When it comes to enterprise software, there is often a gap between the ideal scenario for using software and the reality you experience when using it. Microsoft Office 365 provides a wide range of tools, while promising communication and collaboration « anytime, anywhere ». However, despite the fact that the suite of tools included in Office 365 is extremely powerful, many organizations are still struggling to get their employees to make good use of it.

Dream vs. Reality

According to analyst Forrester, Office 365 can give you a 162% ROI in three years. When an organization makes full use of Office 365, it reaps enormous benefits, saving it considerable amounts of money while increasing the productivity of its employees. However, the realities of using Office 365 can often be somewhat disappointing. A 2016 study by Skyhigh Networks, a cloud security consulting company, found that the use of many Office 365 applications is significantly lower than what would be required to achieve the levels of return on investment announced by Forrester. For example, in companies with more than 100 employees, only 18.6% of employees regularly use OneDrive, 10.1% use Skype, and only 1.2% actively use Yammer.

As with many enterprise technologies, there seems to be a gap between what is possible and what is actually happening. To illustrate this problem, we have devised an « ideal » scenario for an Office 365 deployment.


Once migrated to the cloud, your employees immediately become more productive, efficient and collaborative, with exploding employee engagement rates. Office 365 suddenly allows employees to communicate and collaborate easily. Yammer gives everyone a personal profile, allowing each employee to interact in a fluid way. In the morning, Delve becomes everyone’s priority and brings interesting and relevant content to the entire company. Office 365 Video becomes the powerful tool for communicating company news.

In a few weeks, staff spontaneously test new Office 365 tools, setting up their own projects in Microsoft Teams, and using Office 365 Groups to collaborate. In addition, mobile versions of Office 365 allow staff to connect wherever they are, which speeds up workflows and allows employees to work more flexibly and productively.

This vision of Office 365 is possible. Unfortunately, for most organizations, their investment does not always work that way….

The reality

Most staff only connect to Office 365 to do three things. Three things he used to do with the software he used previously: check his e-mails in Outlook, check his calendar and upload documents to SharePoint. One or two employees go further and install Office 365 on their smartphones, and some will use the online version to work from home. However, the vast majority of Office 365 tools offered in the portal are underutilized or even completely unused.

Is that really a problem? There has always been a gap between the first users of new technologies and the majority of business users. While some of the above figures can be discouraging, it often takes time for staff to start using the entire Office 365 suite. However, Office 365 is deployed as a subscription service. Organizations pay a monthly fee to use this technology, so it can be frustrating (not to mention expensive) if staff simply don’t use a lot of what you pay for. In addition, if staff do not make full use of Office 365, you are missing out on the promised benefits. Some organizations actually see a significant increase in productivity and other major benefits when migrating to the cloud.

So why don’t employees use Office 365? Employees who do not understand the new technology, or why it is being imposed, tend to reject it. Many employees have been using the same tools for years and have their own habits. The introduction of new software can change their long-established habits. Organizations do not encourage users to change. The way technology is deployed often leaves much to be desired. Plans that are too complex and detailed lead to confusion, information about the new tool is not properly disseminated, or the technology is simply « thrown » at staff without further explanation. All this then leads to resistance to employee change.

To learn more about resistance to change, read our dedicated article here.

Do you have any questions or would you like to know more about our method and tools for change management? Please contact us.

Sources : Contentandcode.com ; Forrester