Governance and security are important aspects on customers’ minds when it comes to collaboration tools. Microsoft Groups, which are a new feature in Office 365, are of course, no exception. Although there are many safeguards already in place, there are some noticeable governance gaps that Microsoft is rapidly working on resolving and releasing as soon as possible. Adding these features will make groups enterprise ready.
Groups allow organizations to define a set of teammates that you want to collaborate with. When you create a Group, you get a shared inbox, calendar, SharePoint Team site and document library, OneNote notebook, and Planner. These are a lot of places to store content! Organizations need to be fully aware of the controls that exist for Microsoft Groups, so they can utilize them to the fullest, avoid losing valuable content, manage Group membership with ease, and collaborate efficiently. For example, one IT department at one of our customers learned about groups after their users had created more than 20!
Below are some of the current governance features for Groups:
- Ability to hold content in place and perform eDiscovery search
- Privacy settings to allow Group Owners to make a group’s content available to anyone or to only Group members
- A Group Audit Report from the Azure Management Portal shows group creations, updates, and membership changes
- Group members can be based on rules using the Azure Management Portal. For example, a Group’s membership could be determined based on a sub-organization or having a specific supervisor.
- Functionality to create a custom classification system for Groups to match existing organizational policies for handling content so that end users are aware of the guidelines handling the group’s information. For example: “Classified,” “Unclassified,” and ”Public.”
On the Roadmap for Future Releases:
- A Group naming policy in Azure Active Directory that will allow Administrators to append text to the end or beginning of a Group’s name and have a list of blocked words that will not be able to be used in Group names
- Ability to hide the list of members of a Group from non-members
- Policy that can be set to automatically expire Groups that have been in-active for a certain amount of time
- Deletion recovery so End Users and Administrators can recover a Group that was deleted in one quick step
- A Group Audit Report that can be accessed from the Office 365 Compliance Center
Author: Melissa Hubbard
Editors: Alex Finkel and Kurt Greening