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Microsoft (Office) 365 Adoption: 7 Steps to Optimize it

optimize microsoft 365 adoption: steps for office 365 user adoption
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7 Steps to Optimize Your Microsoft 365 Adoption

You’ve decided to make the move to the renamed Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). Its phenomenal collaborative suite will transform the way you work, but only if the Microsoft 365 adoption is holistic. This is particularly true post-pandemic and with the cohesive integrations of the new Microsoft 365. The adoption has to be all-inclusive and integral – spanning the entire organization, translating business workflows, and harnessing all the newly introduced features and applications.

It is not merely a technical or data migration to Microsoft (Office) 365 but the launch of a new, all-encompassing technology that will change the way you work. During my 25+ years as a technologist, I have architected and managed more than a few migrations to Office 365 (with my share of burnt fingers along the way). Let me ease yours with practical, real-world pointers bundled into seven steps to optimize your  Microsoft (Office) 365 adoption.

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#1 Analyze the Current State

To right-size the migration strategy, you need to first do a recce of your current state. Analyze the data landscape, business workflows, and applications being currently used. All this data will enable you to make an informed decision about the type of migration, determine readiness, clean up data prior to the migration, and improve timeline planning.

Practical Pointers:

  • Map the challenges and gaps that employees are currently facing with solutions and features in Microsoft 365.
  • Focus on communication and collaboration scenarios and pain points, where Microsoft 365 can shine through.
  • Understand the type of usage (remote, hybrid, in-office), apps being used, and readiness of various departments to help plan the rollout and type of migration. Perhaps a hybrid Exchange rollout with OneDrive storage migration for only the Marketing department may work best.
  • Audit your current infrastructure and network capabilities to check if they can support the Microsoft 365 load.
  • Understand your data landscape and clean up your data before settling on expensive storage plans.
  • Check with the legal department about sensitive data and regulatory holds.

#2 Get Stakeholder Buy-In for the Microsoft (Office) 365 Migration

This step can’t be underestimated. A SharePoint End-User study by Microsoft highlighted how essential C-level engagement was to the success of the transformation project. Strong executive buy-in with a clear vision of the ROI expected from the adoption helps in a big way to tide over the employees’ natural tendency to resist change.