What is Office 365 Workspace Governance?

by | Jul 15, 2020 | Blog, Office 365 Governance

Here at ProvisionPoint, we use the term ‘Workspace Governance’ a lot. But what the heck does it mean?

With the latest release of ProvisionPoint Enterprise now in the wild, I thought it made sense to write a post describing what we think workspace governance is, and why it should matter to you.

Governance in Office 365 is an emotive subject. If you have been riding the SharePoint train for years, you are likely aware of the fierce opinions that rage around the ‘G’ word. You probably have some views of your own, to boot, right?

Love it or hate it, governance matters and the need for it is unavoidable in all but the most unusual of Office 365 tenants.

The ‘G’ Word

Microsoft has utilised many definitions for ‘governance’ over the years, ranging from wide-reaching organisational policy-based concepts on ‘how to do IT’, all the way down to minutely detailed opinion on how to backup SQL Server databases for SharePoint farms. Useful only if you have time, money, and desire on your side to wade through all the material.

If we look in the dictionary, Lexico defines governance as: ‘the action or manner of governing’. I like this; short, sharp, simple.

ProvisionPoint Enterprise is all about this focused definition – the action and manner that we govern Office 365.

The key to understanding the purpose of ProvisionPoint Enterprise is in understanding *what* within Office 365 is being governed.

Files vs Filing Cabinets

Let’s be clear. ProvisionPoint Enterprise is not about content or data governance. There are features within Office 365 (and products from 3rd party vendors) that provide excellent tooling for migration, Intelligent Information Management, Records Management, and more. With the right implementation, your data is being governed nicely.

ProvisionPoint Enterprise is about the governance of the objects and containers that *hold* your content and data. Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Sites, Office 365 Groups, Planner, and Yammer Groups – the *workspaces* you use every day.

In short, Workspace Governance is about governance for your filing cabinets, not your files.

Creating Chaos

Office 365 is making great strides forwards with improvements in features and functionality, especially where it comes to enabling user-centric working. Self-service creation of Teams and Groups has the potential to reduce the burden significantly on IT for the creation of new workspaces, but at what cost?

Organisations that have enabled self-service creation of Teams and Groups invariably regret the decision within a few short weeks. When users *can* create workspaces, they frequently go wild,  with each user creating dozens of workspaces with little regard for the consequences. If I had a dollar for every time I had seen Teams with names such as ‘Sales’, ‘Sales 2’, ‘New Sales Team’; I would be a rich man, and don’t get me started on Channel names!

Users have little understanding of the impact of creating Teams or Groups without thought.

Names (of Groups) become unusable in the future, multiple workspaces are created for the same purpose, and content duplication becomes commonplace.

Despite the noble self-service intentions of the user community, chaos has arrived.

Calm from the Chaos

Enter Workspace Governance with ProvisionPoint Enterprise.

Workspace governance helps to bring order to your Office 365 workspaces, ensuring they are created in the right way, managed appropriately, and disposed of when no longer needed.

ProvisionPoint Enterprise’s 3 Pillars of Workspace Governance help to prevent chaos and sprawl by bringing the following to your Office 365 tenant:

  • Provisioning: User-driven self-service creation of Office 365 workspaces
  • Management: Effortless enforcement of your Governance policies for Office 365 workspace usage
  • Lifecycle: Controls for the end-to-end lifecycle of your workspaces

With Provisioning, Management, and Lifecycle all under control, your users are empowered and happy, your IT burden is reduced, and your compliance position is vastly improved.

It’s pretty simple, to be honest.

Learn more about ProvisionPoint Enterprise, request a demo today!

Photo by Jo Szczepanska on Unsplash

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