Skip to Content

Microsoft 365 adoption, from zero to hero

31 Aug 2023

The world of work is more distributed than ever – it’s no longer a cubicle, but an intersection of physical and virtual workplaces: a raft of complex technologies, integrations, workflows, and devices. So, how do you optimize your workplace to let your people thrive, collaborate, and deliver business results?

Despite the growing use of collaboration technologies, we see companies unable to reap business benefits. Companies often ignore the human side of the hybrid workplace. Your workplace is not just a collection of technology. It’s a culture and a way of life. It’s about creating the right balance between people, processes, and operations and technology and platforms to create an amazing people experience!

As a consultant, I see a widespread adoption of Microsoft 365 (M365). Organizations are now able to achieve new heights of productivity, collaboration, and creativity. But, how do you empower them to digitally transform their business? How do you create immersive experiences?

After rolling out M365 technologies and platforms, organizations are unable to get a full return on investment as people don’t adopt the technologies in their day-to-day work. Here are my observations on various adoption challenges and my tips to improve M365 adoption and value from an organizational perspective.

Some of the most common M365 adoption challenges are:

  • Organizational reluctance to rationalize existing point solutions in lieu of the rich M365 feature-sets around productivity and collaboration (legacy file storage and sharing solutions, intranet and internal communication platforms, etc.)
  • Frequent vendor-initiated enhancements and feature additions in M365 demanding organizations to constantly evolve their expertise to support and use the environment.
  • Conflict between centralized IT controls and governance that organizations have established at enterprise level for security and compliance (data sharing, user provisioning, application access, data protection, etc.) with M365’s self-service architecture, which provides higher autonomy for users
  • A lack of proper understanding of M365’s licensing model, which has evolved over time resulting in multiple bundling options for enterprises. A lack of proper understanding of the licensing model affects an organization’s ability to maximize value for the money spent.

Organizations can undertake several measures to unlock the full potential of the M365 platform, enhance productivity, and streamline workflows for sustained success.  

Establish an M365 competency center: Organizations can organize their M365 adoption efforts, tap into knowledge, and offer people customized assistance by setting up a competency center. By removing obstacles, boosting user confidence, and encouraging effective use of M365’s capabilities and services, this targeted strategy eventually encourages wider adoption throughout the organization.

Implement usage analysis: Collecting and analyzing M365 usage trends (for example, through M365 admin center, Microsoft Graph API, M365 usage analytics, Adoption Score, or third-party analytics solutions) can provide valuable insights into areas where adoption is low or specific features are underutilized. This can help target training and education efforts to address these gaps and promote better utilization of M365 services.

Optimize licenses: M365 offers a variety of subscription plans and licensing choices. Following implementation, organizations can assess their license distributions and tweak them to better meet user needs. In order to do this, licenses that aren’t in use must be found and transferred to people who require more features or services. Licensing optimization ensures the effective use of licenses across the organization and assists in cost management

Improve security and compliance: Following implementation, it is crucial to carry out an extensive security and compliance assessment. Organizations should check their M365 security preferences, access restrictions, and compliance options. This evaluation aids in identifying any holes or vulnerabilities that must be closed in order to uphold a strong security posture and comply with legal obligations.

Strong governance and policies: For efficient management and control, M365-specific governance and policies must be established. This includes creating access controls, data retention policies, data loss prevention techniques, and information sharing guidelines.

Integration with other systems: M365 commonly interacts with other software and systems in a business setting. Organizations should evaluate the effectiveness of these connections after implementation to identify any gaps or potential improvement areas. Increasing productivity, reducing processes, and improving data flow are all advantages of optimizing integrations.

Establish hybrid controls: To address the conflict between centralized IT controls and M365’s self-service architecture, organizations can adopt a hybrid approach that combines self-service capabilities with centralized control and governance. This involves establishing clear policies, guidelines, and workflows that strike a balance between user empowerment and centralized oversight.

Change management: Microsoft releases updates and feature enhancements on a regular basis to address customer needs, improve security, and enhance people experiences. While these updates can bring numerous benefits, they also require organizations to stay proactive in terms of change management, communication, and training to ensure smooth adoption and minimize disruptions.

Persona-driven approach: A diverse workforce with varied technology aptitude and expectations calls for a persona-driven approach. By leveraging digital experience monitoring (DEM)tools for collecting valuable insights into user preferences, organizations can tailor services and content to meet the specific needs of each persona, leading to higher user satisfaction and engagement.

In summary:

By utilizing post-implementation rationalization opportunities, organizations can maximize user engagement, optimize licensing, increase security and compliance, enhance performance, streamline interconnections, and provide ongoing training and support. By iterative execution, organizations are able to maximize their Microsoft 365 investments and ensure that it will continue to fulfill their changing business needs.

At Capgemini, we offer a wide choice of services designed to drive end-user experience. We make the transition to M365 quick and easy for you. We can assist you in conducting a full review of the current M365 ecosystem and in providing the guidance and know-how needed to maximize your company’s corporate adoption of M365 and stimulate creativity throughout your business.

Our living labs bring the solution to life with immersive experiences. Our innovation framework is designed to enable collaboration and rapid prototyping to bring ideas to life that create an amazing people experience!

We helped one of the leading banks build a collaborative workplace with a transition to Microsoft 365 targeting 100,000 users. We developed personas, mapping critical journeys and identifying the personal needs of individuals. And we brought in the team to build a gamification program that helped in driving up enthusiasm and encouraging usage. The bank achieved an adoption rate of 70-80%, with widespread adoption of Exchange Online, OneDrive, Microsoft Applications for Enterprise, SharePoint Online, and mobile tools across their offices worldwide.

Are you ready to drive Microsoft 365 adoption?

Talk to us.

Renjith Sreekumar

Global Portfolio Leader, Cloud Platform Engineering and SRE Services