What’s involved in a SharePoint health check?

SharePoint Health Check

Many organisations think that Office 365/SharePoint deployment and configuration is both simple and quick only to find the reality quite different once the system is used in anger.  But a well-timed health check of SharePoint can save a lot a pain and stress down the road.

When to do a health check

A health check can be done at any stage of SharePoint implementation for many different purposes. For instance a health check may be done during a pilot or pathfinder exercise to check that the project is going in the right direction. Or the health check may be used for older implementations that may be experiencing issues for the purpose of root cause analysis.

It’s not just about the technology

The technical configuration of your Office 365/SharePoint system is important, but so too is how your information is organised within your implementation. Failing to understand your information management needs is often overlooked in Office 365/SharePoint deployments which can result in expensive, unusable, or even a failed system. We recommend any health check considers ongoing information management as well as the technical management.

What a health check should cover

With that in mind we recommend a SharePoint health check should consider both standard areas of functionality as well as information governance, management and strategies. The health check should consider the following aspects though depending on how SharePoint is configured may want more attention on some areas than others.

  • High-level Office 365 configuration
  • Site collection and site architecture
  • User permissions and user access model
  • Content types and columns
  • Term sets
  • Search configuration
  • Libraries, views and folder configuration
  • Navigation and high-level user interface
  • Usability and look and feel
  • Information governance and policies
  • Training and support
  • Culture and change management

Who should do the health check

Ideally a neutral third party should conduct a health check, so they can provide an independent and impartial assessment of the system. The third party may be a person or team within your organisation that has not been heavily involved in implementation. That internal resource would need to have the skills and expertise to complete a thorough health check. Alternatively external resource with the skills and experience may be contracted to do the work. The benefit of getting a health check from a skilled professional is assurance of quality of work as well as the ability to provide results quickly and accurately.

Metataxis SharePoint health checks

Metataxis can provide independent health check of your Microsoft 365 and/or SharePoint deployment to discover potential problems before they become actual problems. The Metataxis team has the unique skills and experience to bridge the world of technology and information management, to provide a unified and thorough analysis. Metataxis has a simple health check methodology that provides quick results. This is based on the many implementations we have worked on.

  • Analyse: A Metataxis consultant conducts an audit of your Office 365/SharePoint environment.
  • Document: The consultant documents their findings to produce an organisation specific set of recommendations.
  • Review: The consultant discusses the recommendations with the organisation, refining them as required.
  • Support: Follow-up advice is available via email or phone after the delivery of the recommendations.

We can scale any health check to the requirements of your organisation and point you in the right direction to give you the right information governance, architecture and strategy to help you on your way.  Get in touch with us today to talk using the contact form on the right.

A view from New Zealand

We are delighted to share that Judi Vernau, the director of Metataxis New Zealand, has just launched a new blog in collaboration with ISKO UK. Judi is a taxonomy and information architecture expert, and an ISKO committee member. A previous director of Metataxis UK, Judi is now settled in New Zealand, and her first blog entry sets the scene for discussing information architecture from a “kiwi” perspective. We look forward to future posts!

Read the first blog in the upcoming series here.

New Records Management Code of Practice issued

It’s official. Destruction is nice. Or so says the new Section 46 Code of Practice issued this month:

Destroying information is essential to maintaining an effective information management capability, and means that authorities avoid the unnecessary financial burden of searching, maintaining and storing information that is no longer needed.

While this is what records managers have been saying to their colleagues in IT and governance for years, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it put quite so bluntly before. 

The new Code of Practice is much more explicit than the previous 2016 version. Less space is given to discussing the benefits of following the Code  (which in retrospect seemed a little redundant) making way for clearer expectations around governance arrangements. Good governance is key to any information or records governance programme, so I’m glad to see this is given greater prominence here.

The principles of good practice remain the same but the new Code of Practice provides much clearer descriptions of how these work in practice which is both welcome and daunting. At Metataxis we know that it’s a difficult task meeting obligations which are fine in theory but are difficult to achieve in the reality of your information environment. Find out how we can help you turn general principles into practice. Contact us today.

 

 

UK Adequacy has been approved – for now

The long awaited decision regarding UK Adequacy was made end of last month, on the 28th of June. While the UK has achieved adequacy statement, there is something of a watching brief on this.

For the first time ever, the EU Commission has made Adequacy conditional. Unusual, but perhaps unsurprisingly the UK is subject to additional caveats. The Adequacy approval will only last a period of 4 years from date adequacy comes into force, and the EU Commission may intervene should there be any changes to UK legislation which will affect personal data processing. This so-called “sunset clause” means we be back here again in four years time (or sooner) if a political decision is taken to create a divergent data protection regime for the UK which doesn’t meet adequacy requirements.

What this decision does give UK business is some breathing space regarding cross border data processes to the EU. It means cross-border processing may continue without having to put additional safeguards such as standard contractual clauses in place. Although it does not mean this now means businesses can relax a little about meeting GDPR requirements! Adequacy is approved for nations that can demonstrate they have an equivalent data protection regime to the GDPR. The UK has done that for now, but given the caveats, it does feel almost like the UK is on some form of probation.

How important is privacy really for Google?

Each action we take on online platforms is commodified; actions are translated into data of monetary value for tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Apple. Privacy concerns not just the the data we keep online, but every action we take as well. This puts privacy, which is valued by the individual in direct opposition to profit, especially for Google which I have argued for decades is an advertising platform first and foremost, and a search engine second. So last week when the headline “Google to give people more power over their personal data” appeared in the Guardian, I read on with hesitancy. How much do Google developers really care about Privacy by Design?

Last month Apple introduced greater controls to app tracking, which at face value seems like a strong commitment to Privacy by Design. However, on learning that allowing users to turn off app tracking has a significant impact on competitor Facebook, I can’t help but be skeptical that corporate competition is the underlying motivation for this. Facebook is predictably vehemently opposed to turning off app tracking and is now presenting itself as an unlikely champion of small business.

In the context of all of this, what is Google proposing to offer consumers in terms of privacy? To be honest, on reading a summary of the developments proposed at last week’s conference I was slightly underwhelmed, as Google is limited to how much privacy tracking they lose without impacting their advertising business. The one area of interest for me was the discussion of subscription services where, like with YouTube, users pay for ad-free content. This may be inevitable should Google make a serious commitment to Privacy by Design.

It seems the old adage “If the service is free, the product is you” could never be more true.