AI has been taking the digital world by storm for the last couple years. For many businesses, AI tools have already become commonplace in day-to-day activities. With businesses continuously looking for ways to innovate, improve productivity and efficiency, it is no wonder that many companies have been embracing AI. An IDC report on AI from September 2023 found that respondents reported an average of 3.5x return on their AI investments. That means for every $1 spent on AI, they were making $3.50 in returned value, a 250% return on investment. In this report, it was projected that generative AI like ChatGPT and Copilot will add nearly $10 trillion to global GDP over the next 10 years.
As of November 1, 2023, Copilot for Microsoft 365 has been available for businesses to purchase as an add-on to their M365 plans. While the free version of Copilot allows users access to the foundational capabilities, web grounding and commercial data protection, Copilot for Microsoft 365 adds Copilot functionality to Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Teams. Additionally, it allows for Microsoft Graph Grounding, Enterprise-Grade data protection, and customization in the Copilot studio. Companies can now take advantage of Microsoft’s generative AI offering for enterprises.
This blog will outline 5 ways that businesses can benefit from using Copilot for Microsoft 365.
One benefit businesses can reap from Copilot for Microsoft 365, and perhaps the most important benefit, is improving employee productivity. Microsoft Copilot for M365 integrates with Teams, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and other M365 applications, improving the capabilities and assisting users with tasks. For example, in Microsoft Word, Copilot utilizes its Intelligence Assistance to correct grammar and spelling errors, suggest synonyms, and even provide relevant content on the topic of writing. Similarly, Copilot can generate complex formulas, create charts and assist with data analysis in Excel. In PowerPoint, it can propose slide layouts, design ideas, and help articulate a message effectively. Essentially, Copilot can improve productivity across all of the Microsoft 365 applications.
On top of improving employee productivity through Microsoft 365 applications, Copilot can also help streamline operations by automating repetitive tasks to free up employee time for more important tasks. Moreover, Copilot leverages AI to analyze company data including sales, customer interactions, and operational metrics. It can use this data to provide actionable insights to help business leaders make informed decisions around trends, demand predictions, and areas of improvement. This can aid with optimizing resource allocation, task prioritization, and scaling up or down to meet business needs, ensuring operational flexibility.
Another key benefit that Copilot for Microsoft 365 provides for businesses is reducing IT costs. IT teams can benefit from the automation of routine tasks, as this includes tasks such as software updates, security patches, and system maintenance. By automating these processes, businesses can reduce the need for manual intervention and allow IT teams to focus on more important tasks.
Likewise, Copilot can utilize AI to predict potential IT issues before they escalate. By addressing these issues early, IT teams can avoid costly downtime and emergency repairs that could take hours.
Using data analysis, Copilot can help optimize resource allocation for IT operations such as reallocating licenses or adjusting server capacity to meet demand. It can also provide insights into cloud usage and spending, identify unused resources, optimize configurations, and choose cost-effective cloud services.
In addition to reducing IT costs, Microsoft Copilot 365 can also enhance security. Copilot integrates with Microsoft Defender for Office 365, providing robust protection against phishing, malware, and other cyber threats. It scans attachments, links, and emails to prevent malicious content from reaching your inbox. As well, Copilot can help with identity access management, by ensuring secure access to company resources. It supports Azure Active Directory for user authentication and authorization. For secure communications, Copilot encrypts data both in transit and at rest. Communication between devices and servers is secured using TLS/SSL protocols. Files stored in OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams are encrypted to prevent unauthorized access.
Copilot can also aid with security compliance, by helping businesses comply with industry regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, ISO 27001 and more. It provides audit logs, security reports, and compliance assessments. Copilot operates within the secure Microsoft 365 ecosystem. It adheres to enterprise-grade security, privacy, and compliance standards, ensuring that sensitive information remains protected.
Businesses can also benefit from the creativity and collaboration that Copilot for Microsoft 365 helps facilitate. One way that Copilot aids in the creative process, is by retrieving answers and inspirations from the web on behalf of the user. Whether they’re researching a topic, seeking creative inspiration, or looking for solutions, Copilot can provide real-time assistance. Similarly, Copilot can aid in creative tasks by suggesting relevant content and alternative approaches to jump-start the creative process. On top of aiding in the creative process, Copilot can also facilitate collaboration by offering AI-powered chat capabilities such as drafting emails, creating documents, generating meeting notes, and streamlining chat between team members. In collaborative documents, Copilot assists by ensuring consistent language, formatting and terminology.
In conclusion, the transformative impact of artificial intelligence on businesses is unmistakable, with Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 leading the charge in enhancing productivity, streamlining operations, reducing IT costs, bolstering security, and fostering creativity and collaboration. As businesses increasingly integrate Copilot into their daily operations, the tangible benefits become evident. With Copilot for Microsoft 365 now available as an add-on, companies can harness the power of Microsoft’s generative AI to propel their enterprises forward, making strides in innovation, efficiency, and overall success. The future of business is undoubtedly intertwined with the capabilities of AI, and Microsoft Copilot stands at the forefront of this transformative journey.