The Changing Role of IT Part II: Increasing Workforce Productivity

By on August 9, 2017

This is a Microsoft Office-sponsored post

This post is part II of my report on the changing role of IT in business today as companies migrate to the cloud. In an informative video from the team at Office 365, host Tom Batcheler talked with Anne Michels, Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft, on how their software is helping IT departments simplify complex tasks while increasing efficiency and productivity…all from the Admin Center in Office 365.

I wrote down three big takeaways from the interview:


  • Security and Compliance – two key areas for IT departments are now housed in one area within the Admin Center. This feature makes it easier to managers to stay on top of issues effecting the company and its customers. Smart move by Office 365!
  • Greater Accountability – Companies can now see how and when employees are using Office 365. Custom reports will detail what features are used (and not used) right down to individuals. This is a key element for adopting new programs in organizations. It also means greater accountability within departments—which is critical for increasing productivity. For example, an email report will show when an email was sent, received, and read. As a business owner myself, I want to see that my employees are engaged with what’s happening in our business.
  • The Dashboard – Another smart feature in the Admin Center is the Dashboard which gives IT people a snapshot of how Office 365 is being used in four critical areas: Adoption, Collaboration, Communication, and Activation. Dashboard managers now have the ability to generate and edit custom reports show usage insights by region, department, office, and right down to a single user.


My overall impression of Office 365 is that owners of growing businesses will benefit from the security, compliance, and accountability features offered by the software. In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s imperative that companies remove interdepartmental silos and act as a unified organization to meet the demanding needs of their customer base. The winners moving forward will incorporate the latest technological innovations without slowing down.

Companies, specifically IT departments, also need to confirm that employees are engaged, enthusiastic, and share the corporate culture of the business. Without their active involvement in onboarding new technology, and interacting with customers on whatever channel they choose, companies run the risk of falling behind their competition.

The next 2-3 years will see a massive transformation in almost every part of our business and personal lives. I advise all of my clients to stay focused on the specific economic indicators that concern their marketplace, and the technology that will change how they operate and how their customers will buy from them. Any business owner or leader who replies “I just don’t have the time to keep up with all these changes—and there are plenty who say it—can expect to have a lot more time on their hands when the company they run goes out of business. This is my strong suggestion to be proactive rather than reactive.  

For more information on Office 365, visit


About Brian Moran

Prior to rejoining the world of entrepreneurship, Brian was the Executive Director of Sales Development at the Wall Street Journal where he oversaw the sales development and marketing programs for the financial and small business categories among the many Journal brands. From 2002-2010, Brian was President of Veracle Media and Moran Media Group.

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