As more and more businesses adopt Microsoft Office 365, the need for good cloud governance increases. There are hundreds of thousands of companies running Office 365 that need an effective cloud governance policy to ensure their environment is managed safely and professionally. Many of those businesses started using Office 365 on-premise, meaning the governance policies they had before won’t be appropriate for the context of the cloud.

Governance defines the responsibilities and processes that ensure an IT platform is managed securely and in an organized manner. It defines who is accountable for what, when and how content will be stored, the level of permissions that will be implemented and the defining of document retention guidelines.

Office 365 has updates daily, meaning new features and new products are frequently added to the platform. Since cloud automatically updates, you need to manage this constant flux in a way you didn’t have to with on-premises. The more new features and products that are rolled-out, the more training and user management that needs to happen.

Some other areas you need cloud governance in Office 365 include:

  • License management: Office 365 is subscription-based so there are flexes in the number of licenses you use. The danger here is that organizations forget to delete accounts that are not being used and end up over-paying.
  • External sharing: Office 365 allows you to easily share content externally. There is a risk if you don’t have a plan to track and watch what people are sharing, and to decide what is or isn’t permitted.
  • Customizations: Certain kinds of customizations are not permitted in the cloud, which is great because it means most businesses are safer. However, there are risks with third party apps introducing security problems, and unsafe add-ins built in-house will also produce problems.

As you can see, you need to fully educate yourself around governance in the cloud to make sure you are compliant in your new environment. While Microsoft takes responsibility for managing some of the infrastructure capabilities of Office 365, it doesn’t mean you can forget about cloud governance. Cloud success relies on the ability of your organization to develop policies which reflect the changing tools and features of Office 365 and which also fit around the needs of your organization and users.

2W Tech is a full-service IT Consulting firm that specializes in solutions for the manufacturing industry. We are a Microsoft Gold Partner and have IT Consultants on staff with extensive Office 365 knowledge. Give us a call today and let 2W Tech guide your through your cloud governance.

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