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Insights for Microsoft end users

Whatever the Microsoft Cloud role, use our guide to benchmark your salary or contact rate, or to uncover what you should be paying employees in your team.

Attraction and retention

The best way to make sure you’re offering the kind of package that will make Microsoft professionals want to join your team is to know what candidates are looking for from their dream jobs. What attracts them to a role? What makes them want to leave? And how can Microsoft end users appeal to candidates in other parts of the ecosystem?

In this section, we’ll take a look at what attracts Microsoft professionals to new career opportunities, what kind of perks and benefits they look out for, and how Microsoft customers land the talent they need to help them maximize their tech investment.

What encourages a candidate to take a role?

We asked permanent employees what attracted them to their current role, with responses aligning under the following themes:

A Solution Architect from the United States gave an interesting take on why they chose their employer. “There is a chance for upward progression for my career and an opportunity to mentor regularly.”

Solution Architect, United States

The significance that permanent employees place on workplace benefits is still high, with 87% of these respondents telling us that benefits play an important role in the decision-making process for accepting a role, compared to 88% in our previous findings.

What perks entice a candidate to accept a role?

We asked respondents to choose the top three perks that would influence their decision to accept a job offer. The most valued perks relate to fostering a positive work environment that supports employee work-life balance and rewards them for a well-done job, with a performance-based bonus and flexible working arrangements being the top perks likely to encourage a candidate to embrace a new role. The other benefits that were prized include:
Bonus (monthly/biannual/year-end bonus)*

38%
Flexible working hours

35%
Work from home

33%
Four weeks or more paid time off

24%
Health/medical insurance

21%
Retirement savings plan/401(k) match/pension contributions

15%
Training and development opportunities

14%
Accommodation/housing allowance

9%
Education/training allowance

9%
Shares in the company/reduced priced shares in the company

8%
* Bonus structures within the Microsoft community can vary, including variations in payout amounts and timing differences. Entry-level positions usually have more modest bonuses compared to senior roles–with established positions offering more generous financial incentives. Permanent employees of end users typically receive annual or bi-annual bonuses. In contrast, Microsoft partners or ISV (independent software vendor) employees may benefit from more frequent bonuses and stronger incentives linked to billable hours.

Are employees looking to change employer?

Over two-fifths (42%) of respondents in permanent roles expect to work for their current employer this time next year, while 36% are actively looking for a new role. A further 7% expect to leave but aren’t currently job hunting, and the remaining 14% are unsure if they will stay or go.

Intent to move employer is higher among those unsatisfied with aspects of their role.

11%
76%
6%
7%
20%
62%
8%
10%
22%
59%
7%
12%

Burnout also has a small impact on individuals’ intention to leave an employer, with 47% who have suffered burnout having some intention to switch, compared to the 40% considering a move that have not experienced burnout.

What motivates an employee to consider a new role?

The top reasons are:
An increase in earnings
0 %
Lack of career and
promotional prospects
0 %
Working environment/
company culture
0 %
A need for new challenges 25%
I want to pursue more interesting/valuable work 25%
To relocate to another country 23%
I'm underutilized in my current role 22%
Lack of leadership and vision 21%
Lack of exposure to latest Microsoft products 18%
To pursue a better work-life balance 17%
I'm underappreciated in my current company 17%
Desire/ability to work remotely 17%
On average, those primarily motivated to change roles by a pay rise would expect a 29% increase on their current salary.

How likely are professionals to accept a new role that involves working in the office five days a week?

Likely
0 %
Neither likely nor unlikely
0 %
Unlikely
0 %

Among those who are currently offered some level of remote working, 43% are unlikely to accept a role that involves working in the office five days a week.

Takeaways for Microsoft users

With just 42% of Microsoft cloud professionals expecting to be working for their current employer in a year’s time, the data shows that there are plenty of opportunities for businesses to catch the eye of would-be candidates, and expand their Microsoft team in the process.

