Migrating to Office 365: Human-Driven Evolution
By Véronique Morin
When organizations decide to go beyond migrating emails or simply updating Office to get the most out of Office 365, they must be open to seeing their migration project differently. With mobility, integrated tools and opportunities for collaboration, they need to review how their IT teams work, and to revamp and rethink certain longstanding processes. More than ever, people are at the core of this (r)evolution.
Every IT system update has its share of technical complexity and requires bringing users up to speed. Microsoft Office 365, however, shatters received paradigms about migration projects. The technical aspect of this migration is not the challenge. Rather, it is the evolution this migration sparks within your company. When organizations decide to go beyond migrating emails or simply updating Office to get the most out of Office 365, they must be open to seeing their migration project differently. With mobility, integrated tools and opportunities for collaboration, they need to review how their IT teams work, and to revamp and rethink certain longstanding processes. More than ever, people are at the core of this (r)evolution.
According to Pier-Luc Rodrigue, IT Stategist, the challenge resides less in the technical aspect of migration than in the IT team's transformation. It's no longer a question of managing migration every seven years and providing support. Going forward, effectively managing the impacts that regular updates might have on users and on the organization will require constant vigilance.
An analysis of Office 365 quickly reveals that, rather than a simple update, we're talking about an entire new ecosystem now available to companies both big and small. If you want to get the most out of integrating tools, one question immediately comes to mind: "How do we position ourselves in the context of this migration?" Too often, organizations migrate to Office 365 the same way they did for earlier versions. By tackling this transition as a strategic organizational transformation, they can get a jump on the digital shift, increase their productivity index and boost employee engagement. Exploiting all the facets of Office 365-collaboration, mobility, and individual and team autonomy-demands challenging the "we've always done it this way" approach and being able to step back as necessary to develop a strategic vision rather than simply executing an implementation plan. Let's be clear: we're talking about a profound culture shift that will affect the organization, teams, and individuals.
In this spirit of transformation, increasing the points of contact with users involves collaborating with your tech ambassadors, influencers, and change agents. Tossing out a training video the day after deployment is no longer enough. Now, you'll need to generate buy-in for new tools by changing your communications and coaching approaches. You need to prepare an ongoing change management plan that will enable users to transform their work habits and become more self-directed when it comes to regular tools updates. We're talking about a new type of change management that is both more intuitive and more agile.
To meet the needs of the market that constantly asks us to do more with less, planning an Office 365 migration means questioning certain processes. The new generation of employees also expects to have access to tools that allows them to be more mobile and to collaborate efficiently. So, the pressure is both internal and external. Quite a challenge, but is it worth it? Companies that approach their Office 365 migration from a human angle automatically gain an edge on the competition. Might as well start now.
In a rapidly changing world, even those things people take for granted are changing. So, the next big change like this might be on the horizon sooner than you think. With Office 365, Microsoft gives you the tools we need to go farther, change, and improve, but you also must be ready and, most importantly, supported in this evolution, this revolution.
Food for Thought
Before considering a migration of your existing systems to the newest version of Office, you need to think about two important things:
Why do you want to migrate to Office 365?
While it might be the logical next step in your systems update if you are already operating in a Microsoft environment, you need to ask yourself why you want to undertake this migration. While still keeping in mind that support for the version you're currently using might be withdrawn, it's important to recognize that Office 365 is much more than a simple update. Have you really taken the time to understand the scope of possibilities it offers? Do you recognize the magnitude of the changes this migration represents? New tools mean fresh opportunities!
What are your current needs?
Although day-to-day management can often become all-consuming, it's smart to take the time to stop and carefully identify your needs before a critical step like an IT systems update. Among other things, this will allow you to choose the plan best-suited to your organization. Microsoft's range of licensing options for Office 365 provides flexibility. Like with any change within your company, getting the most out of it depends on you.