January 20, 2022
min read

4 Things to Know About M365 Governance

If the word “governance” makes you think of bureaucracy and government organizations (and maybe even fancy spies, like ‘007), you’re not alone. When it comes to businesses and agencies’ relationships with Microsoft 365, however, governance looks a little different. It typically refers to the set of practices and processes by which M365 is led and controlled. In essence, it’s the framework an organization puts in place to help manage their M365 experience, often related to user controls and data storage in the short- and long term.

Traditionally, organizations will carry over policies from past communication or file-sharing systems. But the challenge there — as I’m sure you can imagine — is that Microsoft 365 is an advanced and constantly evolving tool, requiring an advanced and constantly evolving set of policies. Holdover practices are rarely, if ever, best practices when it comes to M365.

So, who should control governance? And what do they need to know in order to create and establish the appropriate framework? Great questions. Here are four things to keep top of mind when it comes to M365 governance.

1. IT Administrators Should Own M365 Governance

Now, who should own governance depends greatly on your organization’s structure and size. But, in most cases, IT administrators should be the ones running point when it comes to M365 (likely with input from the executive and product teams).

Think of IT as the voice in your GPS system, the ones telling you when to go right or turn left. They may not be in the driver’s seat of your organization, but they’re helping dictate where to go (and how to get there) based on satellite navigation. M365 governance should follow a similar pattern.

Because IT understands the ins and outs of Microsoft (and its subsequent apps), they’re well-positioned to determine what the right policies should be — e.g., when to go right or turn left. IT can help craft systems for data storage, file-sharing, and so forth in a way that appreciates the nuances of M365; few other teams are equipped to do this.

2. Best Practices for M365 Governance Should Be Established (And Shared!)

Once you’ve determined who should control M365 governance, that team — likely IT — should establish best practices, particularly for collaboration.

There are three main communication tools within M365: Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and the more social Yammer. Take the time to evaluate and understand how groups and individuals across your organization are using each of these tools and establish best practices from there.

When it comes to sharing these M365 best practices with the wider organization, Microsoft has a few tips:

  • “Embed governance decisions directly in the solutions you create” (e.g., turn features on or off accordingly)
  • “Have a strategy for communicating governance policies and guidelines in your organization” (using Microsoft 365 Adoption Center, for instance)
  • “Reinforce with training” (utilizing partners and tools like Microsoft learning pathways)

3. Remember: The Cloud Is Not a Catchall Cure

Too often, organizations will shift workloads and workflows to the cloud in an effort to lighten IT’s load — but the long-term costs might not make this worth your while. Not only do you reduce the capacity to customize in the cloud, but you also reduce the number of security features and protocols available. Use M365 governance as an opportunity to boost and tighten security, not loosen it.

4. M365 Governance Should Support Your Business Goals

Above all else, M365 governance should align with, and support your business’s priorities and desired outcomes. The goal here should be to get as much bang for your buck out of M365 as possible, allowing you to improve collaboration across teams and reduce security risk (saving time and money in the long run).

To do this well, partner with an M365 management solution, like (ahem) CoreView. Curious to know how this can take your organizations, well, organization to the next level? Schedule a CoreView demo today.

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