When it comes to making your business a tempting prospect for those looking for a new role, it’s important to keep in mind that flexibility remains a major motivator for the best talent. Less than half (49%) of Microsoft professionals say they’d be likely to accept a role that was entirely office-based, meaning businesses that can offer flexibility in when and where their employees work will give themselves a competitive advantage over those that don’t.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the challenging economic conditions faced by much of the world today, a higher salary topped the list of factors most likely to cause a professional to search for a new role, with 67% of respondents citing this as their primary motivation. However, a lack of promotional and development opportunities was still a big issue for many of our respondents, indicating that a robust career pathway and support for professional growth remain areas where businesses can mark themselves out as an employer of choice. Promoting career plans and opportunities for professionals to advance within your organization can help businesses appeal to the kind of ambitious, learning-driven professionals that are so valuable to today’s Microsoft customers.

Collaboration and analysis by business people working together in office

Motivation to move from a partner to an end user

More than half (54%, up from 48% in our previous study) of partner employees would consider working for an end user and cited the following factors that would encourage them to make this move:

Ability to work remotely 62%
Better work-life balance 48%
Better career progression opportunities 43%
Better benefits 40%
Ownership over a project/system 38%
Possibility to develop skills across different Microsoft products 38%
More stability 36%
Better training and learning opportunities 33%
Consistency 32%
Less stress 23%
Less travel 17%
Other 4%

Just as the number of Microsoft professionals considering changing jobs has grown this year, so has the number of partner employees who would consider working for an end user organization. More than half (54%) of Microsoft professionals currently working for a partner said they would make the switch to an end user, with the opportunity to work remotely and a better work-life balance topping the list of motivators.

Clearly, many of those working in a partner environment are looking for a role with more flexibility; one that offers them a chance to find greater equilibrium between their work and personal lives. If end user organizations want to appeal to professionals in the partner space, emphasizing any flexible working options you offer will give you the best chance of attracting those looking for a change.

We also asked the 24% (down from 27%) of respondents who could not see themselves making the move to an end user why they wouldn’t consider it, and their reasons were:
I'm happy in my current role

57%
Lack of variety in the work

43%
I like working with different clients

35%
I prefer consultancy work

34%
A drop in earnings

21%
A lack of flexibility with working hours

19%
I've no interest in working for someone else

7%
Other

2%

Partners, on the other hand, can try and mitigate this rise in employees tempted by roles in end user organizations by making efforts to give their professionals what they’re looking for, so they don’t feel they have to look elsewhere in the first place.

Though the ability to better balance work and personal responsibilities though remote work or flexible working models ranked highly on the list of desires for partner employees, the chance to develop in their careers was also a major aspiration. Partners looking to boost retention and hold on to their best talent should focus on offering employees whatever autonomy they can over their working schedules, perhaps accommodating remote work whenever employees aren’t on site with clients. But wherever employees are working, they should know what the next step is for them in their careers within a partner organization—and exactly what’s required to get there.

As partner organizations are often already highly motivated to get employees certified, leaders have a pre-built framework to help ensure there are clear development pathways throughout their teams. Make sure that certification for partner employees isn’t just driven by the needs of the business, but also by the desire to invest in talent and support flourishing, sustainable careers. Reward certification and professional development, and empower employees to grow their skills for their own benefit by giving them clear targets to aim for.

Discover what motivates end user employees to work for a partner organization.

Advertising department brainstorming at modern office boardroom behind closed doors, view through the glass wall. Diverse staff led by ceo discussing new project sharing ideas thoughts and sales pitch

What do employers need to prioritize to maximize employee happiness and retention?

How satisfied are employees?

We asked our survey participants to rate their job satisfaction across a number of different areas:
Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied
Colleagues 77% 16% 6%
Working hours 73% 17% 10%
Work-life balance 67% 19% 14%
Company culture 65% 22% 14%
Benefits 62% 22% 14%
Career progression 52% 28% 20%
Training and development 50% 27% 22%
Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied
77% 16% 6%
Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied
73% 17% 10%
Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied
67% 19% 14%
Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied
65% 22% 14%
Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied
62% 24% 14%
Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied
52% 28% 20%
Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied
50% 27% 22%

How do employees rate their job satisfaction year over year?

