Microsoft 365 Copilot is, as Microsoft brands it, ‘your copilot for work’. It combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with your data in the Microsoft Graph and the Microsoft 365 apps to turn your words into the most powerful productivity tool on the planet.

On 11 Jan 2024 over 110 information managers and data privacy professionals joined us for an online interactive webinar delving into the world of Microsoft Copilot. We had such a fantastic response to the polls we asked within the webinar that we wanted to share some of the results with our wider information management audience. 

The following blog post will share our top three takeaways about Microsoft Copilot.

Watch the webinar on-demand 

For those who registered for the original webinar, we have emailed you a link to watch on-demand. If you missed out on registration, you can get access to this webinar, as well as all our other on-demand webinars, via our eLearning subscription. 

Microsoft Copilot Training Course

This training course has been created specifically for information managers.

Gain a solid understanding of how to handle compliance aspects of Microsoft 365 Copilot’s functionalities through the Microsoft Pivot Compliance Portal, and learn how to strategically integrate Microsoft 365 Copilot into your information management processes, to ensure its compliant use within your organization. Start learning today:

Takeaway 1: Microsoft Copilot is not just a ‘pilot’

Now we have entered what’s called the age of augmented intelligence, and in this age our natural cognitive and mental abilities will be expanded, extended, amplified and augmented with external intelligence. It’s going to change the way we think, the way we reason, the way we make decisions and the way we work.  

Extending human capabilities doesn’t make AI a substitute for them. Instead, it augments them, enabling an entirely new way of working. 

The most important thing about Copilot is that you (the human) are always in control. AI is there to help you, and according to our attendees, they think it’s unlikely to fully take over our jobs. 

Takeaway 2: Microsoft Copilot is a real game changer for our users

Microsoft Copilot has a lot to offer to our users. Two thirds of our webinar attendees indicated that they have already used AI tools to create better content at work.

In the webinar chat messenger, our audience gave over 100 suggestions on how Copilot could help at their work. Here’s just a few:

  • Write, edit, summarise, re-write, change tone of voice, provide suggestions for improvement and strengthen your argument – all this within Microsoft Word.
  • Transform existing written documents into stunning Microsoft PowerPoint presentations complete with speaker notes, appealing layout, time animations, and images.
  • Generate models, query data, reveal correlations, suggest formulas, create visualisation and provide recommendations in Microsoft Excel.
  • Summarise email threads, draft suggested replies, respond to messages, adjust tone or length of response in Microsoft Outlook.
  • Summarise key discussion points, suggest action items, get answers to specific questions, create meeting agendas, schedule follow ups and check-ins in Microsoft Teams.
  • There’s lots lots more too, but these are just a few so you get the gist.

Takeaway 3: With great power comes great responsibility

With great power comes great responsibility. For information managers and data privacy officers this means we must ensure robust access, security and compliance frameworks are implemented in our Microsoft 365 environments before Microsoft Copilot is introduced.

Microsoft 365 Copilot is built on Microsoft’s approach to security, compliance, privacy, and responsible AI. Copilot automatically inherits your organisation’s security, compliance, and privacy policies for Microsoft 365. Data is managed in line with your current commitments.

Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 messages are automatically included in the retention policy location named Teams chats and Copilot interactions because they are retained and deleted by using the same mechanisms. Users don’t have to be using Teams for the retention policy to apply to Copilot for Microsoft 365.

All these compliance and security controls need to be configured to provide robust guardrails for Copilot use within the organisation.

With our information management hats on we need to ensure that:

  • Proper information governance framework is defined and implemented
  • Policies and best practice guidelines are developed
  • Training is provided to the end users
  • Risks are monitored and mitigated

Embrace Microsoft Copilot wisely as Microsoft is bringing the full power of Copilot to more people and businesses, including:

  • The introduction of Copilot Pro – a new subscription (launched 15 Jan 2024) that delivers the most advanced features and capabilities of Microsoft Copilot to individuals looking to supercharge their Copilot experience.
  • Expanding Copilot for Microsoft 365 to businesses of all sizes, removing the 300-seat purchase minimum for commercial plans.
  • Introducing new features in Copilot such as Copilot GPTs, Copilot mobile app, and Copilot in the Microsoft 365 mobile app.

Read Microsoft’s press release about the new Copilot Pro to learn more about its latest developments, or watch Microsoft’s intro to Copilot Pro below.

Want to learn more?

If you’d like to learn more about Microsoft Copilot or any other Microsoft products, we at Leadership Through Data can help.

Learn Microsoft Copilot

Find the links to our Microsoft Copilot training course here.

Leadership Through Data are Information Management and Governance experts who provide education and consultancy services to both public and private sector companies.

Our training courses cover the subjects of Information Management, Records Management, Information Governance, Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), Data Privacy & Protection, GDPR, Data Ethics, and Leadership Skills.

Choose to learn on one of our scheduled, instructor-led courses (UK, US, Australia), or learn in your own time with our self-paced eLearning courses. For those looking to educate several people, please contact us for our package deals – a cost-efficient option.

Jennie Parmenter
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