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What You Can Do NOW To Get Ready For Copilot

Updated: Mar 15

Copilot is a game-changer for your business that can transform the way you work and unleash more productivity from your workforce, but if you deploy it without preparation, you could be setting yourself up for a world of problems...


In this blog post, I'm going to focus on exactly that. The actionable steps you should take to prepare for Copilot for Microsoft 365.


Ultimately, I want to help you on your path to leverage the benefits of Copilot to help keep you ahead of your competitors. After all, it's predicted that Microsoft 365 Copilot will reach 6.9 million US knowledge workers in 2024 alone...





Risks of Deploying Copilot Without Preparation

Before we get into the actionable steps you should take to prepare for Copilot, let's first review the key points on why you shouldn't deploy Copilot without this preparation:

  • Copilot relies on the quality and quantity of the organisation’s data to provide relevant and accurate suggestions. Without proper data hygiene and search configuration, Copilot may produce suboptimal or erroneous results.

  • Copilot uses the existing permissions and policies of the organisation to access and process data. Without proper content management and governance, Copilot may expose sensitive or confidential information to unauthorized users.

  • Copilot requires some technical prerequisites and features to be enabled for the organisation and the users. Without meeting these requirements, Copilot may not work as intended or cause compatibility issues.

  • Copilot introduces a new way of working with Microsoft 365 apps and services, which may require some change management and adoption strategies. Without preparing the users and stakeholders for this transformation, Copilot may face resistance or misunderstanding.


So with that out of the way, what can we do as IT leaders to ensure the greatest success in preparing our organisations for Copilot?





Actionable Steps To Prepare Your Organisation For Copilot 

1) Understand How To License Copilot

Copilot is available as an add-on product. There are different types of licenses depending on if you are an individual user, a business user, or an enterprise user. Here is a summary of the main differences:

Copilot Pro

This is a subscription for individual users who want to access the full features and capabilities of Copilot, such as accelerated performance, priority access to GPT 4 and GPT 4-Turbo, and faster AI image creation with Microsoft Designer. Copilot Pro also allows you to use Copilot in selected Microsoft 365 apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote, if you have a separate Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscription. 

Copilot Pro costs £19 per user, per month

Copilot for Microsoft 365

This is an add-on license for business and enterprise users who want to use Copilot in their Microsoft 365 apps and services. Copilot for Microsoft 365 integrates with your organization’s data in Microsoft Graph and respects your permissions and policies. To use Copilot for Microsoft 365, you need to have an existing subscription to one of the following: Microsoft 365 E3 or E5, Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Premium, or Office E3 or E5. 

Copilot for Microsoft 365 costs £24.70 per user, per month

Copilot in Windows 11

This is a preview feature that allows you to use Copilot in Windows 11. Copilot in Windows 11 is integrated with the taskbar and works with any app or service that supports text input. Copilot in Windows 11 is currently available as part of the 22H2 update to Windows 11 in select global markets.

Copilot for Windows 11 is free!

Copilot in Microsoft Edge

This is a feature that allows you to use Copilot in Microsoft Edge. Copilot in Microsoft Edge is integrated with the address bar and works with any website that supports text input. 

Copilot for Microsoft Edge is free!

From here we can start to build a project viability and budget by comparing the cost vs the potential benefit. You could go as far as building out an ROI calculator for this by the cost of resources and potential time benefit, but this will look very different for every business.

2) Build a business case for Copilot

Now we need to focus on getting this project approved.

Define your objectives and scope

  • What are the goals and outcomes that you want to achieve with Copilot?

  • How does Copilot align with your organization’s vision, strategy, and priorities?

  • What are the processes, tasks, and scenarios that you want to improve or enable with Copilot?

  • How will you measure and track your success?

  • You should clearly articulate your objectives and scope, and align them with your stakeholders’ expectations and needs.

Identify your benefits and costs

  • What are the benefits and value that Copilot can deliver to your organization, your teams, and your users?

  • How can Copilot help you save time, improve quality, create value, and enhance creativity, productivity, and skills?

  • What are the costs and investments that you need to make to adopt Copilot, such as the license fee, the technical requirements, and the change management?

  • You should quantify and qualify your benefits and costs, and use data, evidence, and examples to support your claims.

Analyse your risks and mitigation

  • What are the potential risks and challenges that you may face when adopting Copilot, such as technical issues, user resistance, security concerns, or compliance requirements?

  • How can you mitigate or minimize these risks and challenges, such as by testing, training, communicating, or securing your data and systems?

  • You should identify and assess your risks and mitigation, and use scenarios, contingency plans, and best practices to address them.

Present your business case

  • How can you present your business case to your board and persuade them to approve your Copilot adoption?

  • How can you structure your business case, use visuals and storytelling, and highlight the key points and messages?

  • How can you anticipate and answer the questions and objections that your board may have, such as the ROI, the feasibility, or the alternatives?


3) Conduct a Copilot for Microsoft 365 Readiness Assessment

As with all things, we must start with data. We need to get a clear view of where our organisation currently is, and what relevant steps it needs to take to get ready for Copilot for Microsoft 365.

The best way to do this is to carry out a Copilot Readiness Assessment.

