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Optimize Employee Offboarding in Microsoft Office 365 and Other Cloud-Based Tools

Optimize Employee Offboarding in Microsoft Office 365 and Other Cloud-Based Tools

When one of your employees hands in a letter of resignation, the offboarding process starts. Offboarding is the opposite of onboarding; it’s the process of decoupling an employee from your company. It encompasses a range of approaches that aim to smooth the leaving transition for both you and the employee who has resigned or retired. 

Traditional aspects of the offboarding process include: 

  • Finding a replacement for the employee and handing over their responsibilities
  • Revoking employee access rights and passwords
  • Collecting company-owned equipment
  • Holding exit interviews to understand the decision and make company improvements 

While a considerable part of the offboarding process is considered an HR activity, our dependence on technology in today’s workplace means that offboarding also falls within the realm of technology.

Chances are, your employees have accounts for a range of digital services, such as Zoom, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365 and other cloud-based tools. As part of the offboarding process, it is essential that you revoke their access to this account and suspend any licenses that are unneeded. Otherwise, you could end up paying for services that you no longer use – and even risk a data breach.

Let’s take a look at why below. 

Why is employee offboarding important?

Having a solid strategy in place for employee offboarding has a number of benefits. From an employer branding perspective, being respectful and professional about employee offboarding can ensure you get great Glassdoor reviews, and also helps to encourage a smooth handover process. 

Then, there’s the relationship between IT and offboarding. When an employee leaves your company – especially when they are moving to a competitor – they may be tempted to take your data with them. In fact, research indicates many people do just that! 

For example, 70% of intellectual property theft occurs within 90 days before an employee’s resignation announcement. Similarly, A survey by security firm Cyber-Ark found that 88% of IT personnel would take sensitive data with them if they were fired, and 72% of CEOs in a Code42 report admitted they had taken valuable intellectual property from a former employer. 

Want to learn more about data security? Download the guide, Five Keys To Data Security, to make sure you are doing everything you should be to protect your business and keep your IT running smoothly.

If you don’t have an offboarding process in place, it’s likely that your former employees may have left with mountains of confidential data, putting you at risk of a data breach. 

Moreover, a poor offboarding process can cost you thousands of dollars in inactive licenses. A CoreView survey found that nearly half of Microsoft 365 licenses are unassigned. If you don’t take a strategic approach to offboarding, you may end up wasting money and hurting the bottom line. 

How to properly offboard your employees from cloud-based tools 

In this article, we’ll talk about employee offboarding in the context of Microsoft 365, as this is a go-to tool for many of our clients. However, if you use Google Workspace or another office tool, the same principles below still apply to you. 

Companies need to realize that, when an employee leaves, offboarding isn’t as simple as deleting an employee’s license. There’s a step-by-step process you should go through to ensure data security. This involves the following across all email and cloud accounts: 

  • Reset the employee’s password
  • Block account sign-in
  • Set up automatic email forwarding
  • Store the employee’s files somewhere that you and a manager can access
  • Disconnect mobile devices and laptops, and wipe them 
  • Discover, manage and revoke privileges to other cloud applications 
  • Remove the Microsoft 365 license

How to optimize employee offboarding

For time-pressed SMBs, putting an offboarding process in place can easily fall down the to-do list and become eclipsed by other, more urgent priorities. However, offboarding is really important for data security and the bottom line. 

To that end, if you don’t have the bandwidth for creating an IT offboarding process, let us help you. When you work with a managed IT provider like us, we take care of all of your IT processes, including offboarding and onboarding your employees. This empowers you to spend more time running your business, confident in the knowledge that your IT is running securely and efficiently. 

Learn More About Our Managed IT Services 

Skyline IT Management can help your Oklahoma business with any questions about Microsoft 365 and get you started with the plan that’s perfect for your needs.

Set up a free consultation so we can discuss your business needs, your technology pain points and what success looks like to you.

Book a Call today to schedule a technology consultation.