For thousands of organizations globally, Microsoft 365 has become almost indispensable, powering collaboration and supporting workloads in the cloud. The constantly improving technology drives productivity and opens opportunities. At the same time, increasingly complex tools require proactive Microsoft 365 governance to achieve optimal results.

For instance, Microsoft Teams offers rich features to enhance communication and power remote work. However, navigating the management of regular and private channels, as well as policies for file retention and sharing, requires careful planning. Successful organizations take the time to understand the challenges and tools and create strategies to support business needs.

Balancing Productivity with Control

In addition to increasingly complex tools, administrators must balance the need for productivity with a constantly evolving threat landscape and regulatory pressures. Microsoft 365 governance allows administrators to strictly control user access and automate policies for data sharing and retention.

These controls aid security and compliance. However, too much structure can lead to reduced productivity when users must deal with multiple logins and strict controls over sharing. This frustration may spark a rise in shadow IT as employees find ways to collaborate outside the approved applications.

Likewise, retention policies help to ensure regulatory compliance and protect vital information assets. But retaining too much data eats up storage space and creates chaos. Effective governance finds a sweet spot that protects the organization while driving efficiency.

Microsoft 365 Governance

Planning Leads to Success

That sweet spot of good governance looks different for each organization. Ideally, Microsoft 365 assists companies with solving business problems and meeting organizational objectives. To that end, administrators need to take a proactive approach to designing and implementing an information governance strategy.

First and foremost, this will involve clarifying business needs and goals and then building a governance plan around those goals. Additionally, organizations need to understand applicable regulations and gain an understanding of existing security and compliance risks.

Build Microsoft 365 Governance Governance on a Foundation of Policies

A key tool for governing information to reach business goals and achieve compliance involves policies. In the case of data retention, for instance, Microsoft 365 Records Management allows organizations to define data retention at both the folder level and the file level.

For example, administrators can create a retention policy to apply to all items in a SharePoint site or all messages on a channel. On a more granular level, they can apply retention labels to specific items, such as single documents or emails. Likewise, email policies discourage data pack rats and streamline eDiscovery.

Policies also provide protections for sensitive data. For instance, the organization can create policies to ensure that users do not accidentally share financial data or personally identifiable information.

Microsoft 365 Governance

Streamline Collaboration with Microsoft Groups

Microsoft 365 Groups facilitate teamwork by giving members instant access to services such as a shared Outlook inbox and calendar, the team SharePoint site and the team’s OneNote notebook. The group owner defines and manages access at the group level. All changes to group access then apply automatically to each member of the team.

Users can create groups from various places, such as Outlook, SharePoint and Teams. The groups will operate somewhat differently, depending on where they were created. Additionally, Microsoft 365 allows administrators to define expiration policies and naming policies to assist with group management.

Partner with Experts to Optimize Microsoft 365 Governance

Microsoft 365 provides organizations with powerful tools that connect teams, protect data assets and support innovation. But powerful tools require fine-tuning and careful management. Understanding the options available and configuring them properly can prove challenging.

The information governance consultants at Messaging Architects bring extensive experience in Microsoft 365. From initial assessment to creating effective policies, understanding the nuances of Microsoft Groups, and navigating security and compliance, they provide the expertise you need for success.

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