The Copilot Readiness Assessment should focus on 4 key areas:

  1. User readiness

  2. Organisation readiness

  3. Productivity tool readiness

  4. Data security readiness

The assessment will give you a clear output on guidance for steps to take. i.e. are you ready to deploy Copilot, or if not, what steps do you need to take to optimise for Microsoft 365 Copilot

Copilot for Microsoft 365 readiness



4) How to prepare your environment for Copilot for Microsoft 365

Information Protection Labelling

  • This is a feature that allows you to classify and protect your data based on sensitivity labels. You can use labels to apply encryption, access restrictions, and visual markings to your data. To prepare for Copilot, you should identify and classify your important data across your hybrid environment, and create and apply labels that match your data protection and governance policies. You can also use Copilot to scan and label your data automatically or manually.

  • learn about sensitivity labels

Semantic Indexing

  • This is a feature that enables conceptual understanding of your data and helps you find relevant and actionable information in your organization. It uses vectorized indices and machine learning algorithms to analyse your data and connect it to the Microsoft Graph. To prepare for Copilot, you should enable semantic indexing for your organization and configure it for the locations and services that you want to index. You can also use Copilot to search and discover your data using natural language queries.

  •  Semantic Index for Copilot

SharePoint Site Restrictions Configured

  • This is a feature that allows you to restrict access to SharePoint sites and content to users in a specific group. You can use this feature to comply with regulations, reduce your risk, and prevent data leakage. To prepare for Copilot, you should enable site-level access restriction for your organization and configure it for individual sites. You can also use Copilot to monitor and audit your site access and activity.

  • Restrict SharePoint site access

Access Reviews

  • This is a feature that allows you to review and manage user and guest access to your resources, such as groups, applications, and roles. You can use access reviews to ensure that only the right people have continued access and comply with regulations. To prepare for Copilot, you should create and configure access reviews for the resources that you want to review and assign reviewers to participate in the reviews. You can also use Copilot to automate and monitor your access reviews and take actions based on the results.

  • Review your access to groups & apps in access reviews

  • Data Loss Prevention

  • This is a feature that allows you to identify and prevent unsafe or inappropriate sharing, transfer, or use of sensitive data. You can use DLP to protect and secure your data and comply with regulations. The DLP term refers to defending organizations against both data loss and data leakage prevention. To prepare for Copilot, you should create and configure DLP policies that define how your organization labels, shares, and protects data. You can also use Copilot to detect and alert on DLP violations and incidents and take remediation actions.

  • Learn about data loss prevention

Retention Policies

  • This is a feature that allows you to manage the lifecycle of your data by deciding whether to retain, delete, or both content in different locations and services. You can use retention policies to comply with industry regulations, reduce risk, and share knowledge. To prepare for Copilot, you should create and configure retention policies that specify the retention period and action for your content. You can also use Copilot to apply and enforce retention policies and manage your records.

  • Learn about retention policies & labels to retain or delete




5) How to meet the technical prerequisites for Copilot for Microsoft 365

What base Microsoft 365 licenses do you need for Copilot to add on to?

  • Microsoft 365 E5

  • Microsoft 365 E3

  • Office 365 E3

  • Office 365 E5

  • Microsoft 365 A5 for faculty

  • Microsoft 365 A3 for faculty

  • Office 365 A5 for faculty

  • Office 365 A3 for faculty

  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard

  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium


Ensure you have implemented:

  • Azure AD

  • Microsoft Entra ID

  • Microsoft 365 Apps

  • For Copilot to work in Word Online, Excel Online, and PowerPoint Online, you need to have third-party cookies enabled.

Microsoft Outlook

  • Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 works with the new Outlook (for Windows and Mac), which are currently in preview. Users can switch to the new Outlook by selecting Try the new Outlook in their existing Outlook client.

  • To have Copilot appear in the new Outlook, you need to sync your Microsoft 365 settings. To do this, go to View and manage your Microsoft 365 settings.

  • Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 will be supported on classic Outlook for Windows (Win32 desktop app) in the future.

Update Channel

Microsoft 365 Network Connectivity Principles

6) Prepare your employees for Copilot for Microsoft 365

Communicate the launch

  • Communicate the benefits of Copilot: Explain how Copilot can help your employees work smarter, faster, and more creatively by providing relevant suggestions, insights, and content based on their context and preferences.

Establish a center of excellence

  • With internal super users or champions for users to share their experiences and ask questions

  • Teams channel, internal company newsletter, etc…

  • provide training and support resources, such as videos, guides, webinars, and FAQs, to help your users get started and learn more. You can find some useful resources for Copilot adoption in this portal and this community.

Train users in the art of prompting

  • How to get better responses by providing more specific details in prompts

  • The better the prompt, the better the outcome

  • "Copilot lab experience" has a full library of useful prompts

Train users to create better content

  • Establish best practices for storing and sharing content

  • encourage your users to organize and label their content, such as documents, emails, chats, and notes, to make it easier for Copilot to find and use.




Copilot Implementation Shortcuts - How we can help

Don’t miss this opportunity to get ahead of the curve with Copilot...

And if you want any shortcuts, we can help with the below:

  • Sandbox Demo of Copilot

  • Conduct a FOC Copilot Readiness Assessment

  • Help you meet the technical requirements

  • Help you manage permissions and content

  • Help you drive adoption

  • Help you stay up to date and understand what Copilot is and how it works.


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