Moving Productivity to the Cloud

Who this content is for

This eBook is for line-of-business executives and managers who are considering moving to a cloud productivity platform, as well as the IT executives and managers who will be charged with implementing the changes. The book outlines considerations and strategies for minimising disruption and user dissatisfaction when making the change, and suggests a four-phase plan for a seamless and successful transition.

Introduction

In a time when remote work and hybrid environments have become a common imperative for doing business, companies are accelerating their move to cloud productivity platforms to improve collaboration and overall agility. With centralised resources in the cloud, companies can store, access and leverage information much more quickly and easily, and remote workers can access their data from any location. But such a change can be disruptive.

People are used to working with familiar point solutions – storing documents on local hard drives, collaborating via e-mail and chat, using legacy file sharing platforms to send documents and meeting via conference calls or in person. Thus, they may resist changes in software tools, even if those changes could make them happier and more productive in the long run. In addition, executives may resist deploying new solutions if they’re afraid those solutions will hamper long-standing business processes or hurt the bottom line.

This resistance is in spite of the fact that independent research shows that cloud-based solutions improve security, device management and users’ ability to collaborate quickly on shared documents, thereby improving business agility and competitiveness.

What it takes to succeed

Moving to the cloud, while not a simple process, can be accomplished more effectively by strategically managing change – especially when you choose the right cloud productivity platform. For example, if the productivity platform uses applications that your workers are already familiar with, the change isn’t nearly so daunting. In fact, it can even feel like a seamless transition for your team.

Along with choosing the right solution stack, think of your strategy in terms of four key phases: gaining executive sponsorship, building awareness across business groups, always-on and consistent learning and top-down adoption. This structure will help make sure you achieve the benefits of digital transformation while minimising impacts on your business.

This eBook presents an overview of the key concepts for implementing an effective change management strategy that will help make that process as seamless and efficient as possible.

Why change?

In an era where forward-thinking companies have embraced cloud-based technology and infrastructure solutions, a simple imperative has become clear: evolve or get left behind.In an era where forward-thinking companies have embraced cloud-based technology and infrastructure solutions, a simple imperative has become clear: evolve or get left behind.

First-movers in cloud-centric digital transformation have found that they can seize opportunities more quickly, gain access to important data more easily, better support remote workers and hybrid environments, improve security and reduce costs. In other words, whether their organisation is still co-located, fully remote or operating within a flexible hybrid working model, they’re more competitive.

Key steps to change management

Moving to the cloud is a significant change for your business, and a successful migration involves careful planning and execution. Your strategy must take into account the perspectives of end-users, managers, executives and IT pros, and the change must be rolled out in a way that doesn’t disrupt operations.

As noted above, to execute your strategy, think in terms of four key phases: sponsorship, awareness, learning and adoption.

Gaining executive sponsorship

Any change of this magnitude must have buy-in from the top decision-makers at your company. To achieve that, start with the business case for moving to a cloud productivity platform. Present a clear, concise description of the project’s scope, business impact and areas of ROI. Your presentation should also lay out the implementation process and define criteria for success.

Building awareness across business groups

Once you have approval, market the change internally throughout your company. Communicate the benefits of the change with a well-structured promotional plan that inspires your workforce and everyone who will be participating in the transition. Tactics such as departmental meetings or lunchtime demonstrations, properly executed, can go a long way toward building excitement and trust among your users.

Another way to promote the change is to recruit champions up and down the organisation – those who are most excited by the potential for cloud collaboration and who are proficient with online tools. These champions can help inspire and support other users who may be more wary of the change.

Finally, you should build feedback channels where users can easily report issues and concerns. These could be staffed by your champions as a first-line measure, with more technical requests passed on to IT or other relevant departments.

Always-on and consistent learning

Building awareness across business groups Always-on and consistent learningIn the learning phase, it’s important to follow a reasonable training schedule that allows for flexibility while meeting people’s needs. Some employees may need a general introduction to the cloud and its benefits, while others will be ready to jump into hands-on training right away. Your feedback channels should be prepared to answer questions quickly and offer more intensive support as needed. For example, you might use SharePoint to offer ongoing directed and self-guided training.

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Moving Productivity to the Cloud

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