Microsoft Copilot: the future of business is here (and it looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie)

by Sjoerd Alkema, on Nov 17, 2023 10:21:13 AM


With the long-awaited rollout of Microsoft 365 Copilot for enterprise, the future of business is finally here. However, if your organization wants to make the most out of all that Microsoft Copilot has to offer, proper preparations – and properly managed expectations – are in order.

Imagine you're asked to draft a project proposal. What if you didn't have to comb through several folders, email threads, meeting transcripts, and spreadsheets to find the information you’re looking for? What if all you would need to do is type: “Create a draft proposal based on last week's brainstorm meeting notes and the overall project roadmap” for the content to be generated in real-time? With Microsoft Copilot for enterprise, such methods have changed from sci-fi movies to everyday reality.

How Microsoft Copilot Transforms Productivity

Microsoft Copilot is the result of a collaboration with ChatGPT's OpenAI. The LLM-based generative AI model is supported by nearly 200 different Microsoft 365 applications, from Office Suite to Teams and from Outlook to SharePoint. Microsoft Copilot provides real-time intelligent assistance, enabling users to boost their productivity and enhance business insights through natural language prompts.

For example, if you ask Copilot “Tell my team how we updated the product strategy,” it will search your enterprise content management system for relevant email threads, documents, and chat activity to compile a status update. On a more strategic level, having Copilot generate data-driven business insights will help make crucial decisions.

Using Microsoft Copilot effectively

A word of caution: if you want to make the most of what Microsoft Copilot has to offer, you will need to come prepared. Naturally, there are specific technical requirements to meet and particular features to enable. However, the make-or-break aspect of successfully leveraging Microsoft Copilot is the quality of the content it has access to. Since the algorithm exclusively uses your enterprise content, you will need to make sure critical content aspects like metadata and folder structure are correctly configured, and any digital clutter is dealt with appropriately. Formulating a long-term strategy for content care will help you stay on top of things.

Another thing to consider when working with generative AI is that getting the results you want requires substantial user training. This step will take time, especially since each Microsoft application has specific requirements and as such, the way to phrase effective prompts will vary between tools. However, if you skip the user introduction, you'll end up spending a lot of valuable time patching up results that weren't what you had hoped for.

Navigating security and compliance concerns

As always when it comes to generative AI and LLMs, there are legitimate privacy and information security concerns. As with any cloud-based technology, the potential exposure of sensitive data is a serious risk. However, Copilot seamlessly adopts the security, compliance, and privacy policies configured in Microsoft 365 for your organization. That means Copilot can only pull from enterprise content the user prompting it has access to. Therefore, configuring robust encryption protocols and user access control in Microsoft 365 correctly is key. After all, the application of information security in Microsoft Copilot is only as good as you configured it to be. In other words, it's more important than ever to invest in proper content classification, content quality assurance, and information governance.

Take control of your digital workplace with Microsoft Copilot

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Topics:CloudMicrosoft 365SharePoint MigrationContent Care


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