Gartner on Adoption and Value of Office 365

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One of the reasons for deciding to write a second edition of my User Adoption Strategies book in 2012, rather than just ordering a reprint of the first edition from 2010, was to add a new chapter on Measuring Adoption (it definitely wasn’t to introduce the spelling mistake on the spine of the book, but … stuff happens). Spine spelling mistakes notwithstanding, one of the key messages in the new chapter was that adoption isn’t the goal: achieving better business value is. The chapter and the associated session in the workshop explore this idea, outlining various principles for measurement, plus strategies for measuring with business value in mind (see slide deck above).

Against this background, I was pleasantly surprised in January to read about a recent Gartner report, with the headline Office 365: Enterprise Usage Doesn’t Translate into Enterprise Value. While I’ve been saying that for years, it’s great to have the weight of a large technology research firm behind the assertion. Here’s the basic outline of what Gartner did:

– surveyed 160 IT professionals to ask about usage and value from Office 365 tools. It would have been good to have had a survey base of 1,000 respondents, but 160 will have to do.
– found that Office ProPlus and Exchange/Outlook are by far the highest used parts of Office 365.
– respondents were asked to allocate value points to different parts of Office 365, out of a total pool of 100 points. Office ProPlus and Exchange/Outlook received the lion’s share.
– on the value assessment, the third place (for SharePoint) had less than half of what Office ProPlus and Exchange/Outlook were awarded.


report at Gartner

Craig Roth, the author of the report at Gartner, offered this key line:

“There’s a baseline of value to switching to the cloud, especially if things were expensive to manage [on-premises]. But the real value comes when you start changing your work processes to take advantage [of Office 365] to its full extent.”

That’s a beautiful sound bite – and I wrote a whole book on what that could actually look like in Office 365 in mid-2016. Craig also said:

“Many enterprises simply aren’t set up to tap the value of Office 365’s other components, which are oriented toward ‘working in a collaborative, mobile and analytical fashion’. Or if they are ready and willing to work in such ways, they may not be able to. It’s often painful to transform the way of doing things. Even if you find individuals who would like to work that way, in teams, as a whole the company may not be ready to.”

“Companies have to find a new way of working. They have to work more in teams, not store documents on [local] hard drives, and work from anywhere. That’s when you start seeing the value of Office 365.”

If ever there was a strong lead into Silverside’s PACE methodology for transforming organisations into a collaborative business, this is a strong contender. Through PACE, we:
• help organisations uncover what it means to become a collaborative business, in practical terms. The new and updated scenarios that we have developed show the possibilities and how to make it actually happen.
• offer specific strategies and directions for changing work processes to take advantage of all (that’s appropriate) within Office 365. We’re glad to see that Gartner agrees with our work on Teams as a very important go-forward capability.
• provide guidance on handling resistance to change, because indeed, it’s about changing how the company works – not just an individual.

Is improving the value you derive from the possibilities in Office 365 of concern to you? Let’s talk.

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