At $600 a head per year, who gets Generative AI capability in your company?

While in a perfect world, every employee would have access to generative AI, the reality of paying $600 per user/per annum for Microsoft Copilot on top of existing M365 licenses makes that idea untenable.

This begs the question: Who should be the Copilot ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’? And why?

The strategic decision about who gets AI (generative and otherwise) becomes an investment vs. business value decision. For example, Gartner proposes this value hypothesis format: (AI Use Case “X”) will increase/decrease (Business KPI “Y”) by (“Z”%). The KPI doesn’t have to be financial - it can include indirect business metrics that influence customer success, cost efficiency, business growth, impact Net Promoter Score, productivity improvements and more.

Whether you take your lead from Gartner or adopt a more granular or departmental approach, it's important to remember that, like any other employee, generative AI needs to earn its keep. Achieving tangible results with measurable benefits should be the aim of any exercise to determine who gets a Copilot license.

So, what are the most important considerations in selecting the ‘haves’? Start with: Who in our business could use Copilot to measurably increase their productivity (once they’ve got to grips with it)? Promptly follow up with: What is an acceptable ROI for our business?

So, what does your ‘have’ worker most likely look like?

According to Microsoft, Copilot is best used by those who work with ‘an abundance of data’ stored in SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Exchange Online, and Teams. In other words, knowledge workers who depend on Microsoft 365.

Your ‘haves’ may produce customer-facing material like sales proposals, tender responses, or product information. Or write reports that require analysing large amounts of information stored in Microsoft repositories. Maybe they generate regular project updates or comprehensive marketing plans, campaigns and content. Perhaps they battle massive volumes of emails or attend endless meetings – each requiring action lists.

Once you’ve identified the ‘haves,’ you need to consider whether Copilot should be available to the entire ‘have’ team or just those individuals who would benefit most from improving and amplifying their output. For example, an already highly productive and skilled worker will derive less measurable benefits from Copilot than someone who performs at an average level. However, freeing up the time of a more experienced and productive employee will enable them to add more value and ‘brain power’ to the business when they don’t have to summarise meetings and produce PowerPoints from scratch.

The rapid rate of change and improvement of Copilot is set to benefit any worker in front of a computer or on a device - sooner than later. But for now, if you ignore all the benefits it brings, the level of investment required to roll out Microsoft 365 Copilot (or indeed any of the myriad other Copilots that Microsoft has on offer) to everyone in the organisation requires careful consideration.

If you’d like to discuss how to best optimise your Copilot budget, make better have/have-not decisions, or even just where to begin to create meaningful opportunities from GenAI, please contact us.

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2024 April
Great outcomes start with great conversations


Great outcomes start with great conversations

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