OneDrive for Business organic adoption metrics: What does good look like?


I’ve had several conversations recently about measuring organic adoption of OneDrive for Business. In an organic model, users are licensed for OneDrive but choose whether or not to adopt the platform. Since adoption is entirely voluntary, education campaigns and tracking of user analytics is vital. These analytics determine how widespread OneDrive usage has become, including its overall saturation in the organization. Companies with a directive OneDrive model have no need to measure saturation. In a directive model, usage of OneDrive is forced through the automated migration of shared drive content to OneDrive accounts or via the disablement of alternate storage locations. In either case, user saturation is at or near 100%.

So if you’re working with an organic OneDrive model, how do you determine when you’ve achieved successful adoption? A quick review of Microsoft’s OneDrive user analytics gives us a starting point. Using the Office 365 Admin Portal and the Adoption content pack, you can find:

  • The percentage of enabled (aka licensed) users that are active in OneDrive. Users are considered active if they store, share, sync, or edit files in OneDrive for Business.
  • The percentage of active users that return to OneDrive month over month. This metric illustrates active user loyalty, showing who keeps coming back to OneDrive over time.
  • The number of users that are active in OneDrive on a daily basis. Pay particular attention to your daily user trend line; it predicts whether you’re still on a path of growth.
  • The breakdown of new vs. returning OneDrive users. A useful statistic for measuring new engagement. In an organic rollout, you need a healthy percentage of both new and returning OneDrive users each month.

Organizations can easily track this information month-over-month, monitoring growth rates, studying trend lines, and building projections for future use. But how do you determine what “good” looks like? And how do you know if your organic OneDrive growth is slower than the rate of adoption at other organizations?

Let’s look at the percentage of licensed users that are active in OneDrive as an example. If only 10% of your enabled OneDrive users are active 6 months into your OneDrive rollout, are you failing to see appropriate adoption? Unfortunately, there aren’t good baseline stats to measure against. Many organizations choose to roll out OneDrive for Business using the directive model, so we can’t measure against their active user percentage. And while Microsoft has many suggestions for driving OneDrive adoption and usage, they don’t provide comparison stats on active user percentages for Office 365 customers.

It would be helpful if we could define thresholds for growth in active user percentages over time. For example, a great organic OneDrive rollout may see an active user percentage of 40-65% within the first 12 months. A slower-than-average rollout rate may have a much lower active user percentage rate (e.g. 10-20%).

To help build a comparison, I’m proposing a set of thresholds to depict poor, fair, good and excellent OneDrive organic adoption rates (in terms of active user percentage) over time. Each of these thresholds assume OneDrive has been available to users for 12 months:

  • Poor organic adoption  – 5-15%
  • Fair organic adoption – 15-25%
  • Good organic adoption – 25-50%
  • Excellent organic adoption – 50%+

Different types of organizations may have differences in their thresholds for measuring organic OneDrive adoption. I’m interested to know what others think of these thresholds. Are they too low? Or too high?

Disclaimers:

  • All opinions stated in this post are my own. My views do not reflect those of Microsoft or any other organization.
  • The focus for this post is solely on OneDrive user engagement. I purposely avoided mention of file storage statistics (e.g. number of files stores, number of files shared, overall storage space consumed, etc.) as these are not indicators of voluntary OneDrive adoption. Analysis of storage and file engagement can come later.
  • This post focuses on OneDrive for Business adoption (e.g. the physical act of storing, accessing and editing files), not business value. A study of the business benefits that are realized from adoption of OneDrive should be completed and quantified.

 

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