When managing Microsoft 365, a complex suite of apps and services is something almost every organization must tackle and is a daunting task for any Microsoft 365 admin or aspiring Microsoft 365 manager. If you are one of these people, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. With over 300 million paid commercial Office 365 seats, there is no shortage of peers and customers struggling with this subject.
While there is excellent material on learning how to approach Microsoft 365 management, there is not enough around the mistakes many administrators make or the essential office 365 management tools every admin should be empowered with.
So when we asked customers, researchers, Microsoft, and industry leaders what the top questions they get from active and aspiring Microsoft 365 administrators are, and there were three that stood out:
While we intend to take a deeper look at these particular questions and more in an upcoming webinar, we thought it would be interesting to share a few of the incorrect responses or assumptions we see, and highlight why answering questions like these the right way matters.
One mistake we see organizations make is assuming there can be a ‘primary manager’ or admin for Microsoft 365. It’s important to remember that Microsoft 365 is a suite of apps and services designed and evolving to meet ever-changing business needs. The work and domain expertise involved in managing employee experiences, collaboration, communication, process automation, work management, business insights/analytics, knowledge management, digital learning, and productivity is more significant than anyone can ever manage alone.
Having an office 365 admin is necessary but insufficient if there aren’t support systems, specialists, vendors, and stakeholders engaged and involved. Since the scale and breadth of Microsoft 365 is so large each application or service has its own set of governance and management considerations. While you can pattern across these apps and services such as how you plan on tackling the provisioning of digital spaces such as SharePoint sites, Microsoft Teams and Yammer communities even that becomes more complicated as Microsoft release Shared Channels and Microsoft Loop this year.
Every organization changes over time. Sometimes in significant ways, such as when mergers and acquisitions occur, and sometimes in subtle ways as customers, partners, or employees tackle problems better and more efficiently. The biggest challenge to Microsoft 365 is when we don’t adapt our digital workplace implementations, the configuration of our apps and services, or change user behaviors to proactively or effectively meet the changing demands in time.
A simple example of this could be an organization with legacy technology investments holding up organizational agility and delaying the transformation to a better experience in Microsoft 365. Instead of migrating and optimizing content simultaneously (leading to significantly longer migration project durations and more risk of scope creep), it is often more cost-effective and vital to migrate as soon as possible and optimize in Microsoft 365 itself.
Better Office 365 management tools, easier ways to restructure and optimize content, richer content insights, and content automation capabilities available in Microsoft 365 accelerate the work and costs involved in improving how people work with content. By migrating first and optimizing second, we can ensure ROI is achieved faster by enabling these modern experiences for more people and more work scenarios sooner.
This one may be surprising to some, but it shouldn’t be. Today more than 90% of enterprise customers have a multi-cloud strategy. But those same customers are challenged with protecting data and providing integrated experiences across clouds and platforms.
An easy mistake to avoid is assuming that Microsoft 365 isn’t designed to support multi-cloud enterprise organizations. There are pathways to better multi-cloud and multi-tenant experiences for customers with significant Microsoft 365 investments across logical and differentiated business lines.
There are plenty of investments on the front-end with a wide array of connectors and connections, including Microsoft Search connectors, Microsoft Teams connectors, Power Automate connectors, and Microsoft Viva (in connections dashboards and feeds or learning and insights) to name a few.
These investments aren’t limited to end-user or employee experiences. These investments include complimentary ones on the ‘back end’ in Azure such as Azure Arc for multi-cloud infrastructure to ones that enable you to remain in compliance with Microsoft 365 data connectors that can import third-party data to ensure that your organization’s non-Microsoft data complies with the regulations standards that affect your organization.
There is so much to know and understand related to Microsoft 365 administration, but exploring the answers to questions is always valuable and can provide new perspectives.
Take a look at what Microsoft RD + MVP and Brand Alliance Director at AvePoint, Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet), had to briefly say about Microsoft 365 management, before our webinar.
Do you want to see Richard (@rharbridge) and Christian in an information filled webinar on Microsoft 365 Management? Watch our on-demand webinar.