Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Office 365 Governance Best Practices

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It Governance Best Practices For Microsoft 365

Governance and management best practices for Microsoft 365 Groups

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Eddy Gil

I am in love with Marketing and Business. I started marketing at the age of 19, when most businesses didnt take social media seriously. Now, ten years later, I have substantial experience in a few fields and a plethora of marketing experience.

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Office 365 Groups Expiration Policy

Since all end-users are able to create groups from a large variety of workloads, such as Outlook, SharePoint, Planner, Teams, and Power BI, clutter is bound to happen if you dont pay attention.

If you check the table below, youll see the entire list of workloads from where you can create Office 365 Groups. The problem happens when you automatically get a new group after creating these other workloads, which, most of the time, creators are not even aware is happening.

With the Office 365 Groups expiration policies, you can set up a system that is going to periodically check if a group is used and make the group owner responsible for verifying that.

Understanding The Security Implications Of M365

Long-time MS Office and Windows users and admins will recognize some technologies and terminology across M365. This familiarity provides a level of comfort. As a Windows administrator, seeing Active Directory, Office, and other technologies feels like you should be able to get a handle on security. In practice, this seeming familiarity conveys a false, and potentially dangerous, sense of security.

Any time spent managing an organizations tenant on Azure demonstrates that, what you thought was familiar, is really unique. Getting a handle on the differences and their implications takes some education and understanding of the technology and processes.

Ive spoken with many adopters of M365, Teams, and other cloud offerings from Microsoft. Time and time again, there are inherent configurations and settings in place that could potentially expose their identities and data to unwanted attention .

Lets now take a look at the functionality around administering and managing M365. Sounds simple enough, but there are myriad admin rolesfrom the all-powerful Global Admin to specific application administrators and even Helpdesk and User admins. In addition to having credentials that need to be managed, each of these admin roles comes with discreet permissions, which are often called entitlements, in the cloud. These entitlements can be problematic, if not properly understood and adequately managed.

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Clearly Define Roles And Responsibilities

Outline the functions required to deploy and govern your SharePoint environment at the enterprise, organizational and site levels. Define roles according to skills and interests. Define Owner, Approver, Reviewer, and Participant for each of these tasks. It is simple and clear. Determine which functions should be managed centrally and which are better handled at the site collection and site levels. SharePoint works best when the management of its many functions is distributed to the people who know how the business should be run. Be clear on w clear on what you expect from each role so people can be held accountable.

Top 8 Office 365 Governance Tools

  • Author: Toni Frankola
  • In the last couple of years, Office 365 has evolved into a robust cloud collaboration platform. It has been reported that in 2019 it reached 180 million monthly active users, with SharePoint seeing a 60% growth in active users and with 13 million users using Microsoft Teams every day.

    With all these users generating gigabytes of content creating new Office 365 Groups and workloads, it is important to define an effective Office 365 governance strategy for every site, group and team owner to follow. Here is our list of the top outofthebox tools that can help give you a head start with your Office 365 governance.

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    Microsoft Teams Governance Best Practice #: Create A Naming Scheme For Teams And Channels

    When you set up your first batch of channels in Teams, everything will look neat and tidy.

    This could lure you into a false sense of security that this is the way it will always be.

    In reality, if you let every different user in your business choose their own naming convention, they will express their individuality.

    And while personality is important in business communication, inconsistency in channel names leads to confusion, untidiness, and reduced productivity.

    If youre a small team, generic terms are fine as they are less likely to get re-used and the number of teams and channels youre in is small.

    But, when a business grows, or is already of a certain size, using team names like Marketing could mean any one of nine marketing teams.

    Martin Perry, Owner of Redwing Training a Microsoft Teams training company, says he always emphasises the importance of team and channel naming conventions.

    Just as important are the team and channel descriptions.

    Names must be clear, concise, and easy to understand.

    Descriptions must also be included especially in large organisations whose name have similar-sounding teams and channels .

    Again, these must be clear and concise.

    There is no standard naming convention for Microsoft Teams channels so its important you direct this for your business.

    You might want to adopt your file saving conventions to match historic SharePoint sites. The more intricate side of naming conventions is on the SharePoint side.

    How Should We Be Communicating About Governance

    Many governance decisions can be implemented by turning on or off features in Microsoft 365. That can help enforce your governance standards but it may not help the people in your organization understand what is available to them and why .

    Traditionally, governance teams have created long documents outlining every governance decision. Unfortunately, those long documents rarely got read â which meant that governance requirements that rely on people to enforce rarely worked. Try to avoid creating long documents targeted to multiple audiences as you think about how to communicate your key governance decisions. Instead, think about these alternatives:

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    Preventing Office 365 Groups And Teams From Going Stale

    If you allow everyone to create as many groups as they want this will very soon become unmanageable chaos, and it takes so little to prevent it. Here are some simple best practices to avoid this mess:

    • Define a subset of users who are allowed to create groups
    • Define expiration policies for groups
    • Check groups for activities to detect potentially stale ones
    • Make sure groups have more than one owner

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    Why Is Data Governance Important

    IT Governance Best Practices for Microsoft 365 | Webinar Clip

    Data is arguably the most important asset that organizations have. Data governance helps to ensure that data is usable, accessible, and protected. Effective data governance leads to better data analytics, which in turn leads to better decision making and improved operations support. Further, it helps to avoid data inconsistencies or errors in data, which may lead to integrity issues, poor decision making, and a variety of organizational problems.

