Why Office 365 Governance Is The Quintessential Need Of The Hour

With the Office 365 user base hitting 155 million active users, it leaves no doubt that Office 365 is one of the leading cloud platforms and the number shows more and more organizations are transitioning towards cloud from on-premises.

Governance in Office 365 is going to be a different ball game altogether when compared to your on-premises. The governance policies and practices might not be the same and will become obsolete in no time. Let’s look at how cloud governance especially Office 365 is different, why and what you need to plan to maintain a clutter-free Office 365 environment.

Release cycles are too short

When compared with on-premises where Microsoft released new versions once every three years or so and you just got service packs, the cloud environment gets new releases every fortnight or even every week. So you need to constantly monitor and manage these fluctuations, which you don’t need in on-premises.

Content can be shared and exposed easily to external users

With all your data being in the cloud which is already available over the internet, features like external sharing across products like SharePoint, One Drive, etc. make sharing easier; it brings in complexity in terms of managing the cloud. Unless you keep track of what is shared externally and keep things under control, you are going to possess a big security risk.

Too many services/apps as a bundle

With the whole suite of Office 365 services/apps, a few resources are spanned across workloads, making it complex in terms of managing and monitoring. The same resource can be created from different services, bringing complexity in tracking and governing such resources.

Licensing is not the same as in on-premise

Cloud services, especially Office 365, come with different plans on a per user model. Your user might not be using the full potential of a plan where you can move them to a cheaper plan, or there may be cases where you have users removed from your active directory but licenses stay alive as part of your subscription.

THE KILLER: Content Sprawl

This is going to be the  one convincing factor for why your Office 365 needs a neat governance plan. As with any system, with age, the amount of content that gets created will increase and in on-premise, the traditional way of regular backup, archive & classification methodologies worked. IT gets involved once in a while to audit the systems to ensure things are intact. Office 365 governance is not going to be as easy due to the nature of the way content is created. Let’s look at a quick comparison.

Why Office 365 Governance Is The Quintessential Need Of The Hour
Why Office 365 Governance Is The Quintessential Need Of The Hour
With a lot of collaboration capabilities inbuilt, Office 365 enables power users and end users to create resources in contrast to the traditional method of IT teams, creating resources for them. This calls for regular monitoring of the resources created and staying on top of your Office 365 tenant.

Plan for a better cloud governance

Though there are a lot of similarities between on-premise and cloud governance, the latter needs to be thought through. When the cloud provider (in this case Microsoft) provides capabilities in terms of security & compliance aspects, it doesn’t mean everything is taken care of. To have a better working cloud environment, it's inevitable to have governance plans that help manage the flux in the cloud and also match your business needs.