Defining your technology roadmap with Office 365 - part 4
In the final part of our vlog series exploring how to build an effective technology roadmap in 2019, Principal Solutions Architect Tom Arbuthnot talks about the importance of establishing metrics to measure the effectiveness of new technology, and supporting user experience on an ongoing basis.
“At the highest level, IT have got to measure usage and adoption to prove they’re delivering business value."
- Tom Arbuthnot, Principal Solutions Architect, Modality Systems
Find out how to measure enterprise social with Yammer, and the benefits of enabling your IT team to clearly communicate business value in the video below, hosted by Global Strategy Director Justin Morris.
More in this series:
Part 1 - Digital disruption in the modern business with CTO Nick Seagrave
Part 2 - Top considerations for addressing business change with Head of Global Marketing Ian Guest
Part 3 - Enterprise collaboration with Microsoft Teams with Project Manager Lyndsay Ansell
Justin: Tom, tell me why we should be providing ongoing measurement for user experience.
Tom: The first thing is, if it’s IT’s job is to enable business value, and I believe it is, how do you do that without measuring? You can’t just say, ‘we’re delivering business value’. At the highest level, IT have got to measure usage and adoption to prove they’re delivering business value.
Justin: That’s a good point because in the same way that you would measure every process in your manufacturing procedures, you want to do that for user experience.
Tom: Yes, and I think IT historically has been a bit lapse on that. You make a good point. If you’re running manufacturing or sales, you don’t have a vague notion of the sales you’ve made or the number of units you’ve produced an hour. That’s science and yet in IT you can get, ‘we’ve got some stuff and people are using it’ but that’s not optimised.
Justin: Yes, exactly. Is there some key data that you can be tracking for measurement?
Tom: It depends on your project and what your use case is. You can’t say there’s one stat or one metric – it depends on what you’re trying to achieve. For example; say you’re trying to build a collaborative workspace and work out loud using enterprise social. In that case, in our stack, that would be Yammer, and for Yammer you can measure posts, reads and likes. ‘Reads’ is really interesting because previously we couldn’t do that. If you’re looking at workplace social and looking at who’s engaging in the network, that’s a really good stat to measure whether you’re getting to people and whether they’re engaging.
Justin: So, if you’re saying the objective is employee engagement, you need a way of tracking that.
Tom: Yes, and the more you track, the more engagement you get with the business. If your IT project is ‘do employee social’ with no metrics and no stats, the business will think that’s nice, but if you’re prepared to put your neck on the line and say this is our goal, this is the business reasons why and this is how we’re going to measure it, that’s much more business focused.
Justin: Because then you’re demonstrating impact...
Tom: In a real measurable way and in a way that businesses understand. They’ve got their manufacturing figures, their sales figures and they’ve got the number of people you’ve engaged with the business messaging in the first quarter, for example.
Justin: Are there some examples of some use cases you’ve seen with effective usage of this?
Tom: Yes, so Office 365 has brought much more focus on this because there are reports ‘in the box’. Microsoft’s general philosophy has moved from selling you a bunch of stuff to encouraging you to use a bunch of stuff. That sounds like a subtle distinction but it’s an important one. It used to be, ‘every three years we’ll send you some software and then we’ll go away and sell to you again’, now under [Satya] Nadella it’s all about business value and usage. The reporting in the box has led to IT being more focussed on, ‘are we getting value out of our cloud investment?’. Typical examples are mail migrations making sure that all people are using cloud email and on more advanced stuff, Skype for Business is a big one for us – checking that people are actually using video conferencing and checking that people are desktop sharing to get new value out of the stack.
Justin: And you tie those pack to the original business case, don’t you?
Tom: Yes, and now in some of these sessions we’ve been talking about Teams. Because Teams does so much, measurement becomes even more important. Are you doing a Teams, voice, UC conferencing project? Are you doing a Teams teamwork collaboration project? Your metrics for measurement are going to be different. If you’re doing it for collaboration, your metrics will be about messages in channels and files posted. If you’re pushing conferencing it will be about minutes used in video, desktop sharing and conferences.
Justin: Are there some best practices on how to get started with this?
Tom: Yes, look at what comes in the box first of all – there’s a tonne of reports in there. From a business point of view, you would say, ‘think about your metrics and then go and look at the reports’ but a shortcut for IT-centric people is to go and look at what you can report on. See if you can find some business analysts or business engagement opportunities to say, ‘here’s what the agreed goal for the business is for this technology and here’s how we’re going to measure it’. Start small. Don’t try to boil the ocean – just pick ‘the Teams group collaboration project’ or ‘the Yammer project’. Look at those, drive those, then pick the next one.
If your business is looking to measure the value of Microsoft Teams across a large workforce, take a look at our Teamwork Analytics solution.
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