At its core, the term data governance refers to a system of decision rights and accountability for all information-related processes that exist within an organization. In other words, it’s a way to not only maintain visibility over the information your business is creating every day. It’s also a way to track the formal management of those assets as accurately as possible.
As an organization using Microsoft Teams on a regular basis, you have to know that there are certain common governance issues that you’re likely to face at some point if Teams is implemented poorly or in an unchecked manner. Luckily, the key to mitigating risk from these issues involves understanding why they happen in the first place.
The Danger of Information Sprawl
By far, one of the biggest governance issues that organizations often face with Microsoft Teams has to do with the proliferation of information sprawl at the worst possible moment.
Even though you’re using Microsoft Teams, your company’s data is still scattered across a wide range of different data repositories. This can include but is certainly not limited to your ERP and CRM, network folders, email inboxes, file-sharing applications and more.
This can quickly lead to a situation where employees are still forced to navigate a variety of different apps (and adapt to different user interfaces) to simply get their job done, thus harming their ability to collaborate and communicate with others at the exact same time.
The Problem with Document Duplication
Another related Microsoft Teams governance issue that a lot of organizations experience at some point in their existence has to do with document duplication. As documents are duplicated, control over the information contained inside them is lost. Even the strongest organizations can face increasing inefficiencies and missed opportunities, all of which stem from fragmented data living in multiple applications.
In no uncertain terms: If you don’t have total data cohesion across your enterprise, you cannot truly recognize the total value of your business.
Issues with Document Lifecycle Management and Orphaned Content
This particular issue has to do with the fact that documents in Microsoft Teams are, by their nature, static. This means that for them to go through their lifecycle in the way that you need, they need to be processed manually. If a project manager is soliciting input from colleagues about a customer deliverable, for example, that manager would need to tag the team members in question to pull them into the conversation and wait for them to reply. This is hardly the most efficient method of tracking a document through its lifecycle and capturing critical changes or feedback along the way.
Likewise, it’s simply hard to properly track the lifecycle of a document — particularly when it comes to what needs to be retained in order to comply with standards and laws — if they’re floating around the ether that is Microsoft Teams. Document workflows are simply not a core feature of Microsoft Teams and thus documents still need to be moved from one state to the next in a time-consuming, manual fashion.
Accidental Leaks and More
Finally, we arrive at the concept of accidental leaks — a nightmare scenario for any organization due to the privacy ramifications alone.
Yes, it’s true that Microsoft Teams features basic security measures like two-factor authentication and encrypted data. But there are a number of problematic inclusions, too — like guest accounts that can give people outside of your organization unintended access to documents in channels, resources, chats and even applications.
Currently, Microsoft Teams is lacking the type of overall permissions model you need to make sure that everything remains protected – potentially exposing a lot of critical data to prying eyes along the way.
A Solution Presents Itself
Luckily, the addition of an intelligent information management platform like M-Files is a perfect opportunity to address all of these issues in one fell swoop. To be clear, M-Files is not designed to replace Microsoft Teams at all. Instead, it supports and empowers it — filling a lot of the gaps that exist like those outlined above in a way that always allows you and your colleagues to put your best foot forward.
As an add-in to Microsoft Teams, a solution like M-Files is a great way to simplify and centralize information governance — thus eliminating sprawl and data chaos in an instant. It’s also a viable way to make sure that you never again have to deal with duplicated documents or version control issues, and it offers a way to easily manage a truly centralized document lifecycle, no matter what.
It also includes several built-in tools that let you minimize information security risk AND accidental leaks, many of which can now be prevented at the system level.
So, while it’s absolutely true that Microsoft Teams likely has a worthwhile place within your organization, it’s equally important to understand that it is not a “silver bullet” solution. There are still several common governance issues that you’re likely to face due to limitations in the solution, but M-Files is an effective way to address every single one of them.
If you still have any additional questions about the common Microsoft Teams governance issues that many organizations face, or if you’d just like to speak about your own situation as an organization with someone in a bit more detail, schedule some time with us.