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How to keep your Microsoft 365 environment green and comfortable

Monday, 3 October 2022

Evergreen IT is all about keeping your IT platform in tune with continuous updates and improvements. Today, it has become a prerequisite for maintaining security, productivity and compliance.

But despite the fact that Microsoft 365 is literally built for Evergreen IT and data-driven ways of working, many are only taking advantage of a fraction of the platform's capabilities. It's time to change that.

So how do you achieve Evergreen IT with Microsoft 365 specifically?

Evergreen IT - how it works

In the past, many companies got ahead despite a growing "technology debt" that they tried to pay off with a major upgrade project (at best) every three years. Today, this is no longer a sustainable strategy. Digital tools are not being used effectively, production is falling and employees are falling behind in their skills development. And with each passing month, the company accumulates more active security threats, which sooner or later lead to incidents.

To get out of this situation, it is important to understand what Microsoft 365 does and enables. The person administering the platform can monitor the state of the company's IT environment via dashboards, or dashboards. There, the status of the company is always displayed:

  • Security

  • Compliance

  • Productivity

  • Climate footprint

  • Network performance

With the exception of the climate footprint, each area is assigned a "score", or point, from 0 to 100 percent, from red to green. The goal should be to at least stay above 60 percent, the threshold for what Microsoft classifies as green - an IT environment on par with Microsoft 365.

Microsoft 365 tells you how to do this. In terms of security, you can get a notification to turn on a client's firewall or enable a feature. If someone has violated a security policy, you'll get an alert. The system keeps track of what users are doing, how they are following the rules set and can give them reminders when needed. It monitors company compliance by keeping track of changes in regulations such as GDPR or ISO and adjusts its advice accordingly.

The platform compares how employees use the platform with what has proven to be best practice. Looking at productivity, for example, Teams has been shown to be well suited to multi-person collaboration, while email is more suited to external communication. This allows Microsoft 365 to identify opportunities for improvement, such as suggesting appropriate training in Teams. Another common improvement is to record seminars and presentations so that more people can take part in them. Or having employees learn how to use Microsoft Office on mobile.

Workflow bottlenecks are detected, such as the speed at which files can be uploaded from home, so that misconfigured networks can be addressed.

By addressing needs as they arise, you keep your IT environment - and your users - in shape. And you know the money is being spent on improvements that are really needed.

You will also receive reports that show in clear figures how the company is doing. This can come in handy if your IT department needs to demonstrate Microsoft reliability or justify an investment in security.

What you need to do

Although a large part of the updates and suggestions are automatic in the platform, continuous maintenance is required. Someone needs to keep an eye on the dashboards, decide which recommendations to follow and which deficiencies to remedy. A flesh-and-blood human has to take actions such as dealing with alarms in a timely manner, activating features and setting up rules forusers.

The more often you do it, the more in tune with the platform your IT environment is and the better it - and your business - will perform. To do this, you need IT staff with up-to-date skills in security, productivity, compliance and networking. It can be hard to find one person who knows all areas well enough, often you need more than one to cover them.

One option is to get help.

Microsoft 365 Evergreen keeps your IT green

WeSafe has a security team that keeps businesses that have signed up to the Microsoft 365 Evergreen service IT secure by monitoring, making recommendations and taking action on an ongoing basis. Our compliance team makes sure businesses are compliant with laws and regulations, and our productivity team helps users become more efficient. We take care of your administration and update you monthly on new regulations, security risks, releases and products.

You benefit from both Microsoft's and our collective experience of a large number of business users, who are constantly up-to-date with the latest technologies, trends and security risks.

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