It's time to catch up with technical debt

Matthew Smith

The past few years has created a significant surge in technological transformation that would otherwise have taken 5+ years. Organisations have accelerated the implementation of tools and ways of working to meet a rapidly shifting geographical footprint; where people can work effectively from almost anywhere in the world (Mckinsey survey).

Many organisations turned to Microsoft 365 (M365) to enable people to collaborate from anywhere in the world. Microsoft added over 95 million users to Microsoft Teams alone, with average daily users increasing from 75 million in April 2020, to 145 million in April 2021. This doused the burning platform, but in many cases created a ‘wild west’ environment without control or effective governance.

Technical debt occurs when technology is implemented to meet an immediate need with the knowledge that redress will be required in the future. Do you have any of these problems?

  • More Teams sites than people
  • Continued use of email attachments, rather than collaborative file sharing
  • Limited use or knowledge of anything outside standard Office (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Teams)
  • Unable to run remote workshops
  • Limited awareness of how people are using M365

Some technical debt is desirable as it means people in your organisation have the tools and skills to innovate, but too much can become a significant hindrance to further transformation or fully realising the benefits of technology. It’s difficult to establish a successful ROI when so much is being unused.

M365 is an enabler. Taking full advantage of this technology is one of the most cost-effective things organisations can do to make it easier for people to collaborate across geography, culture, or even language. The value of having a consistent platform a global workforce can engage with cannot be overstated, both to day-to-day activities, and reaching across an organisation to land sustainable transformation.

Here are some of the things you can consider to identify and mitigate your M365 technical debt:

  • Awareness: Be aware of the art of the possible; M365 is more than just Teams, Outlook PowerPoint and Word
  • Skills: Educate people on different applications and give them the skills to be successful
  • Governance: Consider implementation of governance restrictions that tighten control without stifling creativity
  • Automation: M365 has a wealth of automation options and can integrate with other non-Microsoft applications to reduce manual workloads
  • Analytics: Take advantage of Power BI and enable real-time reporting, or utilise Microsoft Usage Analytics to measure the success of M365 (check out last week’s blog for more info)

With the gradual return to office and a shift to hybrid working, effective digital collaboration tools are more important than ever. We are going through a rapid period of change and effective use of M365 can be a catalyst to people engaging with transformation.

Talk to Sysdoc to find out how we can help maximise your investment. 

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