Enterprise Financial Services Microsoft 365 Adoption Planning and Design 

Digital transformation in an enterprise organisation is an undeniably challenging path to navigate. Large financial investments coupled with an unforgiving deployment environment means those in charge of steering these programmes are often faced with an almost impossible task.

This is why when starting work with our clients, we assume nothing and explore everything. This means that any programme of this type, even with our longest client relationships, the process starts at the beginning by discovering the pain points, the work already done and the hopes and dreams for this initiative.

Spotlight Feature: Client Adopts E5 – Part 1

Our journey begins in October 2021 with one of East Africa’s premier banking groups; 2000 employees across Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. To support their impressive growth and set themselves up for success; with an agile and empowered workforce – the bank invested in Microsoft 365 E5 licenses; deciding to take advantage of the best the cloud has to offer.

The bank’s IT and ISO teams were already at capacity; managing a growing and busy environment – delivering an organisation-wide transformation was a priority but day-to-day business disruption was not an option. The business, the leadership, and the programme delivery team had a clear understanding of the possible benefits available to them from their investment. However, the journey of how to get there, the capacity to do so, and the confidence it would be done in a compliant, speedy, and disruption-free manner were missing.

Without this clarity, the return on their investment [ROI] would never be achieved and legacy services would have to be renewed – ripping up budget plans for the financial year.

The fastest adoption of Microsoft 365 E5 in East Africa

When FITTS engaged the client that October, an initial 60-day sprint was defined to set the wheels in motion for what would turn out to be the fastest adoption of Microsoft 365 E5 in East Africa.

Our process started with a series of workshops to explore everything. The collaborative workshops analysed the capabilities available to the Bank, defined the technical and non-technical actions to accomplish each, and enabled the Bank to share with FITTS the constraints and concerns related to the regulatory framework they operate in across their four locations.

Workshops complete, the next step was to prioritise the deliverables using a 3-Dimensional matrix, assessing each objective against:

B – Benefit – the perceived or real positive impact on business, security and IT operations (Y-axis)

D – Difficulty – the difficulty to implement accounting for complexity, dependencies, and appetite for change  (X-axis)

I – Impact – the number of users affected by the change and therefore the level of change management required to support (Bubble size)


Figure 1 – Sample Prioritisation Matrix for M365 E5 Adoption

From the matrix, each deliverable could be sorted into High (green), Medium (Amber) and Low (Red) priorities – providing structure to the delivery roadmap.

FITTS worked with the client to define a delivery roadmap for 2022 in keeping with their objectives; and used the remaining time before the end of 2021 to set out the details behind each deliverable.

A security and compliance design aligned the ICT and ISO offices against a common set of controls to protect cloud workloads. A Teams design document defined the heart of the future user experience and informed the change and adoption planning process that would follow in Phase 2.

Finally, FITTS and the Bank set out to capitalise on quick wins; cleaning up the foundations ready for an accelerated delivery programme in the coming months – a programme that would start with implementing a Zero-trust architecture.

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

A project planning document will only get you so far on your digital transformation journey. Taking the time and leveraging an experienced partner to help achieve an in-depth understanding of the capabilities available will ensure an adoption plan isn’t just deliverable; but that it achieves the maximum ROI.

In a large financial services organisation like our client spotlight above, there is a significant amount of complexity and the constraints associated with the industry cannot be ignored – but it is possible to deliver at speed if the right attention and expertise is paid to the first part of the process: Planning.

Click here to find out if your organisation is eligible for zero-cost assessment and planning workshops like our client featured above. Kickstart your Microsoft 365 adoption journey and be the next big success story in East Africa.