    Data governance also plays an essential role in regulatory compliance, ensuring that organizations are consistently compliant at all levels of regulatory requirements. This is key for minimizing risks and reducing operational costs.

    At its core, data governance leads to improved data quality, decreased data management costs, and increased access to data for all stakeholders. The result is better decision making and better business outcomes.

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    Choose Sapio365 As Microsoft Teams Governance Solution

    While a seamless transfer of information remains critical for collaborators where broad governance policies are too restrictive, an all too common concern is that the rate and volume of this flow result in data leaks detrimental to the business. sapio365 provides the means to always see what is shared, how and with whom ensuring that increased sharing does not need to equal increased security risk.

    Kanal Allgemein Und Weitere Kanle

    • Der Kanal Allgemein wird standardmäßig erstellt, wenn Sie ein neues Team anlegen. Verwendungszwecke für Allgemein sind beispielsweise:gemeinsame Nutzung und Information des gesamten Teams, z. B. für offizielle Ankündigungen
    • Erleichterung für neue Teammitglieder für den Einstieg
    • für neue Teams, bis eine konkrete Kanal- oder Ordnerstruktur definiert wurde
    • Teams mit geringerem Arbeitsumfang, die keine weiteren Kanäle benötigen

    Sie können den allgemeinen Kanal nicht entfernen, umbenennen oder irgendwie beeinflussen. Die Kanäle erscheinen in alphabetischer Reihenfolge, der Kanal Allgemein ist dabei jedoch immer der Oberste.In Teams mit vielen Kanälen können Sie zusätzlich die Funktion Ausblenden oder Einblenden verwenden, um nur die für Sie relevantesten oder aktuellen Kanäle anzuzeigen.

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    Cloud Collaboration Climatize Quickly To The New Status Quo

    IT Departments are now playing a crucial role in securely facilitating remote collaboration. With unsuspected growth at the turn of the year, Microsofts Teams team has seen 20x the meeting minutes, over 270 million monthly active users, and 600% growth in the Teams platform. These numbers are not slowing down.

    Securing data is one key priority, and managing rapid teams sprawl should become part of your teams governance best practices. The build-up of inactive Teams containing sensitive content must be continuously monitored and cleaned up in synergy, you must also review external access and guest users periodically, making sure to draw lines under past collaborations. Teams sprawl is another underlying byproduct that can have admins and platform owners feeling out of control.

    Its crucial to bring back control, and Microsoft Teams has enterprise-level security compliance and manageability to help, but you need so much more. First, you must also have a clear understanding of who is responsible when it comes to securing and governing your environment.

    Plan Governance From The Inception


    Maarten Eekels , CDO, Portiva and Office Apps & Services MVP

    You should start thinking about governance before you start using Microsoft Teams.

    I think the most important thing would be to think about how you want to manage your Teams.

    • Would you like expiration policies in place?
    • Would you like information barriers?
    • Would you like information management policies in place?
    • Naming conventions?

    think of something later have hundreds or thousands of teams rolled out, its hard to change that.

    Maarten Eekels, Microsoft MVP Tweet this

    So, theres a lot of governance stuff that you want to think of upfront because if youre going to think of something later while you already have hundreds or thousands of teams rolled out, its hard to change that.


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    Microsoft Teams Governance Best Practice #: Know What Happens When You Delete And Archive Content

    When you remove content from Teams, where does it go?

    For the everyday user, out of sight is out of my mind.

    For the Teams administrator, knowing what has happened to your archived or deleted content is crucial for Teams governance.

    When a user clicks delete content, it gets removed from the Teams channel.

    It is also removed from the underlying SharePoint site.

    Best Practices In Data Governance

    1. Start Small and Build to the Bigger Picture

    Data governance is all about people, processes, and technology. You should try to keep all three factors in mind when planning and executing your data strategy. However, you dont need to focus on improving all three areas all at once.

    Start small at the beginning and build up to the full picture. Start with the people, follow with the processes, and end with the technology. Each component should build on the one another before it to create a well-rounded data governance strategy.

    2. Get Business Stakeholders on Board

    You need executive buy-in to create a data governance strategy, but getting a green light is just the start. You also want to inspire stakeholders to act so your governance plan gets adopted across your organization.

    The best way to get executives excited about your plan is tobuild a business casefor your data governance practices. By building a business case, you will show leadership the specific benefits they can expect from a data governance strategy.

    3. Define Data Governance Team Roles
    5. Encourage Frequent Communication

    Whether youre just starting a data governance program or have been practicing one for years, communicating early and often is essential. Consistent and effective communication helps show the impact of the strategyfrom highlighting successes to reorganizing after a setback.

