As organizations invest heavily into their enterprise collaboration systems and up their tech intensity, they no doubt want to make sure that their end users are utilizing central IT SaaS investments. Increasing user adoption is a major focus, especially since resources are being put into migrating from legacy systems to cloud solutions like Microsoft Office 365. However, as Uncle Ben from Spider-Man once said, “With greater usage, comes great responsibility.” That’s how it went, right?

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How to Increase Usage

Over the last couple of years, there has been consistent messaging in the industry about how organizations need to focus on driving sustainable adoption of Office 365–Microsoft Teams in particular. Considering it’s the fastest-growing business app in Microsoft’s history, it makes a lot of sense why organizations are scrambling to do so.

In a report by Gartner titled, “Maximizing the Value of Office 365 By Making It Part of a Digital Dexterity Program,” they highlighted three key findings that organizations must be aware of when it comes to driving sustainable adoption:

  1. Organizations typically take a lift and shift approach to using productivity platforms like Microsoft Teams which results in there being little value delivered to end users.
  2. Many Organizations are ill-prepared to deliver continuous change provided by productivity platforms.
  3. There’s a lack of digital dexterity investment. (Digital dexterity is the idea of how you make technology–especially Office 365–part of the norm for your employees.)

Organizations must specify rules of engagement, facilitate leadership buy-in and engagement, and ensure quick wins to get their end users onboarded as soon as possible! Luckily, we have a TON of resources on how your organization can continue to drive that adoption forward in as little as 90 days.

Issues with Increased Usage

As great as adoption is for businesses, there are quite a few drawbacks as well. With information, data, and groups constantly being created and shared across multiple platforms, managing sprawl and redundancy must be top of mind for IT teams.

When it comes to Office 365 Groups, the three components that organizations need to be mindful of are provisioning, management, and lifecycle. Let’s dive into these a bit more and identify which potential issues.

Provisioning

When it comes to provisioning, organizations need to identify who is allowed to create Office 365 Groups. Natively it’s an on-off switch across the entire tenant, so either all of the users can have it or none of the users can.

If you want to encourage usage and have end users feeling like they have the freedom to create the Groups they need to collaborate, you’ll want to figure out how Group creation can be accessible for end users and simultaneously controllable by IT admins.

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Management

Once the Groups have been created, how can IT make sure that the proper users are being added and have the right permissions? This includes sharing content and information internally AND externally (if need be).

There’s a lot that could be said for management, but the key point is that organizations need to ensure that data ownership is established and that all of the workspaces in Office 365 and SharePoint are trackable.

Lifecycle

Empowering end users to create groups is great; it affords them the ability to create the collaborative workspaces they need to get their day-to-day tasks done. But what about when the collaborative workspace is no longer needed? What happens to all of the information and content within these sites? What if it needs to be retained for an extended period of time?

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All of these questions and more must be taken into account when it comes to lifecycle management in Office 365. If you don’t have your bases covered, you may end up with a significant amount of dead workspaces that could be housing confidential information or taking up unnecessary resources in your environment!

Greater Usage Requires Greater Management

Organizations are constantly being pressured to focus on user adoption, but what happens when they’ve succeeded and have users making the most of their Office 365 investments? Do they have the structure in place to make sure that the organization’s information architecture is still in control?

You don’t want to waste the opportunity for creating an efficient collaborative workspace and not have the proper management in place. In other words, you don’t want to build a great car engine and put it in a Pinto (unless you’re a hot-rodder of the highest order).

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When it comes to provisioning for Office 365 Groups, having policy-based provisioning automated for your end users is a sure-fire way to ensure proper Group creation. This is crucial for guaranteeing that the Groups being created adhere to your organization’s policies. Not only that, but having automated auditing in place will lessen the burden on central IT as well.

With ongoing management, organizations should focus on managing site and group ownership, classification, and content policies to make sure that all of the sites are being properly monitored by IT admins and remain compliant with corporate security policies.

The key with handling the lifecycle of Office 365 Groups–and this may be the biggest when it comes to greater usage adoption–is making sure that end users are accountable for proactively deleting or archiving their sites or Groups. You want to mitigate that sprawl as much as possible so that they’re disposed of properly when the time is right!

Native Office 365 functionality allows you to control provisioning, management, and Group lifecycle at the tenant level. If that is sufficient for your organization’s needs, by all means implement them! If you want to an all-encompassing approach to managing and enabling tech intensity for your organization, though, check out AvePoint’s offerings to see just how much they can help.


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