By Siobhan King |

June 7, 2024

Five real reasons how Information Governance supports M365 success

Metataxis has worked on many Microsoft 365 projects. Whether it is an information architecture, SharePoint migration or Teams implementation, we understand that a clear approach to information governance is essential to the overall success of the project.

After years of experience, Senior Consultant and Governance guru here at Metataxis, Siobhan King, reveals her top five reasons why information governance is crucial to successfully deploy Microsoft 365.

Read on:

Reason 1: Effective management of records and M365 information

Before implementing M365, you need to have clarity about which M365 solutions you will use, to what extent and for what purpose. No person is an island, and no SharePoint or Teams solutions can possibly be rolled out in isolation. M365 is a beast of a product, providing multiple interconnected solutions to manage information. When you start rolling out Teams, you immediately find yourself having to consider how you will manage SharePoint, OneDrive, Purview, Defender, and even elements of Azure. If you are trying to manage records in M365 products, you will need to understand how each of these products interact and set clear expectations for your users on how to use M365. Without an information governance framework defining how you intend to use each product, you will get confusion and sprawl.

Information governance provides clarity and enables you to keep your management of records and information tight.

Reason 2: Optimise implementation with a defined M365 roadmap

An information governance framework is essential to set a clear vision how M365 will be deployed.

Like the issue regarding the vast interconnectivity of M365 products, you will need to consider your overall roadmap for deploying different M365 products. Implementation of these products will take a lot of time and effort – and very few organisations have the resources to address everything all at once. When you consider all the configurations available in Purview alone, you will potentially struggle to activate and implement every single solution – even with a very large, well-resourced team. You therefore need to be more strategic about what’s important and necessary, what to do now and what can be implemented later. You also need to understand the wider context of information management outside M365 to avoid duplication of effort or creating competing platforms which will do nothing but confuse and inconvenience your users.

Reason 3: Boost productivity with a better understanding of roles & resources

We’ve seen it many times: records teams frustrated that IT won’t provide the permissions they need to do their jobs, IT teams beleaguered with records management tasks, projects being delayed because no one is responsible for making decisions or implementing them, very senior staff pulled into resolving trivial matters and very junior staff left holding the can to make decisions well above their pay grade.

Getting the roles and responsibilities within M365 in line with information governance roles and responsibilities is essential. It is true that roles and permissions in M365 can seem unnecessarily complex. But they are also very precise and setting up roles in M365 will put your organisation’s allocation of information governance roles to the test. Often, we have worked with clients who have discovered that responsibilities for tasks are taken for granted and not explicitly stated when we start asking them questions about “Who will be responsible for managing XYZ?” It is important to be very clear about who will be responsible for each element to avoid all the common frustrations over permissions and fair allocation of tasks. Most importantly, this will help you understand how much resource you will need and will feed into your roadmap.

Information governance provides clarity around roles, responsibilities and resources to proceed with the project successfully, avoiding over spending and delays.

Reason 4: Future proof your solutions and services

A flexible information governance framework ensures tools and technologies remain relevant.

Nothing is static. Your information governance framework needs to grow and adapt in line with the needs of your organisation. All governing information and governance bodies should be aligned with strategy and leadership, and you need to know what is happening on the ground, too.

Communicating expectations and responding to new stakeholder needs is essential to ensure your governance framework remains current and relevant. This is especially true with Information Architecture, where any site structures or metadata schemes, you have created need to remain in touch with organisational restructuring and changes in terminology.

We all know what records and information solutions look like when users don’t regard them as relevant: abandoned; hopelessly out of date; not trustworthy. Working on creating networks from the top to the bottom of your organisation is the essential ingredient to ensuring your information governance framework keeps up with the times.

Reason 5: Validate the value with ease

Having a robust information governance framework, with good monitoring and reporting, not only helps govern M365 effectively, but also allows you to demonstrate how you are managing information to both internal and external stakeholders.

A well implemented information governance framework provides Senior Leadership Teams and other stakeholders with the assurance they need to manage risk effectively and an understanding of the overall health of your organisation.  A clear description of your information governance framework can help quickly answer stakeholder questions or concerns regarding information management processes. Proper monitoring and reporting of information governance performance and progress can also be used. Such resources can be used in a variety of ways: to provide assurance to data subjects that their information is being managed responsibly, to provide responses to client queries and audits, to form a component of a bid or proposal for prospects. No more hours spent compiling complicated explanations of how information is governed in your organisation for that Senior Leadership Team meeting or client presentation.

A well-articulated information governance framework helps rapidly demonstrate accountabilities to stakeholders.

Get to grips with your information governance

These are just some of the benefits of having information governance in place before implementing M365.

Metataxis has been helping organisations identify and understand what needs to be considered prior to a M365 implementation to maximise success, boost usability and drive productivity. As information governance experts, the Metataxis approach to information governance in Microsoft 365 ensures practical, flexible, and cost-effective solutions to your information problems. We offer a wide range of information management and information architecture services, including consulting, system implementation and training.

Accelerate your information governance and M365 success