Microsoft 365 is the most popular productivity platform in the world, and with good reason. With dozens of apps, features, and tools dedicated to providing simple yet effective modern workplace solutions, you can easily find a subscription package that suits your business.
However, further questions arise on the prospect of user accounts. How many will you need? Does each employee need their own account? We’ve laid out the advantages and disadvantages of sharing user accounts between your people, so you can make an informed decision when selecting your subscription package.
Overview of Microsoft 365 licensing
Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based productivity platform that provides users to work, collaborate, and communicate effectively and securely from any location. It includes tools and apps such as:
There are various plan options to choose from, such as Microsoft 365 Apps for Business and Microsoft 365 F3, which come with an array of additional features. Customers can also buy additional storage to supplement the plan they select, helping them make the most out of their subscription.
Microsoft 365 can be installed on up to five devices – PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones – with the following subscriptions:
Overview of Microsoft 365 accounts
When you have purchased a Microsoft 365 subscription that suits your business requirements and working environments, your users will be assigned an account from which they can access the various tools and features. They will be given a username and password with which to sign into Outlook, Office 365, Skype, and Windows.
To save on the number of licenses needed, businesses can opt to designate a single account to multiple users. This shared account utilizes the same email and password for all users to log in to apps and services. For instance, this could be applied to receptionists or maintenance staff, all of whom utilize the same email and credentials to log in.
Advantages of shared accounts:
Cost-effective: For companies looking to be cost-efficient, Microsoft 365 license sharing is a great solution. Not only does it minimize the amount of money spent on license purchases, but it also simplifies the process of managing multiple accounts. With one subscription, you can make sure everyone has access to the same applications.
Accessible: All users will benefit from the most up-to-date app and service updates when they share one subscription, allowing them to make use of the most modern features, security updates, and be able to easily locate the documents they require for work.
Disadvantages of shared accounts:
Low security: Sharing accounts can be a risky business, as it weakens the security of the system. With many people accessing the same account, it becomes hard to trace who is doing what and which files they have access to – leading to the possibility of users being exposed to information that they should not be privy to. Additionally, it is nearly impossible to guarantee that all users follow the right security measures, like multi-factor authentication.
Troubleshoot: When difficulties present themselves, it can be complicated to decide which user is responsible, which may bring about additional issues while attempting to solve the problem.
Compliance: Microsoft is quite clear when it comes to their licensing agreement: each person who accesses their online services must have their own subscription license, with the only exceptions being resource mailboxes, shared mailboxes, and room mailboxes. Unfortunately, it can be hard to guarantee that all users are adhering to the same legal standards, which could lead to compliance violations with the potential for hefty financial penalties.
User incompatibility: With multiple users accessing the same account, they may misplace files or save documents to locations other users cannot find them. Apart from slowing productivity, this has the potential to cause internal issues with your staff and foster negative workplace relationships.
Should your users share accounts?
The short answer is: no.
While it may be tempting to save money on purchasing less Microsoft 365 subscriptions, the drawbacks are more significant. Sharing accounts between your users will present serious security possibilities, making it difficult to know which employee to ask about missing data or technical issues. Microsoft’s privacy laws are also not to be ignored; breaking the licensing agreement could result in serious legal consequences and fines.
Technology Solutions is a certified Microsoft Partner, specializing in delivering tailored solutions, finding the right subscription package at the best price, and deploying the solution across your business environment. Talk to them today and find the Microsoft 365 license that best suits your business environment and security needs.