Top Office 365 Adoption Challenges


Hi - curious to know what are the top adoption challenges people are facing when rolling out Office 365 in their organization? 

9 Replies
It depends on what you want to roll out. Mail,SharePoint,Yammer,Teams etc

Main challenge in my opinion is (when you are rolling out E5) to target the right adoption tactics to the right people. What I mean is that not all the tools in the O365 toolset will bring value to all employees so you have to be relevant to the users' agenda, painpoints, needs, etc.

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Finding that people on the Very Uncomfortable side of the comfortable-with-technology spectrum are bewildered by all the choices and go back to Outlook on their desktop, so we are making Yammer a priority first to aid communication - so later we can explain 'what these things on the Waffle do, what we want you to use them for, and this is how to use them'.


The other issue is the people on the other side of the spectrum have run off confidently into the wilderness and started using things we aren't quite ready for them to play with yet! Hopefully we can concertina that spectrum a little bit with some applied learning so there is less of a gap.

Very relevant point from Antony which I second - there are tech savvy users who are running ahead of the IT department in some areas and will put up some very relevan and challenging questions :)

There are so many options to use. It´s important to show when use which. But then all of them are changing almost all the time, so the end-user guidance becomes relevant. And middle of this so many users think it´s easier and safer to stick with outlook and shared disk-drives...

Stability; Outlook and Word keep crashing.

We have had issue co-authoring documents in both OneDrive and Team Sites.



The biggest challenges we have are the lack of having administration features for the new products rolling out to Office365. It's great when new features are announced, but you aren't doing my users any favors when it just suddenly appears in the browser for them. Let me have the controls to roll it out in an organized manner to my users so that they can be properly prepared and trained.


Also my users (many non-techies) haven't a clue what to use. There's just too many tools that do slightly different things. It isn't obvious to them what to use, Group, Team, Site, Planner, etc. Many just give up and rely on the ol' stand-bys of e-mail and network shares.

My biggest challenge has been getting people to understand the "why" of adoption.

"Attaching files works great! Beside, why would I ever want people to access 'my documents'?"
"Why would do I need to see where everybody is in this Skype thing?"
"I don't see why we need to get rid of the S:\. It was never an issue before."

Communication has been critical in adoption and I'm trying to leverage the millennial workforce to help drive the change because of the long tenure in the organization. This had been a great place to the younger workforce to lead by example.

Someone already commented on this, but it does really depend on what services you are rolling out, Exchange would present completely different challenges to Yammer for example.


Speaking from a SharePoint (and to a lesser extent OneDrive, Yammer), there are probably at least two major challenges.


1. The evergreen nature of O365 causes challenges around comms, adoption and sometime user sentiment as features are constantly evolving, deprecated or being added to the service.  As an example I noticed last week that the SharePoint/Delve profile page had changed (only slightly) from a horizontal tab construct to a vertical one.  This is a small change, but unless I missed the comms it was not advertised and the change went through with no comms from any of the clients I am working with.  This caused a number of helpdesk tickets to be raised and some negative comments to be raised in the newsfeed etc.


2. One of the areas I have been particularly sensitive to is identifying new features in the roadmap and ensuring that unless there is absolutely no other option these features are not replicated by custom solutions both from a cost, but also maintainability perspective.  Managing the comms or stakeholder discussion around why a feature that may be desired should be put on hold for an unknown period of time because MS will release a similar feature in the future can be tricky.


There are a number of other challenges including governance, security, training especially around document lifecycles which can be challenging.