It is that time a year, and planning and budgeting season for next fiscal year is upon us! Trust us, we cannot believe it either. Right about now many of us are coming off personal holidays and are carving out time on our calendars to start the process. One planning area in particular that can be a challenge for many organizations is Microsoft 365 license management. In the hopes of helping you navigate this hot topic, there are a few important factors you need to keep in mind that will hopefully make 2022 a successful and profitable year for your organization!
Align Your Business Goals with your Microsoft 365 Licensing needs
Aligning business goals with technology, such as Microsoft 365, is a big investment. What exactly is your business trying to get out of it? Perhaps you are trying to increase collaboration, communication, or productivity? Whatever it is, it is critical to have a clear understanding of your business goals before you determine your licensing needs. This allows you to equip your company with the appropriate tools that would contribute to reaching those business goals. You may even determine which tools may not be as necessary or which will ultimately save your organization thousands, or even millions, when it comes to licensing costs.
Ensure proper change management initiatives
Gone are the days of IT solely being responsible for ensuring technology "works." Now IT plays a role in ensuring employees are successfully onboarded on the new systems to achieve business outcomes. This ultimately comes down to the dilemma of consumption vs. adoption. For your organization to truly succeed with these tools, it is critical to establish a system that fosters adoption rather than just simply consumption.
Determine what metrics to benchmark and measure
Once you have aligned business goals with technology and put some training in place, is it time to rest on your laurels? Well, not so fast. There are a few critical questions you have to ask yourself first.
How are you determining success?
How are you determining consumption?
How are you determining usage?
How are you determining adoption?
I am sure you have heard a few of the above terms referencing Microsoft 365 platform success before. These terms may seem clear enough and are certainly buzz words being thrown around the last couple of years, but it is not necessarily straight forward. It is important to know the lingo and ensure your focus is on the right area or data when it comes to your implementation and your longer-term Microsoft journey. (Read more about Microsoft 365 Consumption vs Adoption)
Ensure you are accurately licensed
It is important to ensure that you have selected the correct licensing packages from a business, IT, and security perspective. As an aside, there is normally a mixture of companywide requirements and unique department or business unit requirements that these licenses need to meet. Ensuring that users have access to all the resources they need to be productive and successful leads to achieving company goals.
Obtain financial accountability
It is no secret that Office 365 license management is tricky business, cumbersome and complex. Without proper guardrails in place, licensing can easily spiral out of control. (Ouch!) We cannot stress enough how crucial it is to ensure that your organization has the proper guardrails in place including on-boarding, off-boarding, auditing, and accurate forecasting. Without these in place, there are a multitude of scenarios that can end up costing your organization big time. (Ouch times two!)
Microsoft 365 License Management is a complex topic, and this is just the very start of the journey to successful license management. Hopefully, these resources can help better shape your organization's license management strategy as you begin planning and budgeting for 2022.
Office 365 License Management
Managing Office 365 licenses is no easy task and forecasting for future needs can be exhausting. At ENow, we believe in ‘buy only what you need, and adopt all that you buy’, and our solutions can help you achieve just that.
Efficiently and effectively optimize your Office 365 licenses to make informed licensing decisions with ENow Office 365 License Management reporting, including: customizable trend analysis, real-time licenses user lists, license addition history, and much more.
AmyKelly Petruzzella is a marketing executive who focuses on Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, and Active Directory trends, challenges, and business outcomes for enterprises. Over the years, AmyKelly regularly engages with Gartner industry analysts, and she has been recognized several times for Top 50 Microsoft Marketing Excellence. She is a frequent speaker and blogger and an industry veteran who advocates for women in technology.
Office 365 License Management: 6 Steps for Success