I need to drive adoption of Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based software suite which provides a wide range of tools and applications designed to improve communication, collaboration and productivity within your organisation. It includes cloud-based versions of familiar desktop office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, which makes it a good choice for organisations looking to move their ICT environment to the cloud. However, migrating to Microsoft 365 brings more organisational benefits than merely offering cloud-based versions of the tools your workers use every day.

Microsoft 365 can allow your organisation to become more connected, collaborative and structured in the way it works. It can be accessed over a mobile network and can be used on a wide range of compatible devices, including tablets, smartphones, laptops and PCs. It supports home and/or remote working as it’s delivered over the internet. It supports greater collaboration, allowing teams to work on a single project, in real-time, from several different locations. And it also empowers staff to develop solutions using no-code, through tools like PowerBI, PowerAutomate and PowerApps.

However, to unleash the full benefits of Microsoft 365 for your organisation, you need to take your people on the journey with you. The successful adoption of new technology, particularly one as multi-faceted as Microsoft 365, which has the potential to deliver meaningful transformation, will require your users to change their behaviour.
Driving that change can be challenging. In terms of best practice, there are a few things to consider in helping drive adoption of Microsoft 365 across your organisation, to make your migration a success.

Create an adoption plan

To build a Microsoft 365 adoption plan, you’ll need a strategy which contains a definition of the minimum viable solution your organisation will need to meet the objectives you are looking to achieve. This will highlight the Microsoft 365 features which will offer your organisation the most value. Typically, Microsoft 365 components break into four groups:

Foundational

These are the everyday tools that many users will already be familiar with using, such as Calendar Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, along with applications like SharePoint and OneDrive.

Transformational

These are tools which empower people and organisations to streamline their processes and ways of working, including:

PowerBI
A data visualisation tool which helps your organisation make better decisions by analysing your data for insights

PowerApps
An app development platform that allows you to easily create no-code apps which streamline processes and drive efficiency

PowerAutomate
A service that enables you to create automated workflows, synchronise files, collect critical data and more

Forms
A tool that allows you to quickly create surveys and polls to collect feedback and measure satisfaction levels and other vital metrics

Video Stream
A video streaming tool that makes it easy to create, securely share, and interact across your organisation

Relational

These applications facilitate better communication, collaboration and co-working across an organisation and include tools like:

Yammer
A social networking tool that helps your organisation build communities and connect and engage your people

Teams
A collaboration app that enables group chat and threaded conversations, meetings & video conferencing, voice calling and content sharing

Delve
A service which helps users discover information from Microsoft’s range of integrated products, by pulling content from Microsoft Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint and Yammer

Planner
A project management application that allows managers and teams to create, assign, organise and monitor workflows

Sway
An easy-to-use digital storytelling app used for creating interactive reports, documents and presentations

Compliance

This suite of tools is aimed at helping ICT administrators to better manage and meet their security, governance and compliance obligations.

The benefits of transformational and relational tools

Typically, most organisations tend to create their minimum viable solution from the foundational solutions that most of their users will already be familiar with. This makes sense because many organisations will already be paying for on-premise versions of tools that can be replicated in a Microsoft 365 environment, making the switch to the cloud-based applications more seamless.

However, the real organisational benefits come from the transformational and relational tools. But, because these tools are newer and it’s likely your users will have minimal experience with them, these are the most difficult to drive the adoption of, as they will require your people to change the way they work.

It’s important to bear in mind here that introducing a solution with new ways of working will not change the way your organisation behaves. It’s your people who will drive that behavioural change. There are three distinct groups of people within your organisation that you will need to identify and engage with at different times throughout your migration project to make it a success:

The Trendsetters

The trendsetters are the first group to identify and get on-side. These will typically be the people within your organisation who are usually early adopters of technology and recognise the benefits it brings. Your trendsetters might be experienced in using some of the more advanced applications or features, or they might just be open to learning new things that are going to help them do their job better. Engaging with trendsetters early on in your journey toward full migration is critical. This can be done either informally, or by creating a group of ‘Microsoft 365’ Champions to help drive adoption within their own teams or departments.

The Advocates

This group of people can be drawn from across your organisation and are key to helping drive adoption by demonstrating what can be achieved with Microsoft 365 through their own successes. They are people who not only have an excellent working knowledge of Microsoft 365 and understand the benefits it can bring but can apply that to their own roles and in how it this can be utilised to help the organisation achieve its objectives. Your advocates can be held up as examples of best practice to the rest of the organisation, to showcase Microsoft 365 and the results it can achieve in action. For example, creating a ‘centre of excellence’ for cloud, which showcases best practice and is used by various teams across your organisation to introduce agile working initiatives.

The Learners

One of the most significant benefits of Microsoft 365 is that it has been built with users, rather than administrators, in mind.
This means that most of the apps are intuitive and easy-to-use out of the box, with minimal training required to gain an adequate level of understanding. Microsoft 365 also utilised artificial intelligence to help users improve their skills and knowledge as they go, as part of the overall user experience.

This helps to build user confidence, enhance productivity and increase organisational agility, with users quickly converting into advocates when they experience first-hand the difference Microsoft 365 can make to their day-to-day roles. Of course, to aid this process, a structured programme of training sessions, drop-ins and webinars should be implemented to facilitate faster adoption, especially when new or unfamiliar features and components are being introduced. Your trendsetters can play a crucial role in driving this and sharing knowledge. For example, you might have a team member who is a whizz at using PowerBI, so why not make them the organisation’s go-to expert for that app?

Find out more

AMDH Services Ltd has a wealth of experience in Microsoft 365 design and migration. As an accredited Microsoft Partner, we can help you understand your organisation’s current environment and plan how to get from your existing services into Microsoft 365. We can help you understand the steps you’ll need to take to drive adoption within your organisation.
We can also provide you with the best technical expertise at the right price to enhance the overall value of your investment in our services. To find out more, get in touch for an informal chat and a free consultation.