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A Transformed IT Organization Can Contribute Positively to an Adoption Plan for Office 365

Does a successful campaign to persuade enterprise users to adopt Office 365 depend on a new type of internal IT organization? Industry experts like Dux Raymond Sy, a SharePoint MVP, and Cyrielle Simeone, a Product Manager at Microsoft believe this transformation is a necessary, highly positive step.

Dux and Cyrielle present a case for why any enterprise IT organization should consider re-inventing itself to better meet the needs of the community of computing users it serves in a webcast recording titled Beyond Deployment: How IT Can Inspire, Motivate, and Drive Sustainable Adoption. A couple of recent, previous posts to this blog commented on this webcast, but the content is rich enough to support this post, and, perhaps, more.

As an aside, many of the points Dux and Cyrielle make in a 10-20 minute segment of this hour long webcast are suitable for inclusion in a business-case proposal for implementing Office 365, so, if for no other reason, readers should make an effort to carve out the time to listen to this segment of the webcast.

Dux opens with a portrayal of the backdrop behind what he refers to as a “typical” rationale for implementing Office 365:

A Line of Business (LoB) unit would like to improve collaboration, so a decision is made to implement Office 365. Cyrielle and Dux proceed to illustrate how the old model of how to implement a solution for the stated objective, which would include building a computing system, on premises, would actually consume over 80% of the typical budget for this type of project.

The problem with an on premises system consuming this portion of the budget is not enough funds are left to pay for the cost of what Dux and Cyrielle refer to as a “sustainable” plan for persuading users to adopt the new collaboration system, and to keep working with it, long enough, to ensure pay back on the funds paid to build it.

He also speaks to the consumerization of IT, which is, in 2014, a fact of enterprise computing and no longer a hypothetical occurrence. For better or worse, a solution is required which users will be able to access when they are in transit between locations, working from home offices, etc. So, his argument goes, a cloud SaaS like Office 365 is the preferred solution.

The final step in this portrayal of how enterprise IT can better meet its mandates and, thereby ensure its own long term viability as an essential organizational component of a winning team, is his description of the “new” IT organization as a “business enabler”, meaning a group committed to facilitating successful attainment of the objectives LoBs within an enterprise may possess, which meet the criteria required of a supported effort.

Ira Michael Blonder

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