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A safer way to manage the information explosion in Microsoft Teams

Authored by Sean Burgess - Mar 31, 2021


I don’t think many will disagree when I say that the last 12 months have been a challenge for everyone, both personally and professionally. Whether it be managing a new working from home environment, no face-to-face meetings or interaction, home schooling or ripping up and re-writing IT strategies, it’s been a huge learning curve. A client said to me this week that a lot of their time in early 2020 was spent emptying the shelves of laptops in a well-known high street computer retailer to enable their staff to work from home. I shuddered at the challenges the business will have faced to ensure everyone was secure and compliant in such an outlier of a time. However, it seems like we’re all running towards the final hurdle now, although from the conversations I’m having with organisations there is a huge lean towards a hybrid workforce from now on, which will bring its own challenges around information explosion.

I decided during the lockdown that I was going to make my life a little tougher… Firstly, our second son joined us right in the middle of the first lockdown and now we’ve decided to move house. I was on the phone last week with a telco organisation, planning a smooth transition of our internet connectivity to the new house. During the setup we got on to how customer service representatives are handling high volumes of differing engagements when not in the office. The representative I spoke to was talking to me about how of course she misses the buzz, the camaraderie and the fun of being in an office, but also described how they were having to adapt their work to communicate through Microsoft Teams and the organisation was seeing a huge increase in the sharing of information and content. This is challenging for a number of reasons, not only that responses can take longer with customers and managing those expectations, but how can a business keep control of the information that is being shared within those Teams conversations and channels? Thousands of calls per day, a plethora of documents, some sensitive, some perhaps not so much, but organisations are going to need to stretch that Data Governance strategy and place the microscope above their Teams environment to ensure that information is where it should be, especially when Teams usage is being used for back end discussion outside of customer service tools. And that’s not to mention SharePoint, OneDrive and other collaboration platforms, where content may have been on premise and moved to the cloud, without any real governance attached.

This reflects the conversations I’m having every day – “Teams is the Wild West right now” and “OneDrive is beginning to cause us a big problem, we don’t know what’s in it” are two quotes that stick in my mind. It’s every sector too, from financial services to pharmaceuticals, customers are concerned about how to manage this explosion of information. As of October 2020, there are now 115 million active daily users of Teams and in Q3 2020, Microsoft 365 users around the world generated more than 30 billion collaboration minutes in a single day. Like any issue, a rip in your jeans or a drip in the bathroom, there’s no perfect time to fix, but the sooner you act to solve that problem, the less the damage. Putting stringent document policies in place for M365 content now will work to prevent serious information and governance headaches down the line, but the big challenge is that the burden of managing the lifecycle of documents shouldn’t lie with the end user. Individuals should be able to focus on their day-to-day role without the concern within leadership teams that the data end users are creating and handling could cause a compliance challenge to the business – or worse they are totally oblivious to the risks. A great idea would be to federate the governance of information sources, allowing an organisation to centrally manage policies through a single pane of glass. That would enable the business to classify and manage information in place (if required) with a single tool, creating a frictionless approach to managing records.

That’s where EncompaaS can help. Our SaaS compliance platform provides intelligent, automated governance across content sources and application services, provisioned and discovered in hours. By creating a bridge from on-premise applications to cloud (and cloud to cloud), EncompaaS allows you to Discover the who, what, when, where and why of your content, Understand the risks to the business and the opportunities for improvement, as well as Manage and Execute classification and retention policies. This gives leaders the peace of mind that they have the knowledge of where their data lives, the confidence that they have the correct policies in place using AI and Machine Learning techniques and the ability to report findings and progress to senior stakeholders or regulators. Autoclassification enables existing records and governance staff to supervise many business systems, knowing recordkeeping and regulatory obligations are automatically enforced.

With an estimate that 80% of information within an organisation is now unstructured and Microsoft Teams users now touching 115 million, the time to apply governance and management to Teams content is now. Automatically apply policies to protect information during its lifecycle, report and prove to regulators that your plan is operationalised, transparent and always ‘on’, avoid risks and fines and reduce change management for staff, by removing the governance burden.

With EncompaaS, your critical information is classified, managed and enriched… Let’s get more from Teams without the risk!


of information within an organisation is now unstructured

115 Million

active daily users of Teams

30 Billion

collaboration minutes within Microsoft 365 per day

Sean Burgess

EMEA Sales Lead

Contact Sean to learn more: [email protected]

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