For medium-sized organisations – those employing in the low hundreds of staff – the opportunity afforded by technology has never been better.
In particular, many organisations are now taking advantage of the tremendous benefits of moving to Microsoft 365. As far as the technology goes, it can be straightforward to switch to the cloud; but the change is about more than just software.
Taking your organisation into the cloud will mean exciting new ways of working, and that means it affects people. It’s absolutely critical that you think the move through properly and ensure the whole team joins you on your organisation’s cloud journey.
Cloud software benefits
The change is being driven by the move from traditional ‘on-premises’ software – run on a hot, noisy server somewhere in the bowels of your building – to ‘cloud’ software, delivered instantly via the internet. The differences are stark: now, rather than shelling out once and gradually running the systems into the ground, your business can pay a monthly subscription and always be on the very latest version of the software.
A case in point is the Microsoft 365 suite. In the ‘bad old days’, an organisation would buy an expensive Office licence for each employee. Today, you can pay a small charge each month and get the full-whack Office suite – plus a lot more collaboration and communication functionality besides.
The good news is that this means the benefits aren’t limited to big corporations and enterprise customers anymore. The cloud approach has led to a genuine democratisation of technology. Medium-sized businesses now have full and equal access to precisely the same technologies that major global corporations enjoy. Indeed, as a medium-sized business, your Microsoft 365 data will most likely sit alongside that of the ‘big boys’ in Microsoft’s data centres.
It also means that Microsoft is constantly receiving feedback on how their software is being used by millions of people around the world. That means the quality of the product is continually being improved: they can refine, improve and update the software, ensuring it evolves to meet the needs of changing working patterns.
It’s a misconception that the cloud is somehow less secure than running your own hardware. In fact, the opposite is true: Cloud providers such as Microsoft stake their reputation on the security of the Microsoft 365 product, so your vital business data benefits from the expertise and oversight of world-leading security experts and engineers. Since the server hardware side is entirely in the cloud, you no longer need to even worry about maintaining servers. If you have IT staff, that means they are free to focus on what really matters to your business.
Augment your team
So it’s clear that there are enormous potential benefits in moving to the cloud for medium-sized businesses. But with a full enterprise suite at your disposal – and many of the apps, services and systems used by multinationals now available to your organisation – it’s hard to know where to start. It’s also critical to remember that this isn’t just a technology change; it’s fundamentally a change to how your business works, and that means your people must understand, support and maintain the pace of change too.
Our team at CompanyNet has advocated Microsoft’s cloud approach from the outset. While working closely with customers who were among the first to adopt the Microsoft cloud, we quickly recognised that careful change management wasn’t optional when adoption the new ways of working associated with Microsoft 365. We have now helped businesses in the public and private sector embrace the cloud in a very positive and effective way. Many of these organisations have been on the larger side – such as Scottish Water, Mencap, Wimbledon and the Student Loans Company. However, the lessons we learned along the way – and the investments our team made in understanding and implementing Microsoft 365 – can now be applied to businesses of all sizes.
A cohesive approach to cloud adoption
CompanyNet can offer a cohesive approach to cloud implementation and adoption. We have the deep expertise and customer experience needed to implement the technology properly, to adapt it to your specific business needs, and ensure it is correctly licenced. We’re also well-versed in change management, using established principles and practices such as the “ADKAR” system to help your people understand, accept and sustain the new ways of working you will inevitably experience when adopting Microsoft 365.
When making such a change to your business, the very best thing you can do is hire or create your own team to see it through. For most ordinary businesses, though, the time and expense of building such a team means it isn’t a realistic prospect. Instead, you can bring in expertise from a business like CompanyNet. As we have already done for a number of organisations, we will augment your team’s capabilities with our people, intelligence and processes, transferring knowledge to you, implementing those new ways of working and making your business entirely self-sufficient in the cloud.
Whatever your cloud ambitions, if your organisation could benefit from expert support in adopting the Microsoft cloud, Microsoft Teams or other new ways of working, drop CompanyNet a line. We are always interested to discuss how we can help.