4-Step guide to choosing a Microsoft 365 plan for your business

4-Step guide to choosing a Microsoft 365 plan for your business

The widespread adoption of Microsoft 365 by many businesses is understandable, given its extensive capabilities and numerous business benefits. However, deciding on which Microsoft 365 plan can be formidable, thanks to the plethora of features available. This decision is further complicated by budgetary constraints. Use this article to navigate the decision-making process and identify the plan that best fits your business.

Why do businesses use Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 provides businesses with a centralized and streamlined way to conveniently access and manage their files and emails from any device, anywhere in the world, thanks to its cloud-hosting features. And it’s this cloud-based nature of the service that enables Microsoft 365 users to secure business continuity should anything happen to their devices.

How to choose the plan best suited for your business

Selecting the right Microsoft 365 plan for your business can be broken down into four steps:

  1. Assess compatibility

Before subscribing to a Microsoft 365 plan, ensure that your employees’ computers meet the necessary system requirements for Microsoft 365 to function. Incompatibility issues may arise if the hardware fails to match minimum system requirements, leading to reduced functionality of Microsoft 365 features. Additionally, you need to evaluate the compatibility of existing software and third-party applications, as some may not work seamlessly with Microsoft 365, necessitating the adoption of compatible software. Consider also consulting the providers of the third-party applications about potential compatibility issues with Microsoft 365.

  1. Identify your needs

It is essential that you choose a plan with features that align with your company’s needs. Otherwise, you risk overspending on a plan like Business Premium when Business Standard easily meets your needs. Answer the following key questions to identify your needs:

  • Do you aim to enhance collaboration and communication within your organization?
  • Will transitioning to the cloud benefit your business operations?
  • Are you seeking advanced protection against various security threats?

By addressing these questions, you can focus on the features that fit with your answers and identify an appropriate plan. For example, if you are especially concerned about cybersecurity due to the confidential nature of the data you handle, then you may need the Microsoft 365 Business Premium plan, which offers Microsoft Defender in addition to standard online security.

  1. Plan your budget

Planning a budget for your chosen Microsoft 365 plan means accounting for the user count and the migration costs.

  • User count refers to the number of employees within your organization who will access and utilize Microsoft 365. When budgeting for users, it’s better to slightly overshoot to accommodate for potential growth or the addition of new employees.
  • Migration costs occur whether you are transferring your systems and data from physical servers or another cloud environment, costing you time, money, and productivity. If you have an in-house IT team, leverage their expertise to handle the migration process and avoid additional expenses.

By factoring in these considerations, you can select a Microsoft 365 subscription plan that not only meets your business needs but also aligns with your budget constraints.

  1. Choose a Microsoft 365 business plan

After you’ve addressed the above considerations, you can go over your options. Microsoft 365 offers four different plans to businesses: Business Basic, Apps for Business, Business Standard, and Business Premium. These plans represent different tiers of pricing and offered features.

Plan Microsoft 365 Business Basic Microsoft 365 Apps Microsoft 365 Business Standard Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Price $6.00 per user, per month $8.25 per user, per month $12.50 per user, per month $22.00 per user, per month
Web-based and mobile versions of Microsoft apps Yes Yes, excluding Outlook Yes Yes
50 GB email storage Yes No Yes Yes
Microsoft Teams Yes No Yes Yes
1 TB cloud storage Yes Yes Yes Yes
Standard online security Yes No Yes Yes
24/7 online and phone support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Microsoft Bookings No No Yes Yes
MileIQ No No Yes Yes
Microsoft Defender for Office 365 No No No Yes
Information Rights Management No No No Yes
Manage and wipe company devices remotely with Intune No No No Yes

Contact us today to learn more about integrating Microsoft 365 into your business.