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    Syskit Point To The Rescue

    M365 offers an integrated solution for businesses and enterprises. With its cloud storage, it almost eliminates the need to adopt shadow IT practices by employees. Microsoft uses multiple encryption methods , protocols, and ciphers to help secure customers data in its cloud. Moreover, the M365 E5 license provides advanced security and threat protection features thus minimizing the risk of cyberattacks.

    However, to protect intentional shadow IT practices, IT teams need to tighten the governance practices in their M365 environment. To this end, SysKit Point is a great addition to the M365 environment as a central point for governance and security. With its boosted security and compliance features, it enables users, admins, owners, and auditors to rediscover M365 in a better way. SysKit Point is a collaborative web-based application that runs on top of the M365 environment. SysKit Point uses the Azure Active Directory consent framework to connect to the tenant to provide users with maximum safety when using the application. Point helps to declutter the tenant and provides some powerful features in the battle against shadow IT.

    What Are The Benefits Of Implementing An Effective Ms Teams Governance Strategy

    Best Practices for Microsoft 365 and Teams Governance â Expert Talk âSkill Me UP Academy

    Throughout this article, weve covered a few of the ways having an effective Microsoft Teams governance strategy can positively impact your organization. We wanted to reiterate the top benefits of Teams governance and how having an effective governance strategy can help you get more from Microsoft Teams.

    1. Boost User Adoption Rates

    Microsoft Teams is a tool that facilitates productivity, collaboration, and communication. Teams governance allows for a thoughtful and uniform way of using Microsoft Teams and clearly defines user roles and access. This makes it easy and seamless for users to work within Teams. Without governance, Microsoft Teams can quickly become a blocker and make information difficult to find. Or worse, it could put sensitive data into the hands of the wrong person.

    2. Manage Teams sprawl

    Microsoft Teams governance will nip Teams sprawl in the bud before it ever becomes an issue. Information will be easy to find and there wont be abandoned Teams, duplicate Teams, or too many Teams to deal with. Effective governance will also ensure that the appropriate users will have access to the right information .

    3. Improve the User Experience

    4. Ensure Compliance, Improve Security and Protect Data

    With effective governance, IT can ensure that sensitive data is only accessible to the appropriate parties. It enables certain users to access sensitive information only . This helps to protect data and prevent a data leak.

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    Do Not Apply A Blanket Approach To Microsoft Teams Governance

    Not all teams are equal in an organization, and you cannot classify all Teams with the same governance approach. However, not doing so is incredibly challenging.

    A lot of collaboration happens within departments, and this is where Team sites become more unstructured and harder to track. Its important that your governance approach mirrors the needs of your users and is flexible enough so users can still reach business goals.

    Configure Office 365 Auditing

    As soon as you have your tenant up and ready you should jump into the Office 365 Security & Compliance Admin Center > Search > Audit log search, to ensure that auditing has been enabled for your organization. To learn more navigate to: Search the audit log in the Security & Compliance Center. It might take up to a couple of days until the logs start appearing in the UI, so make sure you have done this way before there is a business request for you to look into some logs. These logs are comprehensive and cover various workloads including but not limited to Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive activities.

    Dear reader, this is the functionality of our former product, SysKit Security Manager. Check out our new cloud-based Office 365 governance solution, SysKit Point, to monitor user activity, manage permissions, make reports, and govern your users and resources.

    Learn more how SysKit Point enhances Office 365 auditing functionalities.

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    Microsoft Teams Governance Best Practice #7 Standard Vs Private Channels In Teams

    The difference between a public and private channel is quite simple.

    A standard channel is available for any member of the team to see. Team members have access to files, messages, and meetings within the channel.

    A private channel is only open to specified members. You will need an invite from channel owner.

    Once you have joined a private channel, you can access all its content.

    Consider how extensively you want to use private channels.

    Align Decisions To Business Goals

    Activating Governance for End Users in Office 365 and ...

    Business outcome goals should be the primary driver for your governance decisions:

    • Understand the regulatory requirements that affect your organization. Some of your key decisions and implementation requirements may need to be aligned to the environment in which you operate.

    • Try not to be trapped in “It’s what we’ve always done.” The cloud and increasing globalization of many organizations introduces new opportunities. Challenge assumptions if they do not align with business goals. Can you relax the rules for some scenarios or for some people? Can you get the same business outcome using the features of Microsoft 365 rather than blocking an activity entirely?

    • If you lock everything down, people will find a work-around. Try to understand the key business scenarios your users want to enable and provide guidelines and training as appropriate.

    • Consider incorporating activities to review key sites and activities to make sure that site and team owners are following your governance guidance.

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    What To Do Next

    There are many resources, some including frameworks and checklists, available to help deepen your understanding of governance and to build or refine your plan. A few of the best are listed below.

    • ISACA on Governance:

    Dont Start From Scratch Tailor It To Meet Your Business Needs

    Microsoft provides plenty of content around optimal settings and system limitations, and thats a good place to start. But having a personalized strategy involving selected SharePoint Governance Best Practices always help. Just need to remember that you need to constantly refine your strategy based on a solid understanding of your own business requirements. Adapt your policies using a consistent and transparent change management process to fit into the organizational priorities.

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