and Google may be more important than you ever imagined.