Over the past three years, job satisfaction among Microsoft professionals has had its ups and downs. However, our most recent findings indicate a decline compared to our previous results. Will this downward trend persist into the next year? And will current wider economic events have an impact on respondents’ ratings?

The percentage of respondents satisfied with their work-life balance has also dropped to 67%, from 68% in our last study, and more are reporting dissatisfaction with their training and development (22% dissatisfied now compared to 17% in 2023).

Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied
65% 23% 13%
Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied
70% 21% 10%
Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied
66% 22% 11%

How can you boost employee satisfaction?

Tracking employee satisfaction is essential not only for maintaining a healthy, productive working environment, but also for acquiring the talent you need in the future.

The best way to increase employee satisfaction (and cut turnover) is to invest in the parts of their working lives that employees are least satisfied with. And according to this year’s survey results, there are a few clear areas that are lacking for Microsoft professionals…

Benefits have dropped down the satisfaction rankings this year, indicating that some employers may be cutting spending on perks and benefits due to tough economic conditions. Benefits are an important part of creating a positive employee experience. A good benefits package can help employees do their best work by taking care of common sources of stress, like healthcare. Even seemingly small perks can improve morale and loyalty by making employees feel valued and appreciated.

Employee frustration with a lack of training and development opportunities is something that comes up over and over in our research. Given how quickly things evolve in the Microsoft cloud space, keeping employee skills up-to-date is crucial if employers want to get maximum value from their tech. But supporting employee growth and giving them new challenges to tackle is just as critical for the long-term success of any organization. Employees will be more productive, more engaged, and more likely to stick around if they feel that their professional development is being taken seriously. Make time for upskilling, offer financial support for certifications, and create internal mentorship schemes that facilitate knowledge-sharing.

On the subject of professional development, employees also want to know that there’s space for them to grow and advance their careers as they learn new skills. Knowing what the next step up in their career is, what they need to do to get there, and what support is available to them along the way helps keep employees motivated and driven. But they have to be able to see the next checkpoint. Career paths through your cloud team should be clearly mapped out, well-communicated, and most importantly, equally achievable to everyone.

How satisfied are employees with their salary?

Half (51%, compared to 62% from our previous survey) of professionals are satisfied with their salary. 

The 20% of respondents who are dissatisfied cited the following reasons:

AdobeStock_636146904-scaled.jpeg

What training and development do Microsoft professionals feel they lack?

Although 22% could not name any training they were missing, there were plenty of areas mentioned specifically by respondents—these are the areas businesses should look into to satiate their employees’ desire to learn new skills:

Some respondents would simply like the time within their working week to undertake training.

As we’ve seen throughout this report already, Microsoft professionals want to develop their careers—and not giving them the time, opportunity, or support to do so can result in dissatisfaction and attrition. Offering comprehensive and tailored training and development resources for employees is a win-win situation: businesses get additional skills, loyal employees, and a competitive edge, and professionals feel like they’re constantly growing, and exploring new frontiers that keep them engaged.

Though keeping your team up-to-date in the fast-changing world of Microsoft cloud technology can be challenging, the consequences of neglecting learning and development are destructive and far-reaching. Businesses who want to reduce turnover in their organization and find solutions to the digital skills gap must view L&D as a critical investment in the future of the organization.

Has your organization implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Azure in the last year?

45%
33%
28%
9%

Who supported the organization through the implementation?

Dynamics implementation support

Microsoft Partner/Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) 63%
In-house employee(s)/internal resources 47%
Independent contractor 33%
Not sure 6%

Of those organizations that used in-house employees to implement Dynamics 365, 57% (up from 52% in our last study) also enlisted the help of a Microsoft Partner. Fewer organizations choose to use independent contractors, with 39% seeking help from free agents to support their internal staff; a decline from 48% last year. This indicates a trend of organizations opting to work with trusted, resource-rich CSPs on their Microsoft projects.

