Automating for Efficiency in O365

Aug 2, 2018 by Trey Mayer

From resetting passwords to managing licenses, the administration of Microsoft Office 365 (O365) is a juggling act—and one that can turn costly when done inefficiently. Wasted effort and missed opportunities means lost money.

$70—That’s the average cost of one password reset, according to Forrester Research (Figure out how much it costs your organization here). So, think about it: if a password reset amounts to that much in company time, how much could onboarding just one user cost?

And user management is just one aspect of administrating O365. What about license management, data loss prevention and security? These are also very time consuming.

Here's the thing, administration doesn’t have to be a drag. It can be strategic; it can enable rather than limit. All you have to do is automate.

For example...

Automation in User Management

A user’s assimilation into, modification or departure from your company’s digital environment can be automated.

Quick tip #1: Create groups in Azure Active Directory. When you assign an employee to his or her respective group, account updates for the group can occur automatically.

Quick tip #2: Automate those runbooks you’ve traditionally been following manually. That first step—for example, when a new employee signs their letter of intent for onboarding—triggers the succession of steps that follow.

Automation in License Management

When it comes to software and product licenses, it’s license audits you should be automating.

Your company likely has unneeded licenses—which means it also has unneeded expenditures.

Quick tip: Sniff out those unnecessary costs—whether it be duplicate, un- or underused licenses—with license audits, and automate those audits to avoid to laborious process of conducting them manually.

Automation in Data Loss Prevention

Before you can begin to worry about external threats to your company data, you must first ensure its protection internally.

Quick tip #1: Use the tools you have—O365 offers Data Loss Prevention (DLP), and Azure comes equipped with Azure Information Protection (AIP).

Quick tip#2: Implement more local processes, and automate data protection rules. Take, for example, emails. Microsoft allows its users to automatically identify information in emails and documents. Once you’ve identified what information is sensitive, you can then automate rules around how employees share that information.

Automation in Security

Your company data can also be made more secure—against external threats—through automating security procedures.

If you have O365, you may be thinking: “Microsoft is known for their security measures.” True—but in a modern world where hacks make for consistent news, there’s always more you can do besides trusting in almighty Microsoft.

Quick tip: Enable monitors to watch for malicious activity, and automate real-time security alerts with Microsoft Office Cloud App Security.

So, the big takeaway?

Microsoft Office 365 should be your business’s key to success. But when you’re bogged down by its administration, it’s the success of you and the business that are at jeopardy.

Automating administrative tasks will ensure that your O365 administration is operating at its most efficient—which will mean the time that was being spent playing catch up can now be put towards those higher value-add projects.

Wish we went into more detail? You're in luck!

HMB's Director of Business Solutions, Trey Mayer, in our webinar "4 Automation Strategies for Reducing O365 Admin Time" on August 14 to get a more in-depth look into how to automate those processes.

Four 0365 Automation Strategies Webinar

We'll see you then!

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