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IT teams need to adapt to proactively support the waves of Microsoft’s updates

There’s no doubt that Microsoft have a lot of good products, a lot of quality development teams and a lot of marketing people. Mix that with evergreen subscription models and you get a lot of news on a regular basis reviewing the latest and greatest enhancements, tweaks, updates, tricks and suggestions about the service you are already using.

I read a blog yesterday and it talked about the Microsoft 365 updates for June. It was over 4 pages long and covered security, compliance, collaboration as well as more standard updates to the office suite.

From every couple of years to every couple of months

In the days of yore, after purchasing software, you would arrange some training or documentation on how to use it and try to get the best value from what you purchased. Overtime you would figure that it’s probably worth getting the updated version and then repeat the process. Then everyone would move forward with a wider functionality set, slowly.

This model sort of worked but there was always a danger that users stayed linked to a core set of the functionality available and rarely embraced the new elements.

So, in this new model with more frequent update options, what is the best process for managing updates that delivers real engagement?

It is a serious question that covers everything from:

  • How IT teams keep up to date with Microsoft changes
  • What training and communication model IT teams embrace for their users
  • How IT teams review how new functionality could help their users
  • How IT teams drive adoption of new features and functionality to deliver business outcomes

This isn’t meant to be the start of a self-serving article summarising the value an effective MSP can bring to a client. This needs to be considered regardless of your choice of DIY or managed service supported.

The approach to user adoption needs to change

The purchasing model has changed, and the way IT teams manage updates for their users’ needs to change too. The sheer volume of new features can be overwhelming for users. Traditional change management models alone will not be enough to achieve the rolling benefits on offer.

The role of IT these days is not simply managing the technical update process or the communication of the new feature set to the user, it’s about championing how it can be used, demonstrating what business problems it can solve and being the cheerleader for the rapid use of new capability and driving cost optimisation.

In summary

When moving to an evergreen/subscription model for software, IT teams need to consider the model they plan to use to maximise updates and innovation across the business and that needs careful consideration and potentially a new skill set, not always found within a current team.

To find out how Acora can help you ride the wave with ease, contact us today.

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