Moving to Microsoft 365’s evergreen services is one of the most transformative changes an organisation can make. People, processes – even your culture – are central to the technologies’ impact and success.
In this, the second of two blogs, we look at the challenges business leaders face with modern workplace technologies and how Content+Cloud’s M365 PACE service can support your evergreen IT strategy.
The solutions that Microsoft 365 brings to our workplace are all about people. Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, the Viva suite – not to mention the classic Office apps – are what help us communicate, collaborate, meet, learn and share with colleagues every day.
It’s no surprise that decisions about these tools increasingly involve those beyond IT leadership, with HR, learning and development, and operations being part of the conversation.
If your organisation has embarked upon, or is about to begin its evergreen IT strategy, then you’ll likely be aware of the benefits Microsoft 365 brings in terms of mobility, reliability, security and improved employee experience. But you may also be aware just how big a change to ways of working it can be. It may even feel like a big change to you personally, with a host of analytics on usage, and constant information about service changes and updates, to digest.
At Content+Cloud we’re big believers in the power of the Microsoft 365 evergreen service to power greater agility, productivity and competitive edge for organisations. But we also understand the time and attention that’s needed for them to make adoption successful, management simple and evolution seamless. This is why we’ve designed our M365 PACE service: to give you personalised support in analysing the constant change in the Microsoft cloud and ensuring continuous delivery of value for your people and business.
We recently spoke to clients of our M365 PACE (Proactive Adoption and Change Expertise) service to get their take on some of the reasons why they’d moved to Microsoft 365, the challenges they’ve faced and how our services has helped them succeed. For those embarking on large-scale transformation, M365 PACE gives a holistic approach to business change and adoption, helping them communicate the need for change, tailor the rollout, monitor adoption organisation-wide and quickly see areas where action is needed.
In this blog I’ll share some of what we learned. For a focus on some of the more technical challenges and opportunities, you can also read our first blog.
Business leaders’ priorities for their evergreen IT strategy
Clearly there’s a whole spectrum of priorities when it comes to planning and executing an evergreen IT strategy. The sector your organisation operates in, the function in which you’re based, the stage of digital transformation your business is currently at: these are just a few factors influencing what you’ll need.
But there are some commonalities. For most business leaders, their vision of success will include empowering people to work securely and efficiently wherever they may be. It will include a richer, more immediate view of how services work for users, and smoother processes for rolling out change. Greater agility to react quickly to change and faster roads to innovation are key.
Regardless of your organisation or responsibly within it, the Microsoft 365 evergreen service is a strategic enabler in how to improve employee experience and drive the continual improvement that ambitious businesses seek.
Overcoming the challenges of managing a Microsoft 365 evergreen service
Moving to, and managing, Microsoft 365 is a process that requires the insight and leadership from across your organisation. Adoption is not a one-off exercise and getting the full value your business envisaged needs continuing review and action.
Here, we look at some of the challenges business leaders and decision-makers can face at different stages of their Microsoft 365 journey – and how Content+Cloud can support you.
Complexity and uncertainty in Microsoft 365 adoption and management
Moving to a cloud-first IT model for your organisation is undoubtedly a complex undertaking. Moving data off premises, rolling out a cloud platform and introducing what are effectively new ways of working can be overwhelming even in smaller, more agile organisations.
You may also have the responsibility of monitoring the success of the tech investment – perhaps reporting to senior leadership and key stakeholders on something that’s maybe not in your comfort zone.
Our M365 PACE service can help you with all of this. While its core components include Microsoft 365 usage analytics, productivity score insights and a roadmap planning tool for Microsoft 365, the real difference it makes is the way the service can be tailored to exactly what you and the business need.
We’ll give you a dedicated Service Owner who’ll spend time getting to know your objectives, challenges and culture before delivering reports on the things that matter the most. They’ll meet with you regularly to explain what changes to be aware of and help you explain things in terms your stakeholders will understand.
Modernising outdated processes and culture
One of the main blockers to embedding modern ways of working can be the journey towards that change.
Often when we see examples of failed adoption projects, it’s because people haven’t been placed at the heart of the project. While the teams driving the change have understood the endpoint, users haven’t sufficiently been engaged.
In organisations where introducing new technologies has typically meant desk-side upgrades and classroom training, the concept of evergreen IT can require a shift in culture as much as process.
Ultimately, Microosft 365 is a key part of your technological approach in how to improve employee experience. Having insights into quantitative data will help uncover opportunities for improving productivity and user experience.
We’ll also keep you a step ahead with bespoke reports on what changes lies ahead in your tenant message centre via Microsoft Planner, allowing you to action the operational tasks needed to ensure a smooth adoption. To support your focus on strategic planning of changes on the Microsoft Roadmap, we provide monthly reporting and guidance. And if you’re planning a large change project, Content+Cloud can help you ensure your users are considered with our award-winning business change and adoption services.
Mature, change-ready Microsoft 365 evergreen services
One of the main advantages an evergreen IT strategy brings to organisations is the speed at which new products and enhancements to existing services your business uses can be planned and delivered. Mature management of Microsoft 365 allows the organisation to benefit from a state of constant evolution and improvement.
However, many organisations face an immediate and ongoing difficulty. The volume and pace of change in Microsoft 365 can be hard to keep up with. Knowing which changes are most important to your business is the way forward – but even monitoring the pipeline can be a drain on your time and resources.
M365 PACE has helped our clients achieve a steady state when it comes to managing their cloud apps. Working with our Service Owner, they have a constant dialogue about what’s around the corner not just in Microsoft 365, but for their business. Working together, we’re continually listening, learning and delivering greater innovations for their users.
How our M365 PACE service can help you
If you’re responsible for improving services, processes or culture in your organisation, you may see a little of your own experiences in the scenarios above. To hear more about how M365 PACE can help you maximise the value of Microsoft 365’s evergreen services for your business, please get in touch.
If your remit sits more within the IT-focused part of your organisation, then please take a look at our earlier blog that looks at the challenges and solutions from the perspective of those in similar roles.