6 Ways to Right-Size Your Office 365 Governance Level

Post Date: 12/05/2019
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If your organization is considering using Office 365 Groups or Microsoft Teams, figuring out how ongoing management will work and laying out an end-of-lifecycle plan is vital. There’s a careful balance between providing your users with unfettered access to Groups and Teams controls and ensuring the proper procedures and policies are being followed.

Read on for six considerations to help you make informed decisions on how to establish, maintain, and enforce the ideal governance level for your organization.

1. Who should be able to create Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams, and what does that process look like?

We find that the appropriate approvers may be business owners, but IT needs to approve the type and scope of what’s available to which subset of users. Content owners and stakeholders understand their processes and the information in their collaboration spaces, but this does not mean they can be trusted to manage the complex governance and security of integrated applications like Microsoft Teams.

There needs to be enough control to keep the creation process in line with business
policies. At the same time, the process also needs to be quick and simple enough for end users to understand it. IT tickets and emails are really not the best way to do this, especially on a large scale.

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2. For what purpose should users be able to create Groups and Teams?

At first, it may seem great to allow everyone to provision these spaces. However, we’ve seen organizations with 2,000 users that have 2,500 Office 365 Groups! It’s super important to communicate with your users and stakeholders and come up with criteria around how and why it’s ok for people to create collaboration spaces.

3. How can your organization manage access and ownership?

Does your department have the appropriate resources to monitor and keep track of
Group/Team roles and access? Do they understand the power of Admins (new), Owners, Members, and External Members in Microsoft Teams? Keeping track of who has access and administrative rights over the features that Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams bring to the table is vital to managing risk and resources.

4. What applications and services will users be allowed to add?

It’s now possible to control which applications and integrations can be added to Microsoft Teams at the Team level. A common scenario is when IT doesn’t want to enable external sharing. Should users then be able to connect their Microsoft Teams to other cloud storage solutions? Planning policies and a process that enforces them is very important when it comes to how this is managed.

5. How will you structure and enforce properties and naming conventions?

As previously mentioned, controlling how people name Groups and Teams and being able to apply properties based on how people are using Microsoft Teams and other collaboration spaces is key when it comes to maintaining the lifecycle of your data. You cannot apply policies and maintain the lifecycle of your data if you don’t know why a Microsoft Team exists and what kind of information resides within its storage areas.

6. What content in which Teams will be saved, archived or deleted, and after how long?

Even though Microsoft Teams is a new format for collaboration, people will still be sharing files and documents back and forth, and those files will still be stored within the SharePoint sites that support the Team. This means that the classic questions around content lifecycle, records management and data protection/DLP will still need to be addressed.

Looking for more in-depth tips on evaluating your Office 365 governance level? Check out the full ebook “The Value of Automated Office 365 & Microsoft Teams Governance!” 

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As the former Content Marketing Specialist for AvePoint, Brent led the strategy and direction of all AvePoint's blog properties.

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