A recent post from my friend and colleague @Sharon Liu (link to post) offers some great advice about how to ask more effective questions that help you drive adoption. It’s well worth your time if you haven’t read it already. Today I’d like to tease out some key threads from Sharon’s post, and a few others in the Microsoft Tech Community, about how to position and message your company’s transition to Office 365.
First, your role as IT pro is changing in some very fundamental ways. Like a lot of IT pros out there, you will be more productive by developing a new set of critical, marketable skills as your industry moves to the cloud. These skills need to both help you articulate and deliver the value of Office 365, but also increase your value to your company and further your career. Embracing digital transformation is part of expanding IT pro roles, and offers you great opportunities to have a direct impact on business decision making and strategy development. At the same time, you’re engaging more directly with users to increase adoption.
Second, Digital Transformation is driving a shift toward users and their role in the Office 365 transition. There are advantages in growing your technical expertise with skills that can help you get people to use Office 365. The business value for your company comes from the end users’ adoption of the new capabilities, not from completing the deployment project. You might know how your company runs from an IT perspective, but you might not yet be as aware of how things work from a business perspective. That’s why, along with ensuring that security, compliance, and other critical requirements are being met, it’s just as important for you to identify scenarios, understand user needs, and learn the language of your users.
Taken together, these ideas present a perfect opening to shift your transition approach. Traditionally, the goal has been to make the transition to the cloud as seamless as possible. Employees would leave the office at the end of one day, and return the next morning to find the new service up and running. However, this approach is a bit anticlimactic and may even create anxiety rather than alleviating it. It is a golden opportunity missed where you could communicate value and capability to your end users!
Once you realize how important adoption and usage of Office 365 is to the success of your organization, and how it is becoming a common yardstick for IT success, it makes sense that the move to the cloud should be an event. The activities leading up to the transition to Office 365 should build excitement in your company culminating in a celebration of all the new things users can do. Transitioning more than one workload at a time is an opportunity to increase that celebration because Office 365 has been built to be better together – the more components you roll out, the better the end user experience and productivity gains. For example, collaboration for mobile users can involve OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, and Skype for Business. Not only can you use the momentum to make your ongoing adoption efforts more effective, but you benefit from economies of scale by combining workloads. It may be a little bit more work on you up front, but you’ll create a much bigger event and impact. And your users will love it.
With FastTrack, you can build a success plan that simplifies this process and takes into account every facet of the transition process. We’re constantly working to develop additional resources and improve the current ones so that you’re always getting the best possible guidance.