Challenges and Opportunities
I’ve been in IT a very long time (without giving away my age, the IBM PC was still in development…!), and I feel privileged to have witnessed and been part of an industry that has grown and developed so quickly; an industry that has made a profound impact on our everyday lives, the way we work and the way we play.
In some respects, we’ve come a long way; but in others, we’re just starting to truly embrace what technology can do for us – for example, the benefits of Microsoft Office 365 and the support that comes with it.
According to a recent report by The Harvard Business Review, the amount of time spent working in a team has increased from 50% to 80% over the last two decades.
Communication and collaboration via phone calls, emails, team meetings, social media, broadcast media and marketing materials are essential tools and methods to connect ideas and get business done.
But here lies the problem…
Over the years, whilst these tools have increased in usage, they haven’t always been integrated with each other.
For example, how many times have you been stressed out by not being able to find the information you want? Then, when you do find it, ended up spending too much time making sure it’s the right version, attaching to an email and then remembering who needs a copy?
The inevitable next step in this process is that someone makes changes and then either keeps it to themselves or only shares it with part of the team!
Net result? Multiple people spending valuable time on the different versions of the same document. This is a productivity killer – not to mention that the incorrect version could be sent to a customer.
So, okay, you might be a very well organised team and be very well connected – but what if you don’t spend your working day at your desk in the office or at home? When you’re out visiting customers or travelling, valuable time is lost because you can’t engage in the collaboration effort until you get to your laptop/PC.
If, like me, you often have to send proposals to customers, but need the input of team members, frustration ensues when you can’t get access to the documents or the people you need – not only for you, but for your expectant customer, too.
So, what’s the solution?
This is the easy bit (with a trickier step later)…
Customers tend to fall in to two camps; those who have still not migrated to Microsoft 365 Online Services, and those that have but are only using Outlook, Word and Excel (and maybe a bit of One Drive).
A fully engaged, productive team needs to leverage all the core applications in Office 365. Outlook, SharePoint, Teams, One Drive are all included in even the most basic of subscriptions but unless whole teams use them, the benefit will not be gained.
Customers who have not yet started with their Office 365 subscriptions can work with a Microsoft Cloud Service Provider, such as Clovertec, to set up the accounts and subscriptions and migrate existing data to the cloud, and take advantage of the Office 365 support that we can also offer.
The stage that follows is the trickier one…
How do you encourage all users to start using these applications in a way that delivers the business benefits? You can read my blog on that topic here, but essentially, the workforce needs to clearly see the link between a modern workplace and their day-to-day work tasks and processes.
Once they can see how their own work life can be improved, they can embark on learning how to use the applications so they can become proficient; following this consistently will then lead to that way of working becoming the default.
There are many possibilities of how these tools can be used, and the key thing here is that customers work with Clovertec to create a robust future state and develop the strategy aligned to that vision.
The applications within Office 365 are the same for all customers, but the way that they apply to each team and business can vary depending on the dynamics of the business and how its teams work.
At a high level, the goal is to access the information or people you need, on any device in any location. It does not matter if you are on a laptop, on a smartphone or tablet, in the office, at home or an airport or customer site; you can do exactly the same thing regardless.
A modern workplace is anywhere, anytime, any device. And because these online services are running in Microsoft’s cloud, they are highly secure and scalable.
The next step
Clovertec have helped many businesses achieve significant outcomes by implementing Microsoft Office 365 and providing Office 365 support. Our approach is centred around our customers’ businesses, and we work with the key stakeholders to really understand their challenges and goals.
The initial step is to hold a consultation session to gain a foundational understanding of your business and the people within it. We can do this as a complementary workshop, followed by a deeper engagement to gather details of the current environment and to build a future state vision and migration plan.
We can also drive the adoption and change management program, build SharePoint sites and set up Teams structures and polices that align to how the team will operate.
All you need to do is get in touch by clicking the button below, and we’ll guide you to your modern workplace and the future business success!
The Clovertec Team