The Future is Digital.
If you subscribe to Microsoft’s perspective, every company, irrespective of industry, is, or will soon be, thinking and operating like a digital company.
Why? The high-level answers are similar, and the granular ones vary by organization. At the core, businesses are looking to Digital Transformation to increase efficiency, agility, collaboration, innovation, and security … resulting in a competitive advantage.
It’s a Living Process
Unfortunately, Digital Transformation is not a project. It is also more than email and document storage “moved to the cloud.” It is an ongoing and living process that shifts throughout the journey. An organization cannot simply deploy software and expect the magic to happen. As a matter of fact, most organizations have failed in their Digital Transformation attempts.
An Office 365 ‘Center of Excellence’ Approach Increases Adoption
While there is no magic wand, through our experience in consulting and gaining knowledge about what works, we have uncovered methodologies that drastically increase the odds of user adoption, which is the glue that holds Digital Transformation efforts together. We have developed what we refer to as a ‘Center of Excellence’ service for Office 365 and related technologies. It’s simply a term to describe an ongoing process of defined activities, communications, templates, training, and effort focused on end users.
Many organizations have invested in Office 365 and related technologies and have the capability to execute on Digital Transformation. The difficulty is that Digital Transformation is 100% based on people and their ability and willingness to change how they operate. It’s why 90% of our activities are targeted at the end user, helping them improve their ability to collaborate and communicate, empowering them to do their jobs better and more efficiently.
This Center of Excellence service is made up pillars, or service areas. They are meant to be circular and connected. We start with Vision, Strategy, Governance, Architecture/Design, and then tactically provide Training, Administration, Configuration, Development, and Support. Each service has elements to complete up front to ensure the process runs smoothly. For example, you cannot design a Strategy without understanding the organization’s Vision and the Governance plan to manage the process to get there. There are clear interdependencies in the process, which is why the sum is greater than the parts when all the pillars work together, helping our customers optimize their operations.
There are also some guiding principles to a Center of Excellence approach:
- Cross-Pollination by Design – Create and enforce specific scheduled activities that will require collaboration and communication internally and with the customer.
- Create Trust – Solve problems and build credibility by providing the best possible service is a requirement for user adoption. If people do not believe you can help them, they will turn elsewhere.
- It’s About the Business – This is not an IT exercise. The technology is the tool that enables Digital Transformation by solving problems, removing roadblocks, and allowing progress and innovation to occur as new needs arise. It’s NOT a solution looking for a problem.
- It’s a Process – You don’t “install” Digital Transformation, you build it.
- Embrace Change – The platform, business needs, users, and tools are shifting at an incredible pace. Stay on top of those changes and continue to refine the “playbook”.
The process is working. If you have been struggling to gain traction with your business users and only feel as if you’re scratching the surface, a Center of Excellence solution or some of its aspects might be an option for you to consider. Contact us if you’d like to learn more.
As a forward-thinking leader, the starting point is for you to see the vision of what these modern tools and applications can do for your organization and getting stakeholders to and want to get there. Those are two very distinct elements. We talk with a lot of organizations, and they generally fall into two camps. One sees the value, knows why it’s important, but also realizes they have struggled with their current knowledge and resources to get there. The other doesn’t see the value. The latter makes for more difficult conversations and is outside the scope of this post, but look for the “Need and Value for Digital Transformation” in future post.