Microsoft 365 Subscribers have many options available for storing files and organizational data. Sometimes, the options can be overwhelming and cause confusion for users and issues when it comes to system use and governance. It is in an organization’s best interest to identify what information storage options are available, how they should be used and for what purpose. This includes file and information storage options outside of Microsoft 365 as well. Without having a well thought out plan in place, your organizational data may already be outdated, hard to find, duplicated, or totally missing.
Microsoft 365 tools and their use
Many organizations use a combination of Microsoft Teams, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft OneDrive for Business and Exchange Online/Outlook for file and information storage and collaboration between staff members. Each of these platforms has a unique purpose and use. However, the lines between them can be muddy. Add shared file servers into the mix along with the ability for users to store files on their local machine and the mud turns into quicksand. Hence, the need for a plan for use.
A little friendly advice…
As our InfoGraphic depicts, the “Big 3”: OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams each have a purpose for use.
These three are so tightly integrated under the hood that the purpose can cross borders. For example, personal files should be stored in OneDrive. These files are private to the user until the user shares the files with a colleague. This sharing capability should be limited to instances when two to three individuals are working closely together. When the information needs to be shared across the organization or with more than three individuals, it shouldn’t be stored in OneDrive, but instead in…
SharePoint Online, which can have Communication sites (for the entire organization), Hub sites (for departmental or specialty use) and Group sites (for smaller groups of users). Information stored in SharePoint generally has a long lifespan and is organizational in nature. But did you know that SharePoint is the foundation for…
Microsoft Teams. By default, each Team has a Files library (based in SharePoint) to be used to store information shared by the Team members. Microsoft Teams is best for short-term projects where users would benefit from the conversation threads, the ability to collaborate on files stored in the Files library, and optional use of Teams tools such as Planner and Lists. Teams also features private Chat areas, which takes us back to the Personal space where we started this discussion.
Best Practice Notes
Develop, distribute, train on, and enforce your System Usage Plan and Governance Plan.
Your System Usage Plan identifies which platform is used for what purpose.
Your Governance Plan identifies how the platforms should be used and maintained including how information should be shared within the organization.
Design and implement your SharePoint sites and Teams with the users and information security in mind.
If you are opening a Team or SharePoint site to users external to your organization, additional checks and balances for protection of information should be put in place.
Train SharePoint and Team users on the features and functionality they will use to execute their daily tasks.
Assign an Owner for the SharePoint site and Team who will be responsible for ensuring your Governance Plan is being followed.
Develop a process for and archive the Teams when the project is complete.
The following InfoGraphic, produced by Microsoft, provides the basis for the InfoGraphic developed by KGC Solutions and included early in this newsletter. It includes information about how Exchange Online/Outlook features are an integral part of the Microsoft 365 solution.