Determining if your organization is ready for the latest MS Office version

Determining whether to migrate to the latest version of Office  has been a much-discussed topic by industry analysts. The truth is your organization will eventually need to migrate to the newest version of Office not only because of tech support constraints, but also because you want to improve your business processes’ efficiency and take advantage of the latest technology. However, the timing to migrate to Microsoft Office 2010 is a critical, strategic decision that your business must make.

So, when is your organization ready for the migration? Determining if it is ready is a decision that should be based (in part) on existing systems within the company and needed functionality. Organizations working on a large number of computer stations fear complications with migrating to Office 2010 such as incompatibility issues with current applications, lower business productivity, licensing and support costs.

To help with your decision making process, we offer the following considerations.

First, familiarize yourself with the new Office 2010 features, and assess how they can benefit your organization. Microsoft Office 2010 provides numerous Word and Excel improvements and collaboration, co-authoring, and document sharing capabilities. Therefore, if you want to enhance a collaborative business environment, you will find great value in Office 2010.

Second, take time to plan and prepare for a Microsoft Office 2010 deployment. Consider the time frame for migration, costs with licensing and support, and automated resources available to simplify the migration process and reduce risk and downtime.

Finally, find the key applications in your systems that are Office dependent, such as contract management or CRM applications, run a test in advance on the new version, and make sure they won’t delay your migration to Office 2010.

You may determine that the organization is not ready for Office 2010. If so, what are the alternatives? Businesses have a growing need to cost-effectively collaborate. To achieve this your business may want to explore web based collaboration solutions, such as Office Web Apps, but be aware of the limitations.