Office 365 is a suite of productivity applications that every small- and medium-sized business (SMB) needs to succeed. The AI tools that are integrated in apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel enable the programs to predict and make intuitive suggestions while you're working, making you more efficient, while teamwork tools let people work anywhere and collaborate with ease.
All of these and more make Microsoft Office 365 essential for business growth. However, one must take care when deploying 365-based solutions, so you can increase cost-efficiency while meeting organizational objectives. Here are some Office 365 deployment mistakes to avoid.
#1: Not taking advantage of Microsoft’s global network
Before the cloud, users had to connect directly to a single, central location where data was stored. In this setup, the network becomes slower as data requests increase (think slow ecommerce sites during the holiday season).
With Office 365, however, your data resides simultaneously in four locations. This decentralization increases network performance, but only when you optimize your connection to Microsoft’s network. According to the Office 365 Connectivity Guidance, your internal network must allow your users to connect to Microsoft’s global network as quickly as possible and let Microsoft deliver data where requested. Read more about the technical steps for optimizing connectivity.
#2: Incomplete integration with business processes
Why buy a solution such as Office 365 if the technology it contains is just left to gather virtual dust? To make the most out of Office apps, get an expert who’ll work with users to discover workflow inefficiencies and develop process improvements.
Note that enhancing business processes is just half of the integration process. Your workforce must adopt new ways of doing things. Better methods make work easier but getting staff to change their habits — like leveraging Office 365’s numerous functions — may prove challenging. Why? Blame it on human nature: It requires effort to learn new things, as well as courage to move out of comfort zones. Here are a few tips to solve this conundrum:
Involve the people who’ll actually use Office 365 in updating their methods. This way, the changes will be customized to their needs, they’ll know by heart why they’re making changes, and they’ll more readily support efforts in doing so.
Ease employees into switching to Office 365. Implementing a major overhaul suddenly will meet great resistance and cause workflow confusion, whereas doing it one app at a time makes it easier to work into current processes.
Create easy-to-understand training guides. Frustration in using a new system causes people to regress to their old ways. Therefore, having a reference that staff can use if they encounter issues when using Office 365 will help make things run smoothly for them.
#3 Not tending to existing data
Shifting to Office 365 entails migrating existing data from your old system to a new one. However, not every byte will need to be transferred — a content audit will determine which files are worth transferring and which ones are not. After paring down your data, archive your content in such a way that allows you to take full advantage of your new system. To illustrate, transferring users’ content to OneDrive will let them work on files that are synced to all of their respective devices. Moreover, tools such as Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Groups enable teams to collaborate on the same content via shared workspaces.
#4 Taking security for granted
While Microsoft claims to offer security for its 365 users, the latter have their fair share of responsibilities. Users must protect, back up, and set up disaster recovery systems to guarantee protection of critical files. Highly sensitive data such as medical information is heavily protected by regulations; and noncompliance can mean lawsuits and severe sanctions. For a vast majority of organizations, data security must play a big part in Office 365 deployment.
To avoid Office 365 deployment mistakes come to SimplyClouds to purchase individual Office 365 plans at discounted prices. We have the expertise you need to configure, deploy, and optimally utilize your subscription. Drop us a line today!