Preparing for the security, governance and collaboration impact of Microsoft Copilot
As technology evolves at an ever-increasing pace, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for organizations looking to optimize their operations and enhance productivity. Microsoft Copilot, the latest innovation from the tech giant, is creating quite a buzz in the business world, with a recent announcement that the solution will be generally available for enterprise customers on Nov. 1, 2023, along with Microsoft 365 Chat.
To help you prepare for Copilot’s release, this article covers:
Microsoft 365 Copilot is a sophisticated AI-powered productivity tool designed to enhance the Microsoft 365 experience. It coordinates three key components: Large Language Models (LLMs), content from Microsoft Graph (emails, chats, documents), and Microsoft 365 apps (Word, PowerPoint, etc.). It promises to streamline workflows, boost collaboration, and simplify tasks for users. With its ability to assist in various facets of your Microsoft 365 environment, Copilot aims to be a valuable addition to your organization's tech toolkit.
Below are additional details from Microsoft to help you assess Copilot for your organization.
How it works: Copilot operates within Microsoft 365 apps, assisting users in various tasks. It uses grounding to improve specificity, processes user prompts, and leverages LLMs to generate contextual responses.
Content utilization: Copilot connects LLMs with organizational data from Microsoft Graph, such as documents, emails, and chats. It combines content and context to provide accurate and relevant responses.
Extensibility: Organizations can extend Copilot to work with third-party tools and services through plugins or external data sources.
Generated content: Copilot's AI-generated content serves as drafts and summaries. Users should exercise judgment before sending them. Microsoft doesn't claim ownership of this content.
Responsible AI: Microsoft is committed to responsible AI usage, prioritizing ethical principles and transparency. It actively addresses potential AI-related issues.
Preparing for Copilot: Organizations need Microsoft E3 or E5 subscription plans and the right information access controls to use Copilot effectively.
Privacy and compliance: Microsoft 365 Copilot adheres to strict privacy, security, and compliance standards, including GDPR and EU Data Boundary. It doesn't use prompts, responses, or data from Microsoft Graph to train LLMs.
Data protection: Copilot ensures data security and privacy, respecting user permissions and encryption. It operates within Microsoft 365 service boundaries.
EU data boundary: For EU users, Copilot's traffic stays within the EU Data Boundary, ensuring compliance with EU regulations.
Regulatory compliance: Microsoft 365 Copilot complies with existing privacy, security, and compliance commitments to Microsoft 365 commercial customers.
For seamless integration of Copilot with Outlook, you're required to use the new Outlook for Windows, currently in preview. You can switch to Outlook Mobile to access the new Outlook experience. For more information, see Getting started with the new Outlook for Windows.
To use Copilot with Microsoft Teams, you must use the Teams desktop client or web client. Both current and new versions of Teams are supported. Mobile-only users have limited functionality.
To use Copilot in Microsoft Loop, you must have Loop enabled for your tenant. For more information on enabling Loop, see Get started with Microsoft Loop.
Users in the Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program must be on the Current Channel to use Copilot. To learn more, see update channels for Microsoft 365 Apps or check out the Microsoft training module for Copilot.
The most important thing you can do before implementing Copilot org-wide is to establish robust content management practices.
Many organizations are already grappling with issues such of data governance and content oversharing. (Oversharing refers to instances where content is disseminated to a wider audience than necessary, either deliberately or inadvertently.) To see what measures your organization can take to identify and curb oversharing, read The new era in content management and security in SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams.
Evaluate your needs: Before diving into Copilot adoption, conduct a comprehensive assessment of your organization's needs and pain points. Identify where Copilot can make the most significant impact. Do you require assistance with automating routine tasks, enhancing collaboration, or optimizing data analysis? By clarifying your objectives, you can ensure that Copilot aligns with your specific goals, making it a meaningful addition to your technology arsenal.
Data preparation: Copilot's effectiveness hinges on the quality and organization of your data. Prior to implementation, invest time in cleaning and structuring your data. Ensure that it adheres to data governance policies and complies with relevant regulations. A well-prepared data environment allows Copilot to provide accurate insights and recommendations, enabling more informed decision-making across your organization.
Staff training: To fully leverage Copilot's capabilities, provide comprehensive training to your workforce. Equip employees with the knowledge and skills required to navigate and utilize this AI-powered assistant effectively. Training should encompass not only the technical aspects of Copilot but also its practical applications within your organization's workflows. By fostering a knowledgeable and proficient team, you can ensure that Copilot becomes an integral part of your daily operations, enhancing productivity and efficiency.
Governance measures: Copilot's interaction with sensitive data necessitates a thorough review of your organization's cybersecurity measures. Prioritize data security by evaluating and strengthening your existing protocols. Consider encryption, access controls, and authentication mechanisms to safeguard critical information. Additionally, establish clear policies and procedures for data handling within the Copilot environment. By proactively addressing security concerns, you can confidently integrate Copilot while maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of your data. This is an area where CoreView can really help.
Integration planning: Implementing Copilot into your organization requires a well-planned integration strategy. Start by thoroughly assessing your existing infrastructure and workflows. Identify potential points of integration and areas where Copilot can seamlessly enhance processes. Develop a detailed integration plan that outlines the necessary steps, timelines, and responsibilities. Minimize disruptions by coordinating the deployment of Copilot with minimal impact on ongoing operations. A carefully executed integration strategy ensures a smooth transition and allows your organization to fully embrace the benefits of this AI-driven assistant.
In conclusion, Microsoft Copilot offers exciting possibilities for organizations seeking to boost productivity and streamline their Microsoft 365 experience. While it comes with immense potential, being "Copilot ready" involves careful planning, addressing integration challenges, and ensuring robust security and management measures.
Is your organization "Copilot ready?" The journey to greater efficiency and productivity begins with informed decision-making. Resources to learn more:
Alternatively, a Microsoft 365 management solution like CoreView can help you proactively prepare for the adoption of Copilot.
With CoreView, #1 Microsoft 365 management platform, our customers are prepared to take on innovation at a rapid pace. With specific governance capabilities designed specifically for Microsoft 365, CoreView gives IT teams a way to detect policy, access and data violations and anomalies, then remediate them through automated Playbooks.
To see how Playbooks work, check out our Knowledge Base.