Azure implementation support

In-house employee(s)/internal resources 56%
Microsoft Partner/Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) 50%
Independent contractor 24%
Not sure 9%

Of those organizations that used in-house employees to implement Azure, 40% (up from 33% in our last survey) also enlisted the help of a Microsoft Partner. In contrast, 21% (which matches the percentage from our previous findings) sought help from an independent contractor to support their internal staff.

What challenges might you expect when working with a partner?

Keeping the project on budget

37%
Difficulty understanding our requirements/business processes

35%
Keeping the project on schedule/meeting agreed deadlines

35%
Problems defining the scope of the project

32%
Communication difficulties

25%
Difficulty understanding our industry

24%
None

15%
Other

2%

Expert Insight

David Johnson, Operations Director at 26-time Microsoft Partner of the Year HSO, shares his insights on finding the ideal migration partner.

What to look for in a Microsoft implementation or migration partner

Someone who will provide leadership, aligns with your industry expertise and experience, and has a track record of both digital transformational change and functional and technical knowledge around how the Microsoft solution hangs together.

Some organizations will focus on purely the change side of the journey, without being able to handle the functional implementation technical side. Some people will be coming from a technical angle but won’t necessarily understand the business. Some will have relevant change and implementation experience, but probably not the sector expertise needed to address specific nuances.

So if you can find someone who can provide all of those—the functional and technical expertise, together with the track record within that industry—I think you’re onto a winner.

Visit our blog to hear more from David on where D365 could be headed in the near future

According to partners, what challenges do end users face when migrating to Microsoft products?

We asked those working for a partner about the challenges their clients commonly face during a migration to Microsoft Dynamics. There is some overlap in the themes, but responses include:

“The cost is often underestimated, and there is frequently a lack of in-house talent to manage the project.”

Solution Architect, United States

We asked those working for a partner about the challenges their clients face during an implementation of Microsoft Azure—difficulties include:

“To keep costs down, data cleansing should be performed before it’s uploaded—because the project grinds to a halt if resource is not assigned specifically to complete this.”

Technical Support, United Kingdom

Expert Insight

How to avoid the most common Azure implementation challenges—from an Azure expert

Steven Brown is a strategic advisor for the AI department for University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS).

Steven’s top tip for Azure implementation success

Governance. Governance. Governance. A cloud solution can never reach its full potential without a well-defined Governance Framework. Some of the most critical components of this framework include monitoring, alerts, RBAC, resource organization, tagging, disaster recovery, and regular assessments and reviews. In most organizations, this concept is captured within a Governance Policy, encompassing a wide array of crucial aspects such as cost management, resource allocation, security measures, compliance protocols, and more. Planning and organizational change management will help ensure that the policy is well-documented, accessible, communicated to the right people at the right time, and properly enforced.

Want to set your Azure implementation up for success? Then read more from Steven in our blog.

Why are organizations choosing to implement Microsoft Cloud?

68%

The functionality of the product/services

41%

Desire to move to the cloud

Need to increase business responsiveness 36%
Need for global capabilities 36%
Trusted products/services 36%
Ease of implementation 31%
Ease of user adoption/user-friendliness 29%
Ability to integrate with third-party vendors 36%
Variety of products/services 26%
Desire to reduce costs 25%
Post-implementation support offered 15%
Lack of confidence in previous vendor 12%
Not sure 6%
Other 6%
‘Other’ responses include having the on-premise version of Dynamics previously and it fitting with existing Microsoft architecture.

60%

The functionality of the product/services

57%

Desire to move to
the cloud
Desire to reduce costs 41%
Trusted products/ services 41%
Ease of implementation 34%
Variety of products/services 34%
Need to increase business responsiveness 33%
Need for global capabilities 32%
Ability to integrate with third-party vendors 28%
Ease of user adoption/user-friendliness 22%
Post-implementation support offered 16%
Lack of confidence in previous vendor 3%
Not sure 7%
Other 2%

Top 10 challenges that organizations faced during an implementation

Challenges implementing Dynamics 365

1.

