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How to Use Office 365 to Digitally Transform into a Modern Workplace

Libby Fisette Libby Fisette  |  
Aug 20, 2019
 
In this blog series, Libby Fisette, Director of Skyline Technologies’ Modern Workplace team, explores the current state of the digital workplace and some best practices for leveraging the Office 365 toolset. For a full overview on this topic, check out the original O365/Modern Workplace webinar. 
 
My team spends a lot of time helping clients with digital transformation in the Office 365 world. That’s important because 2020 is poised to be the year when 50% of the workforce will be millennials. Since they have specific needs and wants, business leaders have started thinking differently about what that workplace looks like. Some of the key trends we’re seeing in the modern workplace include:
 
  • Permanent Flexibility
  • Multi-Generational Teamwork
  • Health & Wellness
  • Sense of Purpose
 

Permanent Flexibility

We work with a lot of clients that are looking for permanent flexibility. More and more employees (particularly millennials) are attracted to flexible schedules. They like being able to think differently about what work is being done, how it's being done, and who's doing it. Modern workers also care deeply about what their life looks like from a work-life balance point-of-view.
 

Multi-Generational Teamwork

It’s also important to think about what that permanent flexibility means from a workspace perspective. People from all generations are working from different offices, from home, and remotely from anywhere at any time. They want to easily interact and work with one another from different physical locations in a cohesive way.
 

Health & Wellness

We're also seeing a bigger commitment to health and wellness. More companies are starting wellness challenges, doing health-focused Lunch-and-Learn sessions, and offering onsite health screenings.
 

Sense of Purpose

Employees are looking for a deeper connection to their company through its mission, vision, and ideals. They also want to be recognized and to recognize their peers. Moreover, they want to understand where their work leads the company, what their impact is, and be able to share in those successes with their colleagues.
 

What do these trends mean for digital transformation?

Businesses have a huge desire to embrace these modern workplace trends. Many are using technology to empower employees to do their best work and to engage them (and even customers) in a different way.
 
skyline technologies digital transformation
 

Empower and Engage

For customers, being technology-centric is the driver for delivering a new customer experience and engaging them in a new way. Digital transformation uses platform technologies like big data, analytics, social media and mobile technology to build a competitive advantage.
 
In our consulting practice, when we talk about empowering employees, we're primarily thinking about leaders in the lines of business. How can we get the people in Marketing, Sales, HR, and Finance to feel like they can drive change without it being an IT project? How do we empower them to deal with some of the trends in the workplace I outlined above?
 

Optimize Operations and Transforming Products

After optimizing the employee and customer experience, business leaders are asking how to optimize operations, including:
 
  • How do we add business process automation?
  • How do we gain more organizational efficiencies through forms, workflows, and approval processes to free up people's time to do different things?
  • How do we transform products?
  • What does digital transformation look like from an AI or IoT perspective?
 
Digital transformation, done right, can solve some of those problems.
 
office 365 digital transformation
 

Modernizing the Workplace

By adding digital transformation to the trends in the workplace and using the Office 365 toolset to address key business issues, you can have a modern workplace. Though that equation looks simple, Office 365 can be a confusing landscape.
 
office 365 tool chart

As the graphic shows, there are many Office 365 apps, many have more than one use, and it can be confusing. Plus, new apps become buzzwords that clients want to implement but don’t fully understand. Our clients often approach us and say, “We’d like to use Teams” or “We need SharePoint”. Our response is usually, “Why? What problem are you trying to solve?”.
 
As consultants, it’s our job to understand our client’s pain points, current processes, and business needs and then recommend a business solution that takes advantage of these tools. To simplify, we refer to them with the following categories in mind: communication, sites/content, and business applications.
 
office 365 communication sites apps
 
All companies need some form of communication, both internally and externally. We ask questions about their culture, access to mobile devices, and varied locations and help determine the right mix of communications tools to use and when.
 
Companies wanting to migrate from file servers, communicate to their employees through a “one-stop shop” experience, or need to collaborate on projects can benefit from solutions utilizing OneDrive, SharePoint and Office 365 Groups. Companies who want to start automating their credit card reconciliation process, show executive level reports of their new product lines, or send out client satisfaction surveys can benefit from the Business Applications. The more ingrained these processes become with the lines of business leaders and the culture of the company, the more cohesive the toolset becomes.
 
In the next blogs in this series, I will dig into each of these categories in more detail starting with our core communication applications: Outlook, Teams, and Yammer.
 
Office 365

 

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