Identifying waste in Microsoft 365

The pandemic has arguably been the greatest accelerator of digital transformation, spurring a global move to remote working, and forever altering the way we work.

Many organizations have risen to the challenge, adopting new processes and tools to continue to work efficiently away from the office. Microsoft 365 in particular has been one of the most heavily relied upon tools, helping teams remain productive while acclimatizing to their new work environment.

However, this shift has come at a price. Microsoft 365 is a significant investment, and businesses are only going to generate a return on that investment when it’s used properly. Too many businesses have no real dynamic means of understanding the use of these products, and without being able to control and manage these applications, will never truly be able to manage the investment efficiently.

Companies are overspending on Microsoft 365 licenses

A clear pattern we’ve seen increasingly over the past year or so is that businesses are buying too many Microsoft 365 licenses, or continuing to pay for licenses they don’t need, therefore wasting budget.

It’s not uncommon when managing SaaS applications, but is an unnecessary cost to your business. In fact Gartner recently revealed that more than a fifth of SaaS applications become ‘shelfware.’

Within Microsoft 365, there are three main causes of wastage:

  • Applications no longer in use – this product range is so vast that there is often similar functionality that might already exist within your organization.
  • Duplicated accounts – purchasing going through different business units and individuals can often lead to duplicate accounts, as can mergers and acquisitions.
  • Unused accounts – there’s a tendency to assume that applications like Microsoft 365 or Teams are widely used across every organization, but this is not always the case. Many organizations have also experienced a higher number of movers and leavers in the past year, which can also lead to unused accounts.

 Gain better visibility of Microsoft 365 and reduce spend

To get the most from your Microsoft 365 investment, while reducing costs, a holistic view of usage is imperative. You need full visibility, establishing everything from a list of users by department, to what plans they have, to when they last signed in.

To do this, you need to make sure the right people have the right tools at the right time. If they don’t, this leads to waste, which means more costs for your business.

Before you even begin to think about optimization, the first step is to stop paying for unused licenses. Identifying and getting rid of what are known as ‘zombie’ accounts is the first step, and you can downgrade other users. However, it’s important to be mindful that some users could be on leave or have upcoming projects, so be sure to check in with users or department leads to find a route to understanding the match up between products and user profiles.

Find out more about how to manage and optimize M365 to help your business enable secure remote work and reduce costs in our latest webinar which you can watch on demand.

Or read more about finding the most cost-efficient way to manage Microsoft Office 365 in our ebook.

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Ben Murden

Ben Murden

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