Skip to main content


Where is the Business Value of Office 365?

Office 365

My last blog deciphers how Microsoft Office 365 (O365) promises business value. This blog explores where O365 provides value.

Microsoft Office 365 was made available in June 2011 and has maintained its goal of being a catalyst for changing how people work in an increasingly digital economy. For example, Microsoft’s current CEO, Satya Nadella, certainly has a transformative view of O365: “We are building an operating system for human activity across all of their daily lives.”

Despite being on the market for almost a decade, there is a lack of evidence that clearly demonstrates the digitally transformative business value of O365. There are five potential factors contributing to the disconnect between the promise/potential of O365 and the realization of business value of using O365. Let’s take a look at each.

Most organizations are not research laboratories.

Research institutions are specifically designed to use the scientific method to understand the relationship between/ among variables and to minimize the effects of extraneous variables. Generally, most organizations cannot afford to operate as research institutions – that’s not their mission. In the competitive landscape of digital transformation and continuous improvement, every organization has multiple, simultaneous initiatives with numerous effects. Therefore, there is very little hard data with regard to how any single initiative or technology (including O365) contributes to business value through levers like productivity, efficiency, and collaboration.

Metrics are hard.

Even in a controlled environment, clearly demonstrating the relationship between O365 usage and business value requires metrics that may be hard to obtain. For example, to demonstrate the relationship between productivity improvements and O365 usage, there would need to be some good measures of productivity (e.g., quantity of ‘x’ produced per unit of time) and good measures of O365 usage (e.g., mobile device use, Skype use, SharePoint use, etc.).

Furthermore, it is often difficult to measure effects like productivity increases in the digital age, thus the reliance on survey data rather than direct observation or experimental control. Consequently, putting demonstrations of causality aside, a lack of fundamentally sound metrics does not even allow for conclusions about the correlation between O365 adoption and productivity.

Limited availability and use of O365 adoption data.

Many organizations may not be aware that there are tools available that provide some measures of adoption. For example, CoreView provides a robust and nimble suite of tools that measures adoption of O365 applications at the micro and macro levels. Even if organizations do have the right tools to measure adoption, they may not have the organizational skill or bandwidth to drive adoption for a crosscutting enterprise solution such as O365.

O365 adoption is not a priority.

Adoption and optimal use of O365 is often not deemed as a priority in the midst of other organizational priorities. There could be myriad of reasons for this, but the lack of priority often boils down to the tenuous, and often unproven, relationship between O365 and business value.

To learn more about how O365 solutions deliver business value, corrects misleading assumptions between the promise and potential of O365, and offers suggestions on how you can achieve high user adoption levels, you can click here or submit the form below.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.