Microsoft 365 vs. G Suite

August 20, 2020

Solutions like Microsoft 365 and G Suite are the technology foundation that can fundamentally change the way your employees work. Many of our clients have faced the decision between choosing one of these solutions. Here are some key differences between Microsoft 365 and Google’s G Suite that you should consider before making the decision.

Microsoft 365 (previously known as Office 365) and Google’s G Suite are two worthy adversaries in the world of productivity apps and services. These apps are not standalone apps like Box, Slack, QuickBooks, or Adobe Acrobat. Both Google and Microsoft offer a platform, or “ecosystem”, that works together to drive workplace activities and collaboration using apps and services. Businesses consider these solutions for several reasons:

  • Looking to increase productivity
  • Facilitating collaboration within the organization
  • Moving to the cloud to enable a remote workforce
  • Migrating from legacy/outdated hardware or software

Both Microsoft 365 and G Suite can help address these problems and can help many companies.

Before we dive in, here’s a quick disclaimer – We are not claiming there is a better or worse in this analysis; both are viable solutions and have helped businesses reach various levels of success. The key to making the right choice is finding the right fit for your company. The decision should not be made hastily. And, there are several organizations that use both solutions, so that is always an option if you can’t choose!

It is important to note that most G Suite customers are small and medium-sized companies, while Microsoft dominates the $15-billion market for business productivity tools. Though, in most recent years G Suite is making massive strides in gaining market share with enterprise companies. Here are five things to consider before making a decision.

What does your current infrastructure look like?

One of the most important factors to consider is your current infrastructure. This includes the size of your organization, and legacy software, hardware and apps. Operations also plays a large role when choosing which solution can provide the right structure for your employees.


Smaller companies may find it easy to choose between Microsoft 365 and G Suite. Both platforms can be easily managed for a small group of users. However, when it comes to medium and larger organizations, you must consider many other things. It’s important to understand that Microsoft has more enterprise features, capabilities, and integrations. Though, this is changing quickly.

Legacy Software

Many companies are already operating on the Microsoft platform. If keeping your data and integrating with the current legacy software/hardware is important then your organization may want to go with Microsoft 365. This is especially true if you are, or have been, running Windows servers in your environment. All of the permissions and groups can be easily migrated to Microsoft 365 to give access to new resources without having to overhaul security.

Companies that have been around for a short time are usually “born in the cloud”. This means most of your infrastructure is already in the cloud, and not on-premise. For these types of companies, you can go with either solutions because you are essentially starting from scratch. Adversely, are you a medium to large organization running Microsoft Exchange? It will be easier to migrate to Microsoft 365 if that is what your users are accustomed to.


Interdepartmental functionality greatly improves efficiency of operations. When your departments are running on different platforms that are not compatible with each other, issues may occur. Ideally you would want your departments to be able to communicate and collaborate on a platform that is the same or can operate easily with the tools/solutions that are being used in your organization.

Do you have a mobile or remote workforce?

Securing your mobile workforce could be top priority for your company. Industries like architecture, legal, finance, and many others are prioritizing the move to an almost 100% remote workforce.

Though it is possible to work offline with G Suite, it is not the most secure solution. You must use Chrome to access those files offline, and they are stored locally, even after you sign off that device.

If offline capabilities are very important when it comes to enabling your mobile workforce, consider Microsoft. There are also other solutions like Remote Desktop Services (RDS) that work with Microsoft 365.

What are your users familiar with and can you train them?

You must think about your users and implementing something new. Plan to train your users and continuously train your users.

Many users are familiar with Microsoft and their platform, rather than G Suite.

What are your clients/suppliers using?

Make collaboration easy. G-suite and Office 365 don’t play well with each other because they use different file types and ecosystems. Consider what your clients and partners are using, so that business processes can be fulfilled easier.

If you have the need to collaborate with others outside of your organization, provided they are also on M365, you can federate or provide guest access using the same tools. What does “Federation” mean? The term “Federation” refers to the relationship between two different organizations, where they decide to share their resources with each other.

Do you have reliable IT support?

Is your IT support team well-versed in the Microsoft or Google platform? Are they prepared to support a migration and configure something complex like Microsoft 365?

If you have a large IT department, then you can go with either option. If you have a small, or non-existent IT department – G-suite is easier setup and maintenance for non-technical administrators.

Support for both solutions is quite different. While Microsoft can sometimes require several resources to fix issues, G Suite has been easier to diagnose support. That also comes with a restriction on controls for that to be the case.

We hope you enjoyed this comparison. Our analysis considers several aspects and features offered in each platform. Both G Suite and Microsoft 365 have massive potential, depending on the organization and its needs.

It is important to stress that both options are only the technology piece, and ultimately people and processes must also be part of the changes. Implementing these tools will not be an automatic fix to every problem you may be experiencing. It requires ongoing effort to optimize and customize these platforms for every company. These tools have the power to change the way we work and become more productive.

Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced IT consultants to determine which solution is right for you.

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