Over the past three months we have been exploring the key concepts that drive value from cloud innovation – Secure, Analyze, and Automate. In this Insight we will explore the final tenet to maximizing your investment in the cloud: Adopt.
Leveraging cloud-based security, analytics, and automation is a great foundation for any business solution. However, having a solution in place does not equal success. You must also have an equally successful end-user adoption. Why does adoption matter? Adoption matters because change is about people – and change is hard for most individuals. Users naturally prefer to keep to the status quo or follow the path of least resistance. Due to human nature, change is the most challenging part of any technology transformation.
Moving to the cloud provides many advantages for adoption. Changes can be made without significant user disruption, major upgrades, or environment freeze periods. One of the most compelling arguments to move to the cloud today is it allows companies to empower employees to work outside of the office. If users have adopted the solution, companies increase the probability of remote work being more successful. Training is also easier, with built-in tutorials and guidance provided to a user while they are navigating the platform.
Leveraging Microsoft 365
With Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), it is vital to maximize user adoption to harness its full potential. How does one achieve this? Here are a few key ways to increase solution adoption with Microsoft 365:
Turn on Self-Service
Empowering users to make full use of the applications and tools included in Microsoft 365 can boost adoption. Self-service is Microsoft 365. It makes cloud-based collaboration the most flexible and efficient way for teams to create together. Give users a bit of freedom – allowing them to embrace the tools – along with guidance to ensure your tenant stays organized and secure.
Use All Available Tools
Determine and plan the best way to communicate the change during and after the solution goes live. Be creative in how you raise awareness. The multiple communication avenues available in Microsoft 365 – SharePoint, Teams, To Do, Stream, Outlook, Sway, and Yammer to name a few – allow for active and passive distribution channels of content and messaging throughout the lifecycle of any solution.
Further, if your organization is using Dynamics for external client communications and campaigns why not leverage that tool for internal campaigns and tracking? Leveraging Dynamics’ campaign insights can provide information on internal engagement just as effectively!
Set Guidelines on Tool Usage
Define how you expect your users to interact with Microsoft 365. This could be as simple as designating which tool to use for different tasks – e.g., Outlook for emails, Teams for chat, etc. Since the different applications in Microsoft 365 have overlapping functions, it is important to be clear how you want your users to interactive with each of them.
Consider setting guidelines for:
- Who can create Microsoft 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams
- Sharing files with external users
- Naming new groups and teams
- How each tool will be used as part of the communication plan
Monitor & Improve
Organizations often find that user adoption declines after the first few weeks of use. The novelty wears off, users become frustrated and typically fall back into old habits. To maintain high user adoption, you must monitor usage over a long period of time. This will allow you to build a clear picture of which users are following best practices and in which places.
Microsoft 365 provides numerous reporting tools out-of-the-box to measure engagement. More importantly, given the inherent nature of how cloud solutions are built, the out-of-the-box tracking mechanisms can be extended to your unique solution to see where resistance is building on a specific process or steps within a process. These tools allow the organization to knock down resistance before it takes hold.
© Microsoft 2019
The Final Piece
Humans are still a vital key to the success of any solution and thus all the security, automation, and analytics do not matter without adoption. Most individuals are prone to do things the way they have always done them or in ways that offer the least resistance. Change is one of the most challenging aspects of any initiative.
The cloud has built-in advantages over traditional approaches as we have highlighted. The small incremental changes that are evolutionary allow for change to happen without user disruption. The underlying principle of cloud-based solutions shields the platform and the user from “big bangs” of revolutionary change. Engage with Abel Solutions and pull the pieces together to maximize your investment in the cloud.
This month’s Insight was written by Abel Solutions’ Manager Corinda John.