How to Drive Office 365 Adoption in Your Organization | 7 Tips

Microsoft Office 2010 will reach the end of its lifecycle in October of 2020. That means Microsoft technical support for bugs and security vulnerabilities will end. Users have the option of upgrading to Office 2019 or moving online to Office 365. For a variety of compelling reasons, most organizations will make the leap to the enterprise cloud and migrate to Office 365.

Managing Change Through a Reality Check

Most people just don’t want to use new technology because that technology represents change. New technology also requires user behavioral changes such as switching how files are saved from the desktop to the cloud which is default for new office productivity tools. The adage “If it isn’t broken, why fix it?” is a big obstacle to change, even if the change is worthwhile.

The reality is that successful adoption of any new technology like Microsoft Office 365, opens new avenues and opportunities for collaboration and productivity. The changes can seem threatening and be jarring to users. Leaders can address this natural resistance to change with a tactful yet firm assertion that Microsoft 365 is part of the organization’s future. Timetables and training will follow, but the journey and training for full adoption has begun.

While employee training is critical, the best results are realized when training is part of a long-term strategy of not getting to Office 365, but of adopting Office 365 and getting the absolute most from the investment.

Tips for Easing the Journey to Office 365 Adoption

If your organization is planning for the big move to the cloud and is somewhere along the checklist of deploying Office 365, there are positive steps its leaders can take to ensure smooth Office 365 adoption.

7 tips to help drive Office 365 adoption within your organization:

Tip 1: Encourage Leadership Buy-in From the Outset

This is a key factor in managing change. Organizations whose leaders support the change and communicate the value and benefit of Office 365 are more likely to be successful with their rollout and adoption.

Tip 2: Drive Awareness and Interest

Part of effective change management is letting everyone know “what’s in it for me.” Awareness involves letting everyone know the milestones involved in rolling over to Office 365, keeping them apprised of the progress, and keeping Office 365 front and center in the company culture.

Tip 3: Find and Leverage User Analytic Data.

Target training to users who may be slow to adopt the new technology. This should be an on-going and sustained process. Look for workflows in the organization that rely on silos of data and do not mesh well with the organization’s business intelligence needs. The goal is to discover users and processes that Microsoft Office 365 can connect and streamline.

Tip 4: Define the Desired Behavioral Changes.

Articulate and decide as an organization the behaviors you want to encourage in your employees. With a fundamental change in the technology they have come to depend on for their daily work, you may have to spell out the activities you want people to start doing, stop doing, and continue doing.

Tip 5: Monitor and Drive Usage

It is easier to adopt new technology when you have fully transitioned from your organization’s old systems. Keeping an eye on each user’s usage can be a good way to determine if Office 365 is being adopted. Microsoft collects statistics on each user and what parts of their Office 365 licenses are being used. Several 3rd party tools, like Cayosoft, can be used to analyze user usage data and then drive training campaigns to help users adopt Office 365 more quickly.

Tip 6: Elicit and Capture Feedback

The wartime adage applies here: Those who plan the battle, don’t battle the plan. Set up channels such as dedicated email addresses, a dedicated Office 365 implementation team, and/or a Yammer group to get real-time feedback from staff and champions. Tweak your adoption plan based on their feedback.

Tip 7: Provide Effective Support

Avoiding buyer’s remorse requires being mindful of how your Office 365 support is deployed, managed, and executed across the organization. Cayosoft Administrator helps you drive Microsoft Office 365 adoption from Office 365 license optimization to robust user and access management.

Your Takeaway

Office 365 adoption is not a destination. It is a journey that requires continuous end-user training and organizational support. Your goal is to ease into a Microsoft infrastructure and Cayosoft can help you do that with industry leading tools.

Want to learn more? Contact Cayosoft and one of our customer success associates will get right back to you.

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