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As organizations move to the cloud from their on-prem solutions, there are questions around the differences in their governance strategies. In SharePoint, governance was more straightforward since organizations only had to focus on their on-prem environments. However, governance challenges change dramatically once you move to Office 365.

SharePoint Governance

When it comes to SharePoint governance, organizations focus on permissions, infrastructure, and whether the proper people have the ability to provision and administer sites. In the traditional sense, it was focused on the organization enforcing policies to make sure that admins were in control of what users did. This includes closely monitoring the Active Directory, groups, admin controls, sprawl in SharePoint, and controlling the data lifecycle with records management.

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Office 365 Governance

As great as Office 365 is for organizations, there are certain challenges with governance in the cloud that an on-prem platform like SharePoint doesn’t present. With streamlined updates and apps constantly being added, there is a multitude of scenarios that organizations must be prepared for.

Prepping for New Feature Rollouts

There are new features coming all the time to Office 365, as well as applications like Groups and Teams. This makes it even more important to have a governance strategy that can continuously adapt to new applications that are released.

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Maximizing All of The Features in Office 365

As you continue to build out your governance plan, making sure users are getting access to the apps and features they need is of the utmost importance. Although organizations must ensure that all the applications in Office 365 are being used in a secure way to avoid sprawl, users must still be empowered to perform their tasks as needed. This is critical to getting the maximum ROI on Office 365.

Scalability of Office 365

As more tools have rolled out in Office 365 they have required more time to properly manage, which can affect scalability. There are a multitude of Admin Centers for the various apps that can make balancing permissions while staying secure a potential issue. This can create a burden on IT and security teams as they are responsible for making sure everything is being governed properly.

Many organizations take the approach of severely restricting end-user functionality in Office 365. While this might seem like a viable quick fix, it can actually become a burden for the IT department as they then become responsible for the vast number of tasks and functions in the environment. This ultimately only ends in a headache for corporation heads because they aren’t achieving the full ROI potential of Office 365.

Native Office 365 Governance Capabilities

Native governance capabilities in Office 365 are comprised of Admin Centers in Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Office 365 Groups, and Exchange that help IT admins control user permissions. Microsoft also has a Security & Compliance center that helps with data governance.

Essentially, these allow you to control permissions, administrative options for Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, custom roles for internal users, and Admin Centers. However, it’s important to note that many of the native capabilities in Office 365 require a manual setup, and each new Team, Group, or SharePoint site has to be provisioned properly in order to match the requirements of policies in Office 365 (which can add another task to the IT department’s workload).


Blog Post: SharePoint 2019 vs Office 365: Which is Best For Your Organization? 


This is where a third-party vendor like AvePoint comes in. We can put tools in place to help you define how things are created and control who creates them. We also empower you to choose where content and/or workspaces are hosted and how they’re accessed (including recertification criteria). And when you’re done with a collaboration space and it’s just cluttering your environment? AvePoint can help you get rid of it (or securely store it for compliance requirements). If you want to learn more about AvePoint’s SharePoint and Office 365 operational governance solutions, click here.


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