5 Things Businesses Must Consider Before Deploying Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 has become ubiquitous and therefore essential for most businesses for use every day as their office applications such as word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation to name a few.

But Microsoft 365 is more than just an office applications suite, it will form the heart of your organisation’s Intranet. 

It provides a straightforward way for organisations to migrate their whole operations to the cloud. However, before moving your organisation to Microsoft 365, you must consider these five things to ensure that the move is successful and strategic.  

The five things a business must consider before deploying Microsoft 365 are: 1) User adoption , 2) Business project (see the migration as a business project and not an IT project), 3)information systems strategy, 4) strategy alignment, and 5) the right expertise.

User adoption or the lack thereof remains one of the burning issues in information systems implementation, even today.  Questions of how to eliminate the barriers to the adoption of Microsoft 365 by users in your organisation would be no different, so recognising this and addressing it as part of your migration project planning is an imperative to the success or failure of your migration project. 

Recognising that migrating to Microsoft 365 could affect your organisation’s culture and knowing that organisational culture is a powerful restraint on change, especially technological change, should help you put measures in place to mitigate against any resistance-to-change cultural inertia.

User adoption is the process of ensuring that your users will embrace Microsoft 365 and use it in the way Microsoft intended it to be used and therefore getting the best out of it.  A user adoption strategy would therefore help your company make the most of the Microsoft 365 experience and help increase performance, productivity, and employee satisfaction, giving you a happy workforce.

One mistake that some companies make is to treat their migration to Microsoft 365 as an IT project left to the IT Department to sort out.  That is a mistake many come to regret as they realise that it is more than that.  You must see the migration to Microsoft 365 as a business project and not an IT project.

Treating the migration to Microsoft 365 as a business project would ensure that the interaction between information technology and the organisations operations, which is complex, can be fully taken into consideration in planning the project implementation. It would ensure that business challenges such as support for day-to-day operations, decision making, and even opportunity to enter new markets. 

Such projects should be implemented in a way that provides competitive advantage for the organisation according to Porter using his competitive forces model.  We discuss how in the next two things to consider, the right information strategy and aligning that to your organisation’s business strategy.

Migrating to Microsoft 365 will be a major event in the life of many businesses and therefore having the right information systems strategy before that event takes place is crucial.  Without the right information strategy, undertaking a Microsoft 365 migration would be like flying blind into a storm with no navigational equipment. 

In Porter’s competitive forces model alluded to in the previous section, the strategic position of your organisation and its strategies are defined by the competition as well as by four other forces in your industry’s environment and include: suppliers, customers, substitute products and services, any new market entrants.

Therefore, the right information systems strategy underpinned by Microsoft 365 should help you deal with these competitive forces.  It should enable answer the questions: what are we to do when faced with these forces? And how can we use our new information system to respond to some of these forces?  In addition, how your information systems strategy aligns with your wider business strategies matters too, and that’s what we examine in the next section.

As we have argued so far, Microsoft 365 if implement properly should give a competitive advantage as outlined by Porter’s competitive forces model.  

That competitive advantage can only be achieved if there is an alignment between your information systems strategy and the rest of your business strategies, which was why we argued from the beginning that your Microsoft 365 migration project should be treated as a full business project and not seen as simply another IT project. 

This chimes with recent findings of a survey of business executives and IT professionals as to why they think that aligning your information systems strategy with business goals is critical for success.  The general consensus is that the right use of information technology would help businesses remain competitive. 

More importantly, that aligning information systems and business goals helps focus everyone in the organisation on its business objectives, towards a common goal.  Another major benefit of the strategy alignment that we have advocated in this article is that it would help maximise value from limited resources for long term success.

Finally, you need to get the right expertise and team in place for Microsoft 365 project.  Businesses must resist the temptation to compromise on quality for such a crucial transition in their organizational life.

Some do this by starting with an inexperienced in-house team only to discover that Microsoft 365 has been installed but nobody is using it many months after its installation.  

There has been tales of organisations having had a quick installation of Microsoft 365 by the IT Department but carried on using their old systems as if nothing has happened.

Getting Microsoft 365 implement right is more than mere installation, it includes thinking about user adoption, seeing it as a strategic business project that it is, and treating as such.

It also includes developing the right information systems strategy to prepare your organisation to take advantage of ability to deal with competition and competitive forces that Porter outlined in his now famous model. 

That would ensure that your information system strategy is aligned with your business strategies for competitive advantage.  Above all, ensuring that you have the right expertise in place to drive the implementation.

How Agile SharePoint Can Help ?

AgileSharePoint is an M365 solutions agency specialising in SharePoint development, Microsoft Viva, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft 365 migration, providing you with the tools to help your workforce strike an effective balance work between, life and play. 

We are a trusted Microsoft partner; we help organisations increase their productivity through effective use of the best technology.

By focusing on strategy, development, process, and enablement, we partner with medium-sized to enterprise organisations to transform their businesses for the good through the proper implementation of information systems.

If your business is looking to migrate to Microsoft 365, why not get in touch with an AgileSharePoint expert today to discover how AgileSharePoint can help!

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