As companies both big and small move to the cloud, we’ve seen an increased demand for cloud software platforms. Where Microsoft’s Office 365 seems unwieldy and costly, Google comes in fast and takes a huge chunk from the market with G Suite (renamed from Google Apps). Is G Suite worth it? We unpack this below.
According to a recent study, Google Suite has garnered two billion users. This includes paying businesses such as Netflix, Motorola, NY Times, and Target.
Many have already written about the strengths and weaknesses of G Suite for businesses. Nonlinear Enterprise created a useful, referable decision-making cheat sheet that compares Office 365 and G Suite and outlines how each platform addresses internal enterprise needs. Petri—the Microsoft advocacy blogging and knowledge website—published a strategic analysis of the two platforms, finding that G Suite is the superior solution for teams that rely on agility and collaboration.
However, as the old adage goes, the decision you make doesn’t matter—it’s what you make of the decision. Let’s unpack some G Suite pros and cons to help you decide what’s best for your organization.
Benefits of G Suite
One common theme appears from the two aforementioned and well-written pieces: Google Suite is fast, convenient, and cheap…at the cost of customization and robustness.
1. Superior Collaboration
One remarkable advantage of G Suite over its Microsoft counterparts is its collaborative user interface. Despite the fact that it’s been around for longer, Microsoft has just recently entered the cloud collaborative space. Many have commented on how superior the G Suite apps are in terms of collaborative UI/UX compared to Office 365.
For example, when merging simultaneous changes made by many users, Microsoft Word Online is reported to have some bugs. On the other hand, Google Docs merges the changes seamlessly, along with communication support via native Google Hangouts. The ability to work on one document in both Microsoft Word online and offline further complicates the problem—the changes are synced in real-time in the online version, but only between minutes in the offline version. That causes many unwanted discrepancies that G Suite users don’t have to face.
2. Decreased Costs
G Suite offers many benefits to startups and small-to-medium businesses (SMBs), especially those with strict financial limits and short project timelines. In addition, small teams in large corporations can also benefit from using G Suite as they don’t have to rely on gigantic internal infrastructures to get projects done.
In terms of pricing, is G Suite worth it? Most pricing comparisons say yes: Style Factory compiled a helpful article that found G Suite “more generously priced.” Opting for G Suite also means less in-house server maintenance, encompassing personnel, hardware, and non-utilization costs. Estimations show that as much as 80% of server costs can be alleviated when cloud migration is in place, not to mention other hidden costs and benefits like sustainability and strategic focus.
3. Increased Agility
In addition to cheaper implementation and maintenance costs, outsourcing infrastructure to the cloud (as is the case when choosing G Suite over Office 365) will streamline collaboration in your organization and drive efficiencies in many workflows.
The consensus is that G Suite’s collaborative interface is more intuitive for end-users, whereas Office 365’s is still in its infancy and experimentation period. For remote teams (like our team here at Kloudio), this factor is of utmost importance. Ease of collaboration means faster work output, be it a business pitch, a spreadsheet-based finance analysis, or a press release. The G Suite applications are accessible everywhere, with great functionality on both iOS and Android. Add to that the dominance of Google Search (already integrated into G Suite) and plans to integrate machine learning into their ecosystem, and enterprises considering the migration have reasons to be even more excited looking into the future.
4. Powerful and Robust Third Party Add-ons
Although not exclusive to Google’s ecosystem, G Suite has an impressive marketplace of thousands of add-ons that work with your Google Apps as well as each other. The fact that G Suite is web-based means that add-ons can easily integrate with the web as they often link with a chrome extension or SaaS tool, like Kloudio.
Read our post about the G Suite add-ons we recommend for your business.
Google Suite Challenges
1. Less-Than-Perfect Security
Microsoft Office 365 comes with the powerful Active Directory for centralized identity management and Azure. This complements internal infrastructure for backup and data recovery. In these areas, G Suite is lacking when compared to Microsoft’s great user controls.
Firms using G Suite will have less control over individual users and monitoring activity. And should an employee leave the company, G Suite can rescind data access… but the nature of the web platform itself is more prone to questionable behavior compared to traditional desktop-based ecosystems. Rest assured though—Google has been making great progress in taking enterprise security and user control seriously.
2. Inconsistent Performance Across Devices
Say what you will about Windows 10, but Microsoft has done a superb job in creating a consistent software ecosystem. Office 365 gives a more unified experience across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. G Suite tools obviously support all devices. But the experience can be inconsistent across platforms and even across different mobile operating systems.
Is G Suite Worth It? The Verdict
As the nimble, agile trend continues to spread across all enterprises, G Suite should be the top solution for firms of all sizes—especially when looking into the future. For now, the perfect complement to G Suite is third-party platforms and add-ons, which can expand functionality and also aid in migration from Windows shops.
It is also worthy to note that, despite the differences between G Suite and Microsoft Office, Kloudio supports both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. That’s one less thing you have to worry about. Create a free Kloudio account to see how to integrate your G Suite tools.