4 Aspects to Consider When Buying A Governance and Provisioning Tool

Whether you’re an existing Microsoft 365 user and looking to upgrade your governance and provisioning tool or you’re starting from scratch, adopting new tech can feel like a big investment in time and money.

With Microsoft SharePoint and Teams being some of the most popular collaboration and document management tools on the market this is definitely a good place to start. But to make the process even easier, here are our top four key aspects to consider when buying a governance and provisioning tool.

1. Provisioning

Predefined templates are key to successful provisioning in Microsoft 365. For instance, a team template for project management could contain a predefined Microsoft Planner plan with tasks such as “invite project participants to kick-off meeting” or “write project summary”. Additionally, it could also contain channels such as “Announcements” and “Monthly Reports” as well as document templates such as the “Project Handbook”.

Once a template is set up it can be reused as many times as you need, so all your workspaces will be created consistently. This means that users can focus on their jobs rather than spending their precious time with configuration.

One of the drawbacks with Microsoft is that it doesn’t currently include extended templating capability for workspace creation in Microsoft 365 but more on that later…

2. Governance

Effective governance of workspaces in Microsoft 365 is vital because it helps administrators to apply and ensure consistent rules. Although the rules very much depend on the organization, project requirements, and business partners, there are common requirements that companies often ask for.

These common requirements include everything from managing external access and specifying default owners to creating naming conventions and enabling sensitivity labels.

Applying these rules at templating level is important to ensure that all new workspaces will inherit the same rules and follow the same pattern, which really helps to simplify the governance process.

One of our top tips for successful governance and provisioning is to use analytics and search tools to gain a better understanding of the use of workspaces in Microsoft 365.

Finding orphan workspaces or workspaces without configured business parameters, or even understanding the number of workspaces that allow external users in an organization, analytics can really help to weed out problems and inform process going forward.

3. Lifecycle Management

Lifecycle management, from requests and approvals to retirement (including archiving or deletion), is a fundamental aspect to successfully governed workspaces in Microsoft 365.

As the use of Microsoft 365 has increased, the number of Microsoft Teams teams, SharePoint sites and Microsoft 365 groups has also increased; raising the importance of having a controlled way of requesting, approving and retiring all these workspaces.

We would always recommend a central request point in Microsoft 365 to control workspace creation. Having a central request process will also ensure that only approved workspace types (SharePoint sites, Microsoft Teams teams and Microsoft 365 groups) are created based on IT-approved templates.

The request process also helps guide the end-user on setting up the expected business parameters, enforcing naming convention and informing the end-user that similar workspaces have already been created which helps companies to avoid having duplicated content in their environments. 

Equally, if not more, important is the retirement process. After a project is complete, the onboarding process is closed or a workspace is simply no longer required, companies might want to archive or even delete these workspaces. 

The capability of archiving is a common requirement, as often workspaces do still contain important content that shouldn’t be easily removed. So, it is useful if there are ways to archive workspaces or even better, to configure policies that archive them automatically based on the creation time or, in more complex cases, based on metadata, such as the “Project End Date” in case of projects. 

4. Navigation

Findability and searchability are very important requirements when it comes to the daily work with workspaces.

The wider the search criteria the better. For example, what if John from HR wants to find all onboarding teams where Max is a manager? Or what if Jo from Finance wants to find the Microsoft Teams team working on a new project? Powerful search, based on categories and business parameters, is an essential aspect to the success of governance and provisioning tools.

So what next?

All these aspects need to be considered when buying a governance and provisioning tool and although Microsoft 365 can help with most of these requirements, it is by no means a complete solution.

That’s why we, at Valo, created Valo Teamwork, our collaboration tool built for Modern SharePoint and accessed through Microsoft Teams.

Here’s how Valo Teamwork can support your organization’s governance and provisioning on Microsoft 365.

Custom templates for consistency in provisioning

As we mentioned earlier, Microsoft doesn’t currently include extended templating capability for workspace creation in Microsoft 365, which is where Valo Teamwork comes in.

Create your own Microsoft Teams team, Microsoft 365 groups and SharePoint site templates with Valo Teamwork.

With Valo Teamwork you can create your own Microsoft Teams team, Microsoft 365 groups and SharePoint site templates with custom metadata to meet all your different business scenarios and automate all the processes behind them. This means that all your workspaces will be created consistently.

Rules for effective governance

With Valo Teamwork you are able to define different governance rules such as naming convention and lifecycle policy. You can also implement strict approval processes, management and privacy permission requirements to enable self-service, without compromising on safety or structure.

Implement strict approval processes, management and privacy permission requirements with Valo Teamwork.

Our Teamwork Admin analytics tool gives admins insightful data on the workspaces that are being created and how they are being used, making governance easier and informing future provisioning decisions.

Lifecycle control

From workspace requests and approval to automated retirement, Valo Teamwork gives admins full control of the workspace lifecycle.

Powerful search capabilities

End users don’t just want to search their workspaces by display name and with Valo Teamwork they don’t have to.

Valo Teamwork has powerful search capabilities.

Valo Teamwork’s powerful search capabilities allow users to filter workspaces based on categories and business parameters such as; project start and end dates, or any other type defined in your metadata structure.

So, if your organization needs to turbo charge its existing Microsoft 365 governance and provisioning. Or, if you are at the start of your governance and provisioning journey and are interested in investing in Microsoft 365, why not make life easier and bring some Valo Teamwork into your life?

Find out how our customer Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA is benefiting from using Valo Teamwork to securely consolidate and manage all its existing Microsoft 365 groups and SharePoint sites.

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Want to know more? Get in touch and book a demo to see for yourself how awesome Valo Teamwork is!

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