Business Value

Easy ROI for Office 365

There are easy ways of calculating return-on-investment for Office 365. Just compare-and-contrast the cost of Office 365 versus the cost structure of whatever tool set you are currently using (or would move to instead). For example, if you are currently using Microsoft tools on-premises and are looking at moving to Office 365, compare-and-contrast the cost of:

  1. On-Premises Licensing. Server licensing and client access licensing costs for servers including Exchange Server 2019, SharePoint Server 2019, and Skype for Business Server, along with costs for licensing Office 2019 for each user. Forecast any cost implications over the next three years. Assuming you have current hardware that can run the above servers, don’t include any cost implications. If not, you probably should include it.
  2. Office 365. Monthly cost per user for the one-and-only Office 365 plan of choice for your entire organisation, or if you want to mix-and-match licensing levels – which is entirely possible albeit more complicated when determining licensing validity for certain security and compliance scenarios – develop a matrix of monthly options. For an organisation of 100 people, you could go all-in to Office 365 Enterprise E5 for 100 users, or use a mixed plan with 60 people on Enterprise E5 and 40 on Enterprise E3. This will provide a monthly overall cost, so to get a comparative value to the on-premises option, multiply by 36 months (for 3 years of cost).

For example:

Adapted from Forrester Consulting’s 2011 TEI Analysis of Office 365.

The cost comparison above is adapted from Forrester Consulting’s analysis of the costs and benefits of Office 365 from mid-2011. Feel free to download the 47-page PDF from Microsoft, who sponsored the research. Just on the basis of three year comparative cost flows, Office 365 looks like a winner.

But it’s not really a “return-on-investment” for Office 365. It’s just a comparative analysis of cost structure. “Return” signifies something much greater than a comparison. So yes, it’s relatively easy to do a cost comparison, but it won’t give you the real sense of the “return” you get from Office 365.

Figuring out the “return” requires something much more.

Categories: Business Value