Blog_03072019

Continuous Learning is Key to Office 365 Adoption

One of Office 365’s powerful selling points is its potential to eliminate disruptive big-bang migrations. With cloud technology like Office 365, new features and other changes are rolled out as soon as they are available instead of all at once every half a decade. However, as organizations begin their migrations, many fail to understand that a switch to Office 365 will not be effortless—this new “as-a-service” model will present a different set of challenges.

In last week’s post, we examined one of the first hurdles in an Office 365 migration—making sense of the new servicing options and formulating a master update plan. In this post, we explore what organizations need to do next to ensure employees can stay on top of the continuous changes and use the technology to innovate and drive company growth.

A switch to Office 365 will not be effortless—this new “as-a-service” model will present a different set of challenges

As we have noted, a strong strategy includes numerous factors—checking the Microsoft 365 Roadmap and Message Center to learn about upcoming changes as early as possible, communicating those changes across the organization, and segmenting and staggering updates to avoid companywide disruption—but none is as critical as ensuring employees have continuous training and support.

That’s because a migration to Office 365 doesn’t really “end”—Microsoft will roll out new features and make changes to existing tools and functionality about every six months. Organizations must have a plan in place for what needs to happen three to six months after the actual migration is complete, and well beyond. This includes:

  • Monitoring the hundreds of updates and changes published on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap
  • Determining which of those updates/changes are critical to users
  • Managing ongoing adoption of new and changed functionality stemming from the updates
  • Preparing for the disruption these updates could cause
  • Onboarding new hires
  • Anticipating talent needs for the near future, including upskilling the incumbent employee base

 

Going in without a plan is not a smart choice—it will likely result in wasted investment and an inability to compete in digital business. According to a survey conducted by UK software company 1E, companies are wasting an average of 37 percent of what they spend on software, costing more than $30 billion or roughly $259 per desktop. In a study conducted by Gartner, researchers examined how organizations were using Office 365 and determined that increased usage does not equate to increased value.

You will need to answer some important questions long before your organization begins its Office 365 migration: Who will keep on top of the frequent updates/constant changes to Office 365 (and Windows 10)? What method will you use to determine which updates are important and how likely they are to cause disruption? How will you effectively communicate changes to employees? How will you close knowledge gaps and encourage talent growth? What will you do to ensure your employees are productive, engaged, and innovative?

If you are gearing up for a migration and you haven’t yet answered every one of those questions, you need to double your efforts—and fast.

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