Before we explore this topic and Microsoft 365 subscriptions in more detail, let’s start with looking at how business value is recognised.
We’re all familiar with terms such as productivity, agility, scalability and efficiency etc. Whilst each of these terms can be associated with key performance indicators, the only two real measurements of business success are revenue and cost. Is your revenue growing at a higher rate than your costs? Do you need to increase your cost base in order to accelerate future revenue? Fairly basic you’re probably thinking, but sometimes these fundamental KPIs are often overlooked in favour of some other, softer measure.
Over the years, I’ve disciplined myself to consider the two-basic metrics of revenue and cost. Whenever I’m speaking to a customer about a requirement or consulting with them more generally, I try to make the link between their business challenge, the goals, the existing technology used and how this is impacting revenue and cost. Any proposed solution must be able to make a positive change to either or both, otherwise it’s merely a technology looking for a problem to solve.
So, what’s this got to do with your Microsoft 365 subscription? The first key thing to point out is that Office is not just for email, Word, PowerPoint and Excel! These are the familiar building blocks of applications that enable you to communicate, produce documents and spreadsheets – and they do a great job. What we need to consider here is the human element. How do you connect people, process and data? Why is it important to do this? How do we achieve this in a way that becomes easy, natural and engaging? And, how do we ensure that only the right people have the correct level of access to relevant data?
In answer to the question, “why is it important?” we must look at some of the key factors that CEOs worry about. How do I remain competitive? How do I achieve profitable growth? How do I reduce costs without starving the business of investment? If we accept that we are living and working in a data driven world, then making sure that we can effectively share and act on this data must be a critical success factor. Businesses have many processes that are there to connect many people with specific roles with the goal of selling or serving a customer. Whether that customer is B to C, B to B or B or even internal, making these processes as efficient, meaningful and compliant as possible will influence the business outcomes.
Once people in the business have made the link between an application and its impact, the next step is to drive the adoption to the rest of the organisation. Too often, I’ve worked with customers who have pools or closed groups of users who have adopted an application. The full benefit of this technology has therefore not been realised.
Let’s look at an example of Microsoft Teams. According to a report by Forrester, (A Forrester Total Economic Impact™ Study Commissioned by Microsoft April 2019 Total-Economic-Impact-Microsoft-Teams), a study was undertaken to measure the impact online meetings would have on travel reduction over a 3–year period. They showed that using Teams had prevented 150 overnight stays, resulting in a total saving of $233,080 (not to mention the carbon footprint reduction!).
However, first you must make sure that everyone in the company that uses a Microsoft 365 subscription is using the applications and doing so in the most effective way. The desired outcome is that employees use apps like Teams as default. That it comes as second nature. For them to think, “how did I ever do my job properly before!” Of course, training is essential so that they achieve a good understanding. The crucial part though is to drive full adoption. By applying the ADKAR methodology, (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement) you ensure that you change the way your employees work and, in most cases, change the culture of the organisation.
The final question concerns the correct access to the right data. Improved sharing and collaboration are a sure-fire way to improve productivity, (i.e. reduce costs). A confidential report meant for directors should stay within a closed collaboration group. All HR staff should also be a restricted group, etc. Using the inbuilt security policy features within Microsoft 365 allows businesses to manage the rules on data and application access.
There are in excess of 20 separate applications with a Microsoft 365 subscription, and each has the potential to unlock real business outcomes. The key to unlock the potential is mapping the right app, with the relevant business process to the right people and to ensure strong adoption.
Speak to Clovertec to see how we can help you realise your business goals.