Office 2019 or Office 365 for Your Business?

There are two options available to upgrade your existing Microsoft Office platform: Office 2019 and Office 365. If you are unsure about which option best suits your business, this two-part post is meant to provide some guidance.

Firstly, the similarities: both Office 2019 and Office 365 include the same popular core apps your business is familiar with – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. The main differences between the two extend to the list of features and the cost of ownership – once-off payment versus the cloud-based subscription-based service.

On-premises versus cloud

The on-premises standalone Office apps version, Office 2019 requires a once-off purchase instead of a monthly subscription. It provides improved Office apps and tools compared to the precedent versions.

This version also comes with its disadvantages: the licence can be installed on a single device only, and it cannot be upgraded to the follow-up Office release with additional features, although it does receive security updates. To access new Office upgrades and tools, you will be required to purchase the newer upgraded software.

By far the major disadvantage of Office 2019 is the lack of cloud features and benefits. By comparison, the cloud-based Office 365 suite receives the business intelligence and AI tools, as well as an included 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage and other perks.

When it comes to mobility and flexibility, Office 2019 allows you to install apps on mobile devices with limited functionality, which may not be the best option for companies working in multi-locations with flexible teams and remote collaborators.

If your business has transitioned to Windows 10, but it is not ready to transition to the cloud, Office 2019 offers a reliable solution for upgrading. The traditional version is suitable for organisations who make use of the core Office tools without needing continuous upgrades or depending on the latest features.

Note that Office 2019 is designed only for Windows 10. Businesses looking to get the up-to-date Office version on older Microsoft operating systems 8.1 and 7 have no choice but to purchase an Office 365 subscription – but this option comes with more apps, more features, tools, and other benefits.

Office 365: Affordable cloud accessibility and functionality

The monthly or yearly Office 365 subscription offers access to the complete suite of Office tools on all devices, with a limit of five devices accessing the account at a time, and a maximum of six people using one subscription. It is a convenient option for start-ups and SMEs looking to leverage the latest Office upgrades with an affordable investment.

The biggest advantage of Office 365 is running the latest version of Office with regular security updates, bug fixes and feature improvements, and automated upgrades to new functionality and cloud tools – such as built-in AI, business intelligence and data analytics.

If sharing and collaboration are important to your business success, Office 365 is a better choice as it provides real-time collaboration across all devices with complete app functionality.

The Office 365 functionality with cloud access and continued updates comes at a low cost for organisations, eliminating the issue of expensive software upgrades on long-term, and the need to re-install or purchase additional licences for multiple devices. Also, businesses can cancel monthly subscriptions or change their plan at any time as their needs evolve.

There are different subscription plans for Office 365 for your business, depending on your specific requirements, team size and collaboration needs (Personal, Home or Business). For example, the popular Home subscription provides access for up to six team members.

For larger businesses, Office 365 Business Premium delivers more cost-efficient and time-saving functionality, helping to streamline and optimise operations with enterprise-grade functionality and security.

Each Office 365 subscription option includes the 1TB OneDrive cloud storage and other cloud benefits and supports the latest Windows versions 7, 8.1 and 10, and macOS. Note that purchasing a yearly subscription will save your business money in the long run.

Office 365 integrates cloud, mobile, and social technology solutions to make your business more collaborative and productive.