52%

Lack of appropriate skills internally

2.

37%

User adoption
challenges

3.

31%

The cost of custom integration

4.

26%

Difficulties migrating data from legacy systems
5 Customization challenges 26%
6 Poor project management 25%
7 Rescoping of the project/changing needs of the project during implementation 25%
8 Lack of stakeholder buy-in 25%
9 Lack of appropriate skills available in the market 23%
10 Difficulties dealing with partners 23%

Challenges implementing Azure

1.

45%

Lack of appropriate skills internally

2.

27%

Integrating Microsoft Azure with another system(s)

3.

25%

Difficulties migrating data from legacy systems

4.

24%

User adoption
challenges
5 The cost of custom integration 17%
6 Customization challenges 16%
7 The business was not ready for the change 16%
8 Rescoping of the project/changing needs of the project during implementation 15%
9 Poor project management 14%
10 Lack of appropriate skills available in the market 12%

Our data suggests there is still a shortage of Microsoft-related skills in the industry, as many organizations encountered difficulties implementing Dynamics 365 and Azure (52% and 45%, respectively) due to a lack of in-house expertise.

Are you struggling to solve your Microsoft skills gaps? Is a lack of cloud knowledge impacting your project?

Our Revolent ReSkill team can help you build in-house capabilities across Azure, Power Platform, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Security, with minimal disruption to any ongoing projects.

How long do migrations to Microsoft Cloud take?

Dynamics 365 migration length

Our respondents tell us their migration took, on average, 1 year and 4 months to complete.

Let’s see that broken down further:
0-3 months 3%
4-6 months 5%
7-9 months 14%
10-12 months 35%
13-15 months 32%
16+ months 11%

Azure migration length

Our respondents tell us their migration took, on average, 9 months to complete.

Let’s see that broken down further:
0-3 months 32%
4-6 months 18%
7-9 months 12%
10-12 months 18%
13+ months 21%
Given that a Microsoft Cloud implementation can take anywhere from three to six months for a small to medium-sized organization, or over six months for a larger enterprise with more complex processes, it’s essential to engage with an experienced Microsoft professional if you lack the skills internally. They can help assess your business needs and provide a more accurate timeline for the move based on your organization’s unique requirements.

Microsoft go-live delays

Delays to Dynamics 365

Half (50%) of organizations experienced a delay to their scheduled Dynamics 365 go-live.

How long were these delays?

Less than 1 month

10%
1-3 months

19%
4-6 months

24%
7-9 months

17%
10-12 months

10%
12+ months

12%

What factors caused the delay?

Rescoping of the project/changing needs of the project during implementation 48%
Unforeseen customizations 46%
Poor planning prior to implementation 42%
Lack of skills in-house to manage/work on the project 30%
Issues dealing with partner/consultancy 28%
Staff shortage 26%
Poor project management 24%
Data migration issues 20%
Delay in training staff 14%
Issues with testing 12%
Budget shortage 10%

Delays to Azure

Over a fifth (22%) of organizations experienced a delay to their scheduled Azure go-live.

How long were these delays?

Less than 1 month

14%
1-3 months

36%
4-6 months

14%
7-9 months

5%
10-12 months

14%
12+ months

18%

What factors caused the delay?

Staff shortage 44%
Lack of skills in-house to manage/work on the project 32%
Poor planning prior to implementation 32%
Rescoping of the project/changing needs of the project during implementation 32%
Data migration issues 28%
Unforeseen customizations 24%
Issues dealing with partner/consultancy 20%
Poor project management 16%
Issues with testing 12%
Budget shortage 8%
Delay in training staff 4%

Want the highlights from this year's Careers and Hiring Guide at a glance? Our key findings report contains our top level insight and salary tables, so you can compare your own salary or benchmark your teams' across the Microsoft ecosystem.