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Four Success Factors for Driving Microsoft 365 Adoption

This blog series is written by Cyril Belikoff, Senior Director of Office Marketing

 

Welcome to our blog series about the four success factors for driving Microsoft 365 adoption. In this series I will share insights from our most successful customers, Microsoft and 3rd party research, and proven best practices, about how to be successful with Microsoft 365.

 

There’s little question we have entered a digital first world. One where organizations have an opportunity to embark on a digital transformation to optimize operations, transform products, engage customers, and empower employees.

 

In this era of digital transformation, IT professionals have an opportunity to help lead their organizations through one of the biggest changes of our time. If embraced, IT professionals are in a unique position to use their knowledge and expertise gained from implementing multiple technology solutions to now help drive the digital strategy of their organization.

 

While it’s true implementing technology is not new territory for IT professionals, what has changed is the increased pressure to ensure these technology projects are successful, delivering on the outcomes their business stakeholders care about most.

 

It is the move to the cloud that is freeing up IT professional’s capacity to be able to take on more of this business enablement role. Now IT professionals can focus on delivering business impact and helping their organization take advantage of the digital transformation opportunity, rather than being consumed by the management of on-premise servers.  

 

You will encounter resistance on this journey, it’s only natural for people to be hesitant about change. The CIO Executive Board has found in their research that only 34% of end users are willing to use new technology that has been rolled out by their organization. People will often resist technology driven change out of fear of the unknown or not understanding why the change is being made and how it will help them.

 

Microsoft 365 can help employees in your organization do their best work. But, to realize this impact for your organization it’s important to go beyond the technical onboarding and help your end users adopt Microsoft 365. The question I often get from IT is ‘How?’.

 

From the 40,000+ customers we’ve helped move to the Microsoft cloud with our customer success service FastTrack, we’ve learned this resistance can be overcome with a focus on four success factors: Stakeholders, Scenarios, Awareness, and Training. 

 

These factors may look familiar or seem straightforward. They are. If you’re familiar with any change management theory, there should be no surprises here. Where we have seen some customers not fully realize their goals is when they do not properly invest in these areas or they decide to skip one or more of the success factors.

 

By investing in all four areas you will help your end users adopt Microsoft 365 and your organization realize the value of Microsoft 365:

 

  • Stakeholders: Gain the buy-in and involvement of business stakeholders who can effect change in your organization
  • Scenarios: Identify and prioritize scenarios for using Microsoft 365 that help achieve the goals of your business stakeholders
  • Awareness: Excite your end users about Microsoft 365
  • Training: Help your end users get the most out of Microsoft 365

 

I’ll be going into depth on each of these success factors in this blog series. First up will be Stakeholders, outlining the importance of executive sponsors and champions, and their role in the change.

 

In the meantime, check out our Microsoft 365 End User Adoption Guide to get started in building your plan for success, and Part 2 Part 3 and Part 4 in this adoption blog series.

8 Comments
Trusted Contributor

Thanks for this series, I'll look forward to the next part.  I like this simplified approach, it really helps focus on what matters the most!

 

This seems like a refinement or overhaul of the Office 365 adoption guide, would that be right? Thanks.

Senior Member

I have just started training our end users on 0365 products at the organisation I work in so this is most welcome!

Microsoft

Hi Cian - I'm glad to hear you found the post helpful. 

 

In terms of your question, the four success factors for driving Microsoft 365 adoption covered in the blog are what we recommend customers focus on in building and executing their adoption plan (the "what"), the adoption guide outline how to implement the success factors as part of your adoption efforts. Hope that clarifies. 

Microsoft

Looking forward to deeper dives into the four pillars in your next posts.

 

I.

New Contributor

Why would any CIO want to go through this? We deploy IT solutions that employees instantly love and want and see value from- not ones where we need to sell,"drive adoption" and train on. That's your job. Make better products that are simple &  intuitive - not those that require IT organizations to have a center of excellence to sell,  deploy and support.

Trusted Contributor

Hey @Vishal Seth, that's great but it depends on the organization, how ready they are for change and their velocity. If their entrenched in key technologies, have a particular way of working or just plain have other priorities, the introduction of new technology can be far from simple and can have its risks if not done right. Planning a strategy for this can pay dividends and smooth the introduction, removing barriers and enabling new ways of working.  This may be self-evident sometimes but usually, it takes a bit of work!

Microsoft

Hi @Vishal Seth - I can understand how it may seem like a burden to have to invest in helping end users adopt new technology. I think @Cian Allner makes some good points about what can typically cause end users to be resistant to new technology. 

 

It’s natural for people to be resistant to change, whether it’s related to fear of the unknown or not understanding why a change is being made, both of which can hinder adoption of a new process or technology. Take for example enterprise social and Yammer (https://products.office.com/yammer), it can change how information gets shared throughout an organization – transforming cultures from one where people work in silos to a new culture that promotes cross team collaboration. This can be a big change that requires helping and encouraging people to share information more proactively.

 

We continue to make investments to help organizations and end users through this change. A good example is the help feature in Office where end users can search for help on how to complete a task within Office and be taken to the feature to complete the task. I’d recommend checking out the Microsoft 365 Productivity Library (http://aka.ms/productivitylibrary) to discover new use cases to help make your work-life easier. Also, we have a number of training resources including the Office Training Center (http://office.com/training) and Windows 10 Quick Start Guides (https://aka.ms/win10quickstartguides).

Occasional Visitor

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       although yet no using  to Cyril Belikoff, concern about your blog series about the four success factors for driving Microsoft 365 adoptio  about as to Four Success Factors:

 

  • Stakeholders: Gain the buy-in and involvement of business stakeholders who can effect change in your organization
  • Scenarios: Identify and prioritize scenarios for using Microsoft 365 that help achieve the goals of your business stakeholders
  • Awareness: Excite your end users about Microsoft 365
  • Training: Help your end users get the most out of Microsoft 365 but expected to  help each employees in your organization do their best work & easily to IT professional’s capacity to be able to take on more of this business enablement role. Now IT professionals can focus on delivering business impact and helping their organization take advantage of the digital transformation opportunity, rather than being consumed by the management of on-premise servers.  Thanking for your blog written .