7 practical tips to implement Microsoft 365 Copilot for your business

7 practical tips to implement Microsoft 365 Copilot for your business 1920 1080 Kane Simms

I recently sat down with Pete Kemp, Principal Consultant at FSP, to discuss the lessons learned in implementing Microsoft 365 Copilot for enterprise businesses. Pete shared 7 specific lessons that all organisations should consider when looking at introducing Copilot’s AI-powered capabilities to their business.

  1. Understand that you’re shaping the future of your workplace. These days, it’s possible to wear your pyjamas on the sofa while you work, and yet be praised for your effectiveness. Why? Because we have digital tools that enable employees to perform at their best. The adoption of Microsoft 365 tools in general, catalysed by the pandemic, has allowed us to create flexible, collaborative, and efficient online workplaces, which employees can access from home, the office, or the factory. It’s not enough to add AI tools into your organisation, though, it’s about creating a culture of innovation and productivity from the boardroom to the shop floor. Businesses should view these tools as essential components in modernising their operations.
  2. Focus on productivity. Copilot for Microsoft 365 is fundamentally an AI-powered productivity tool, allowing the practical application of AI to everyday business processes. By assisting in tasks such as email drafting, meeting scheduling, and data insights gathering, Copilot showcases the tangible benefits AI can bring to every member of staff. If you focus on finding the areas where you can enhance productivity, you’ll find longer term adoption and success.
  3. Tailor AI adoption to specific needs. While Copilot offers out-of-the-box functionalities for common tasks, its real strength lies in customisation and the specific use case applications it can enable. Businesses should identify specific challenges or processes that can benefit from AI integration, running controlled trials to understand its impact and optimise its use across different functions. With Copilot Studio, you can do all of this and more in building custom and bespoke workflows that infuse AI into your business processes, so that you can focus on solving the most urgent operational pain points.
  4. Address adoption challenges before they arise. The adoption of new technologies like Copilot can face resistance from various quarters of an organisation. To overcome this, businesses should focus on change management strategies; create a diverse champion network to promote the tool’s benefits, offer comprehensive training, and foster a culture open to digital innovation. You can do this right now, before you even introduce the tool. Focus on empowering staff and solving problems, rather than on introducing tech for tech’s sake.
  5. Have data governance and security taken care of. It’s easy to access and generate content with AI tools like Copilot. Such tools rely on data to work properly. This means that you need robust data governance and security measures. Businesses need to ensure that sensitive information is adequately protected and that users understand the implications of data sharing and permissions within AI-enhanced workflows. You’ll need to control who can access what, and also consider who should have certain AI-assisted capabilities.
  6. Leverage AI internally before external application. Start AI adoption internally on processes such as HR, IT or specific departmental processes. That will offer you a safer environment to understand and refine the technology’s application before facing external risks. This approach allows you to build internal knowledge and establish foundational practices that can later be extended to customer-facing operations. Once you have your people comfortable with AI tools, it’s easier to foster support for exposing those tools to customers.
  7. Recognise the value of AI in streamlining operations. Beyond immediate productivity gains, AI tools like Copilot can transform how your business operates. From improving information access to enhancing decision-making with data insights, the strategic application of AI can make you more efficient. Bear this in mind and even search for this value as you roll out your internal AI capabilities.

Implementing Microsoft 365 Copilot or other AI services in your business isn’t just about leveraging new technology—it’s about setting a new standard for operational excellence and innovation. By following these seven practical tips, you can ensure a smooth integration of AI into your workflows, tailor AI adoption to your unique challenges, and foster an environment that embraces digital transformation and innovation.

What Microsoft is doing with Copilot is an indicator of where all businesses are heading. We know that AI can improve work, but it must be adopted and managed well.

Thanks to Pete for his time and sharing these lessons. If you’d like to listen or watch the whole podcast episode, you can check it out on LinkedIn, Spotify, YouTube, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

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