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Technology community Spiceworks has conducted research with 1,168 IT professionals and purchasers at businesses in the UK, Canada and the US. The research looked at which productivity suites are most prevalent in businesses, and where the market is going.

Here we take a look at the findings and how they might be affecting your business.

Don’t know which applications you use or the versions? Contact us to arrange a technology audit which includes a detailed report of the applications and software you're running.

Microsoft Office still reigns supreme - you could say it Excels;-)

Despite fierce challenges from Google’s offering G Suite and Apple's iWork, as well as open source products, Microsoft Office still tops the list of most installed instances.

82% of respondents are using on-premise Office, and 53% use the cloud offering Office 365. 37% of respondents are using both Microsoft Office and Office 365 concurrently.

That’s a lot of love for Microsoft, but it is facing competition, especially from Google’s productivity offering. 17% of respondents use G Suite in their organisation. That’s the paid version for businesses that features a lot of productivity tools. 16% of IT pros are also using the free version of Google’s tools (Gmail, Docs, Sheets etc.) somewhere in their organisation. The total usage for Google’s offerings stands at 26%.

Apple’s iWork and iCloud joined the list at 3%, OpenSource (including LibreOffice and OpenOffice) sit at 16%, and other tools made up 5% of the total.

Businesses are risking security by using unsupported versions of Office

As Microsoft brings out newer versions of Office, older versions of the suite arrive at their End of Service Life, or EOSL. This means that Microsoft no longer supports these versions, and no longer releases security patches for vulnerabilities.

Despite Office 2007 going EOSL in October 2017, 68% of business involved in the research still use the 2007 version. Even more worrying is that a combined 85% of respondents still use at least 1 instance of an older version of Microsoft office (2003, XP 2002, 2000 and 1997).

The security vulnerabilities of out of date Office are similar to those of out of date Operating Systems. Infected Word documents for example can infect PCs and allow hackers to run programs on your PC without your permission. Therefore, even if your out of date instance of Office is working perfectly and you don’t need the added functionality of later versions, you could be putting your PC and networks at risk.

People want a lot from their Productivity Suite

Tools like Excel can do amazing things for data analysis and G Suite offers tools for easy team communication. But what do IT decision makers want from the productivity suite they choose?

The top three attributes are reliability (90%), ease of use, and security (both 81%). There’s little point in investing in a suite of applications designed to increase productivity if your users can't use it, or it keeps falling over. Security is near the top of the list as businesses are looking to ensure their data is as safe as possible.

Ease of management, scalability and cost effectiveness were all flagged as important. This has influenced the upsurgence in cloud based productivity apps like Office 365 and G Suite. As teams grow it is easy and relatively affordable to add them to the team payment plan.

All of these attributes were flagged as very important or extremely important in the research.

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