There’s no question about it: Modern workplaces rely on technology to increase productivity, achieve agility, and obtain a competitive advantage. In Q1 2020, global industries saw the use of technology skyrocket. In spite of the COVID-19 crisis, productivity rates increased by an overwhelming 47%. And, technology was at the forefront of that achievement. One of the top technologies facilitating that rise in productivity was Microsoft 365 with its suite of collaborative tools.
Microsoft 365 Overview
Essentially, Microsoft 365 is a collection of SaaS-based productivity apps that can operate on both cloud and physical servers. In the cloud, you can deploy Microsoft’s cloud-based app security to protect sensitive data, monitor cyber threats, and identify malicious shadow applications.
Microsoft 365 comes in three flavors: Business, Enterprise, and Education. Each comes with different tools and threat protections. For example, the Enterprise plan offers Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for Enterprise E5, Education A5, and Business Premium accounts. Certainly, ATP can be added to other Enterprise, Business, and Education plans. At its heart, ATP secures files, attachments, and emails. It monitors for malicious malware, phishing, zero-day, or ransomware threats.
Digital Transformation in the Age of Industry 4.0
The Age of Industry 4.0 has dawned. But, what is Industry 4.0? According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), it constitutes the merging of our physical, digital, and biological worlds. With new advances in AI and cloud computing, technology has changed the way we live and work. At the heart of digital transformation is data-driven insights that promote capital and operational efficiencies and ultimately, consumer satisfaction. In fact, technology itself has changed expectations in the marketplace. Customers expect seamless navigation between platforms and personalized experiences.
As predicted by experts, the customer experience (CX) may have already overtaken price and product as a key differentiator among brands. To achieve competitive advantage, businesses must increase customer engagement. Engaged customers spend more and are more inclined to become brand evangelists.
Thus, the primary goal of digital transformation is simple: empowerment through automation. Digital transformation allows you to empower your employees to meet the needs of customers more effectively. By all indications, the core of digital transformation is empowerment across multiple touchpoints. By leveraging Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, you can gain insight into purchasing behavior that allows you to personalize the customer experience and create products that surpass expectations.
With Microsoft Dynamics 365, you can create detailed buyer personas based on market trends, feedback, and product usage. Most importantly, the Power Automate platform within Microsoft Dynamics allows you to calibrate workflows based on evolving consumer signals.
The Roadmap to Digital Transformation
Ideally, digital transformation takes into consideration these elements:
Enablement Strategy. When you combine the power of Microsoft 365 with an effective sales enablement strategy, you’ll see a corresponding rise in revenues. At its heart, digital transformation is all about increasing the impact of digital marketing campaigns and increasing consumer engagement. With Microsoft Azure ExakTime, cycle time is shortened, and the development team gets real-time visibility into market changes. What results is agile product development that boosts consumer engagement and transforms the customer experience. The goal of digital transformation is agility in a competitive environment where dynamic platforms are the norm, not the exception.
Flexible Operating Model. Microsoft 365 can transform marketing campaigns. This is because Microsoft 365 uses digital tools that allow for a streamlined feedback collection process across all platforms.
Engaged Stakeholders. In facilitating digital transformation, you know the value of engaging stakeholders. Microsoft 365 can help by enabling stakeholder engagement, which allows for C-suite level buy-in. Candid conversations and timely responses to inquiries about digital transformation and its impact on service delivery are important. To gain further insight into how Microsoft 365 can increase productivity, the Microsoft Productivity Library is a critical first resource. Following that, the next step should be the Microsoft 365 Adoption Guide, which shows how to track the value of digital transformation.
Focused Implementation Teams. Small teams are important for initial successes. For example, the use of small teams can help you develop specific plans for implementation. Following the successful completion of the initial stage of transformation, teams can be expanded to help boost transformation to other parts of the business. Here, champions are critical in communicating the message of change. To help pivotal figures succeed in their roles as champions, leverage the power of the Office 365 Champion Program.
Streamlined Business Engagement. Perhaps most importantly, you must streamline engagement among your business units. Essentially, you must work with units across your organization to identify opportunities for digital transformation and the challenges inherent in current business processes.
This is similar to traditional IT conversations. However, for digital transformation, the emphasis needs to be on agility. In many cases, Microsoft 365 has out-of-the-box features that will meet the needs of your organization now. Streamlined engagement is important because it identifies what your business needs to meet its objectives. It can also be used for the development of stronger partnerships within the organization to accelerate the adoption of digital tools.
Digital Transformation From Ground to Cloud
One of the most important parts of running a business is leveraging the right digital tools to meet your business goals. According to Microsoft, these key areas are critical to a successful digital transformation:
- customer-centric systems
- employee productivity
- data-driven insights
- IT infrastructure or platform security
- cloud-centric architecture
A cloud-centric architecture is critical to digital transformation. This is where Microsoft Azure comes in. A secure cloud environment that undergirds data collection and analytics can deliver real-time insights to enable better decision-making. Meanwhile, the use of Microsoft Teams collaborative tools can raise productivity by promoting increased employee engagement and accelerating decision making across business units. Employees get secure access to documents, apps, and data across multiple devices.
In addition, Microsoft 365 gives you a 360-degree view of consumer expectations and purchasing behavior. Our platform allows you to catalog and analyze disparate data to identify trends, anomalies, and motivations so you can proactively respond to consumer concerns. You gain practical insights you can use to transform the consumer experience.
Adopting Microsoft 365 is key to resilience and agility in an ever-evolving marketplace. We also think a “less is more” approach is critical to practical success. If you have questions about whether digital transformation is right for you, contact us. Let’s talk about technology, the dawn of Industry 4.0, and how cloud migration can help you achieve your business goals. Finally, when you’re ready to adopt Microsoft 365, our experienced team of professionals stand ready to help.