One of the biggest challenges faced by modern enterprises is integrating different systems and multiple applications into an actionable, scalable experience for users. With the average enterprise using more than 500 different applications within their infrastructure, getting the most from their technology investment is increasingly difficult. To derive more value from their IT assets and simplify the user experience, innovative organizations are taking steps to modernize engagement with the desktop.
Microsoft 365 is giving these enterprises a powerful, comprehensive tool to improve collaboration, efficiency, and productivity across their organization and externally with customers, partners, and others in their ecosystem.
The pace of technology change is taxing IT departments and leaving users with spinning heads as they try to keep up. The challenge lies in working with different types of environments – on-premises, cloud, and sometimes a hybrid of both. Additionally, an increasingly mobile workforce brings along a unique set of connectivity, management, and security issues. If enterprise technology isn’t agile enough to support rapidly changing business needs, it can quickly become a complicated, unproductive mess.
Rather than overwhelming users with more features, Microsoft 365 brings to these environments a focused approach that delivers a better experience at the desktop, while simplifying issues of workload management and security.
Microsoft 365 is the next phase of enterprise solutions
Microsoft 365 is comprised of existing Microsoft enterprise products, namely Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EM+S), and delivered in a SaaS model. Packaging up three existing tools may not knock your socks off, but the reality is that it’s the first time any vendor has integrated the functionality of enterprise tools with the specific purpose of simplifying technology chaos.
The blend of these three elements gives Microsoft 365 customers a comprehensive, scalable enterprise solution for sure, but the key is that it’s delivered in a seamless way as an uninterrupted, contextual solution that provides end users an easy way to collaborate, communicate, and make decisions.
This is an astute approach by Microsoft. They didn’t choose the overwrought path of “digital disruption”, but rather recognized that most senior IT decision makers are clamoring for an integrated way to implement productivity tools across their entire organization, and to do it in a way where data is protected. Microsoft 365 does this in a way that maps to what a modern business actually looks like.
Modernizing the desktop with Microsoft 365
Microsoft offers the solution in six different bundles, all differently aligned with different business sizes and market needs: large enterprise, SMB, non-profit, and government/education packages help address the specific needs of organizations trying to scale rapidly, maintain a comprehensive security and compliance posture, and be able to adapt as business needs and requirements change. The product is made up of three key elements:
Microsoft 365 is built and delivered on the Microsoft 10 platform, so users get the benefit of continuous delivery of platform updates, all delivered as a service and with no disruption to their operations.
Enterprises get automated deployment of security patches, improvements to analytics capabilities, and greatly improved mobile device management (MDM) capabilities.
For IT teams, this gives them a centralized way to manage distributed apps and hybrid environments. The platform is built for the modern enterprise and facilitates their needs: multi-device, multi-platform, mobile, BYOD, responsive to business needs, and equipped with built-in support for their security posture.
Windows 10 has also become an easy platform to deploy and configure to meet the specific needs of enterprises. Gartner studied a large group of CIOs and other IT executives and determined that 85% of those already using the Microsoft platform initiated deployment to Windows 10 in 2017. Almost 70% had completed their project in less than a year. Contributing to the rapid deployment of Windows 10 are tools such as Windows Autopilot, allowing large organizations to quickly deploy new devices or repurpose existing devices with a zero-touch experience for IT staff.
Microsoft Office has come a long way since it was first introduced in the 1980’s as a suite of workforce tools. Microsoft 365 uses Office 365 as a fully integrated platform for communication, collaboration, and productivity through a native, API-driven approach.
The advantage now is that users are able to easily connect to other applications and data sources, share relevant data, and present it to users in real-time and in a contextual experience. That data and functionality is also extended to mobile and IoT devices so the lifespan and value of that data expands as users and their environments grow.
The way people work with others is also changing. With more than 37% of workers doing some amount of their jobs virtually, enterprises have to solve issues of inclusion and connectivity. Microsoft Teams gives users a way to chat and meet real-time for voice and video conferencing that connects internally and externally so users can share data in context to collaborate and make better decisions.
Enterprise Mobility + Security
Identifying threats and protecting individual and corporate data is increasingly a top priority for CIOs and other executives. Built in to Microsoft 365 are policies and controls that allow for organizations to be agile, but in an environment that protects data and how it’s transacted.
Microsoft EM+S gives enterprises the ability to seamlessly control and manage user access to privileged data. Admins are able to set access policies and get alerts when there is abnormal behavior from unauthorized users. A “data in motion” approach identifies issues with data being transacted where it shouldn’t, all done through intelligent data classification and encryption. Unsafe attachments, suspicious links, malware, and other threats are identified in almost real-time so issues can be quarantined and addressed rapidly.
Mobile device security is critical for modern enterprises. For mobile workers, enterprises can rely on protection of company data across all devices with an EM+S running in the background without disruption to workers’ access or productivity.
Microsoft 365 Seamlessly Delivers on Business Goals
Microsoft is helping change the desktop into a usable tool that keeps workers focused on getting things done, not on the old stop-and-start cadence of moving between apps and installing new upgrades and patches. It’s a major step towards a more seamless, productive experience that uses technology more efficiently in an effort to deliver on business goals.