April 19, 2021

SharePoint Governance Vs. Microsoft 365 Governance


Perhaps you are a business owner looking to migrate from SharePoint on-prem to SharePoint Online or directly to Microsoft 365 (previously, Office 365) cloud. Assume you are asked to think about governance before moving to the cloud, most probably you will say – ‘Do we really need governance in SharePoint Online and Microsoft 365?’

Yes, you do! After moving to the cloud, you can’t derive intended results such as improved adoption, employee productivity, and business agility unless you have governance in place.

Further in this blog, we will try to understand why governance is needed when you move from an on-prem environment to the cloud. Later, we will break down the differences between governance in SharePoint Online and Microsoft 365. So, let’s begin:

Understanding governance in on-prem and cloud environments

While using an on-prem solution, you can directly manage all the aspects of your business based on your organization’s internal capabilities. You have strict control over the data once it is stored locally such as who accesses it or how it is encrypted when in rest or in transit. In other words, you are the owner of your on-premise applications which gives you the benefit of managing your data and keeping it private. This is done by using security protocols or third-party cybersecurity software that create firewalls.

When using cloud applications, you need to manage cyber risks and attacks to avoid unintended havoc on your systems. Cloud technology is known for the convenience and flexibility it offers to its customers. This paves the way for users to design and deploy their own assets to the cloud in just a click. Though cloud infrastructure such as Microsoft 365, is natively secured, assets with poor access controls and configuration vulnerabilities make the entire system hackable.

Hence, whether it is SharePoint or Microsoft 365 in the cloud, the need for governance is indispensable.

SharePoint Online Governance

SharePoint Online is a powerful enterprise information management tool that allows you to effectively manage documents, host files, sort and search information, manage third-party apps, collaborate inside and outside of the organization, and so on.

So, what happens when a SharePoint Online environment runs without governance? The chances are, you will find yourself trapped in one or more of the following knotty issues:

  • An undesired growth of data due to failure in defining storage boundaries using policies causes the platform to perform inefficiently.
  • Challenges in data management due to increased adoption and volume of data indicate a lack of user training and guidance.
  • Uncontrolled growth in file servers and data propagation causes performance and storage issues due to lack of governance around the content lifecycle.
  • Organizational conflict arises when roles, responsibilities, access, and creation rights are not defined clearly.

Hence, it clarifies why you need a well-thought-out SharePoint governance plan to ensure smooth processes and operations. When planning governance, consider the following critical areas for policy enforcement:

  • Security, infrastructure, and web application policies for maintaining systems and controlling who has access at what levels.
  • Data protection such as backup and recovery.
  • Site policies to control site proliferation.
  • Quota templates define how much data can be stored in a site collection and the maximum size of uploaded files.
  • Asset classification to classify sites and content by value and impact of the content to the organization (such as high, medium, or low business value/impact).

To learn more about SharePoint governance, please click here.

Microsoft 365 Cloud Governance

Microsoft 365 offers a powerful and universal toolkit for teamwork that includes enterprise-class productivity products and intelligent cloud services such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Online, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and more. Hence, governance in Microsoft 365 must be inclusive.

This means you must configure and manage policies across all apps, products, tools and services available in your Microsoft 365 cloud for unified management.

Now, as you transition from SharePoint Online to Microsoft 365, the governance challenges also change radically. Let us discern a few critical challenges when a large organization tries to manage Microsoft 365 collaboration environment without governance –

  • Insufficient security and permissions pose unwanted risks to sensitive information.
  • Content proliferation and sprawl across different containers lead to difficulty in sorting and searching for information.
  • Receded adoption due to confusion and chaos over features and services as well as content loss.
  • Increase in Shadow IT due to frustrating user experience.
  • Complex scripting and repeated manual procedures due to the lack of automation leads to excessive workloads and bad user experience.

Microsoft 365 creates new paradigms for technologies to accelerate the growth of your business. For a program of this magnitude to be successful, there should be a robust governance plan in place. Hence, some important considerations should be prioritized while designing a governance plan for Microsoft 365 environment to achieve full ROI. They are:

  • Microsoft 365 adds new features frequently to the platform which generates a constant flux. Hence, organizations must develop a governance strategy to effectively adapt to the latest products and features that are rolled out.
  • Most users are inclined towards their favorite productivity apps and features and use them daily. While creating a governance plan, you must ensure that you don’t restrict users from utilizing them and compromise user adoption and engagement for the sake of security.
  • As more and more apps and services integrate, the burden on IT and security engineers increases as they are responsible for governing every minute task, and function that takes place within the tenant. In addition, they need to configure settings manually in multiple admin portals for various apps such as Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, etc., which is time-consuming and hence, negatively impacts scalability.

To learn about Microsoft Security and Compliance center, please click here.

An Afterthought

Ever thought about a third-party governance tool? Keeping in mind the administrative challenges, we bring to you TeamsHub by Cyclotron that maintains and governs your Microsoft 365 environment leveraging the power of automation.

You can automate policies to define access permissions, manage the lifecycle of content, eliminate content sprawl, control who can create what and how, search content using filters, manage guest collaboration, track and revoke access to externally shared files, view real-time tenant activity reports, and do much more.

So, get rid of all your governance pain points and manage Microsoft 365 environment effortlessly. TeamsHub by Cyclotron unifies everything that the user needs offering a holistic interface with elements easy to work upon as well as navigate.

If you are an organization that deals with sensitive data, TeamsHub by Cyclotron is the right tool to help you set a secured organizational boundary around your cloud environment and let your users flourish.

To know more about TeamsHub by Cyclotron, visit https://teamshub.io or contact sales@cyclotrongroup.com

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