Moving to less choice

This is the second post in a series discussing being overwhelmed by Microsoft’s many choices in productivity tools. The series began with a statement about having too many choices. This next post begins to pull apart that statement. Is the answer to move to a platform with less choices?

Microsoft are giving us too many choices. We’re going to move our organisation to a competing technology that offers less choices. We know the platform we move to will have it’s short comings. But we can choose from a number of different third-party services to fill the gaps and integrate with the new non-Microsoft platform.

We will evaluate each third-party service and after we have narrowed down the choices, we can put together a modern workplace that is as good as Microsoft’s offerings. Maybe better. 

...we can choose from a number of different third-party services to fill the gaps...

We have already established that choices are everywhere and not just in the Microsoft ecosystem. Microsoft is creating more an more choices for us. Some that overlap. Many of them integrate, at a minimum using the same authentication service. Moving outside of the Microsoft ecosystem does not mean you have “less choice”.  

Your productivity requirements haven’t changed. The new platform might meet half of the requirements. That may be satisfactory, for now. But soon, there will be questions from people asking how they do the things they used to be able to do. There are still choices to be made, particularly when selecting third-party services to fill the gaps in functionality of the core service.

There will still be an evaluation process for the additional third-party services. Each one will be evaluated based on:

  • Meeting a requirements list.
  • Ease of use.
  • Depth of integration with the core platform.
  • Maintenance effort when services are updated - change management and communication of changes to end users.
  • Cost of the service, on top of the core platform. 

Once the third-party services have been chosen to fill the gaps, you’ll have choices to make about the data you bring across to the new platform. Should everything be migrated? Should it be left on the existing platform, and your organisation start using the new platform for communication, collaboration, coordination and connection scenarios? The next post in this series discusses these questions. The choices that are made will potentially create more choices for end-users to understand and make.

If you find yourself stirred up to agree, disagree, correct me or offer a different viewpoint, I welcome the discussion.