IT departments fail to move from full Microsoft Office productivity suites
Tough to break the bond with the familiar
By Antony Savvas | Computerworld UK | Published: 10:42, 21 October 2013
Despite IT departments being keen on saving money with lightweight office productivity suites, including those in the cloud, the move from the full Microsoft Office suite isn't happening any time soon, according to research from analyst Forrester.
The analyst questioned online 155 IT decision makers at companies and found that while Google Docs, Open Office and LibreOffice continued to be options for users with lightweight productivity needs, less than 10 percent of firms have provisioned an alternative to Office.
Respondents cited compatibility with Office formats as the most important consideration, but Forrester says that end users' affinity and familiarity with Office is also "a huge factor".
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The survey also found that Office 2010 is still dominant in the enterprise, but one-quarter of firms plan to move to Office 2013 within the year.
Cloud email is beginning to change the way in which people work though, with one in five firms using cloud email, and another quarter of firms planning to move into the cloud.
On the mobile front, Forrester analyst Phil Karcher said: "For now, most technology decision-makers seem satisfied with leaving employees to self-provision office productivity apps on their smartphones and tablets if they really want them."
The Forrester research found that compatibility with Microsoft Office formats was important to 77 percent of respondents, trumping all other attributes - including mobile apps and collaboration features or integration with collaboration tools - when choosing a solution.
Less than 10 percent of firms provide an alternative to Microsoft Office for at least some workers. Only a fraction of companies have deployed Office 2013, but most plan to upgrade to it. Those that don't cite a lack of compelling business benefits.
On the cloud front, although more firms support Office 365 than Google Apps, they have more employees using Google Docs/Drive than Office web apps.
But although one in five firms uses cloud email, half of these firms also have users still accessing email from on-premises servers. Forrester says 30 percent of companies in the survey will be using email in the cloud next year.
In the survey, 78 percent of companies used Microsoft Exchange Server, and 82 percent used Microsoft SharePoint Server. Microsoft Exchange adoption outnumbered IBM Notes/Domino set-ups in the survey by 3:1.