January 4, 2023 Knowledge Center Office 365

How Microsoft Tools Can Help SMBs Do More With Less

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Feeling a little hesitant heading into 2023? You’re not alone. Small and mid-sized business owners are facing a lot of uncertainty. And while the economy, interest rates, and the ongoing political climate are all excellent reasons to be distracted, you still need to focus on running your business and maturing your organization.  

One solution is to do more with less. But don’t worry – we don’t mean working harder or putting in more hours. Today, doing more with less means working smarter, reducing complexity, and using technology to make the most out of what you’re already doing. 

The Five Imperatives from Microsoft’s 2022 Ignite Conference

Our Chief Technology Officer, Brandon Nohr, attended the annual Microsoft conference to hear from industry leaders and learn more about new products and features. In particular, he enjoyed hearing from Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadela, who kicked off Microsoft’s 2022 Ignite conference by sharing five digital imperatives for the enterprise that help companies do more with less. Read on to see how the imperatives can be applied to SMBs.  

Imperative #1: Be more data-driven in your decisions 

Want to increase the likelihood that your decisions will be successful? Or visualize the trends and insights hidden within your spreadsheets? Then it’s time to start being more data-driven in your decision-making. To do that, Microsoft makes it easy for people to work together on the same data, co-create reports, and share insights with the team – all within the same apps you’re already using (i.e., Teams and Excel).  

Tools that can help SMBs:  

  • Microsoft Power BI – enables your team to make confident decisions using up-to-the-minute analytics. 

Imperative #2: Leverage automation and AI to gain insights and increase your capacity 

Why should data scientists and professional application developers have all the fun? There are tools available today that empower anyone in your company to build new capabilities. And they’re easier to use than you think. Just imagine the time you’ll save by automating time-consuming workflows.  

Tools that can help SMBs: 

  • Power Automation – lets anyone use low-code, drag-and-drop tools to automate repetitive tasks.  
  • Power Virtual Agents – allows you to create conversational bots to respond to customer or employee questions quickly.   

Imperative #3: Innovate with an easy-to-use development platform 

Don’t have the data to make better decisions or the applications to speed up and standardize workflows? You can create them with no developer and no coding experience. All you need is a problem that needs solving and tools you’re probably already using.  

Tools that can help SMBs: 

  • Power Appsallows anyone to build custom apps using prebuilt templates with drag-and-drop simplicity.   
  • SharePoint Lists – helps you track issues, assets, routines, contracts, inventory (etc.) and gives coworkers a flexible way to organize information.  

Imperative #4: Get your hybrid workforce collaborating and engaging with the company and each other 

The pandemic created massive changes in our work patterns. Today, companies of every size need mechanisms in place to account for different work styles and locations (because popping into someone’s office may no longer be an option). Thankfully, many of the communication and collaboration tools we used during the pandemic will be part of how we work in the future. 

Tools that can help SMBs:  

  • Microsoft 365 – provides a complete, cloud-based experience that makes work better for today’s digitally connected and distributed workforce. To learn more, access SUCCESS’s free M365 Guide. 
  • Microsoft Teams – makes it easier to meet, call, collaborate, chat, and more. (While you may have gotten the hang of this tool during the pandemic, chances are you could use even more of its features.)  
  • Microsoft Viva – keeps people informed and empowers people and teams to be their best.   

Imperative #5: Protect everything, everyone, everywhere 

Cybersecurity threats are accelerating, and companies of every size are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. So, if you’re not aggressively protecting your company’s data, cyber criminals could make it disappear in just a few clicks.  

You can protect yourself and your data assets using another tool in the Microsoft ecosystem (and you may already have the license for it). If you do nothing else on this list, maximize your spending and mitigate your risk by strengthening your data security.  

Tools that can help SMBs: 

  • Microsoft Defender – offers enterprise-level protection that’s cost-effective and easy to use.   

Are you maximizing the Microsoft tools you’ve already paid for? 

When working with customers, we’ve discovered that many leaders don’t realize all the tools they have access to within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. (And that doesn’t include taking advantage of the new features released all the time. For example, Microsoft announced more than 100 new services and updates for businesses during this year’s Ignite conference.) 

If you’re a small or mid-sized business owner with big plans for 2023, don’t overlook the power available to you in the broader suite of Microsoft tools – some of which we touched on here. These tools can unlock potential and add value to companies of every size. Plus, they’re easy to learn and use.  

SUCCESS Computer Consulting can help 

Are you curious about workflow automation, data visualization, or the value those tools could bring to your company? Success Computer Consulting can help.  

We help small to mid-sized companies use the Microsoft ecosystem to achieve their business goals. Our team can support you as you bring these tools onboard, or we can help you get more value out of the tools you already have – including the five digital imperatives we covered here. The result? Your internal IT team can move back to the priorities that matter most to your business. 

Learn more about Microsoft Consulting services for small and mid-sized companies. Contact SUCCESS today.