How ShareGate can redistribute 70% of Teams clutter management to owners

Redistribute 70 Teams Clutter Management Featured

ShareGate’s automated inactivity detection and collaboration with group owners is taking the burden off IT teams and empowering end users.

ShareGate is an out-of-the-box management solution for Microsoft 365 that helps keep your tenant organized and secure. One of the many ways ShareGate helps IT teams is with its automation features. Rather than trying to figure out PowerShell and Power Automate or paying for Azure AD Premium licenses, IT teams can sit back and let ShareGate automate everyday IT tasks to clean up their tenant and ensure that their organization’s data is in the right hands.

By leveraging ShareGate’s automation, IT teams can save tons of time in two key ways.

  1. They don’t have to spend time scripting, manually building reports, or completing never-ending repetitive administrative tasks.
  1. ShareGate enlists end users to manage their resources, speeding up the process and lightening IT’s load even further.

Our client data has shown us that after ShareGate’s automated inactivity detection feature uncovered unused teams, 70% of all inactive teams were kept or removed by the owners, rather than IT.

That means that the IT team didn’t have to manually find the inactive teams or track down the owner of each team and ask them whether or not it was still in use.

Instead, IT just had to set up the automation feature and then review the Manage page in ShareGate every once in a while, turning an arduous task into an easy one, and giving IT teams time to focus on projects that add more value to their organization.

Maybe you’re not worried about the time IT is spending finding inactive teams and contacting their owners because it’s not something IT regularly does at your organization. Sure, you know you should, but who has the time?

Keep reading, and we’ll get into the details of why finding and removing inactive teams can have a big impact on your Microsoft 365 environment. As a hint, just think about how getting rid of 27% of all the teams in your tenant could help keep your tenant organized, easily searchable, and decrease storage costs.

Let’s dig into how ShareGate’s inactive teams detection policy and collaboration with team owners can improve productivity—for both IT and end users.


What is ShareGate’s automated inactivity detection policy?

First thing’s first, let’s talk about what exactly ShareGate’s inactivity detection policy is. Essentially, the ShareGate crawl automatically finds teams in your tenant that are inactive, so you don’t have to.

You might be asking, what constitutes “inactive”? The ShareGate crawl looks for user- or system-generated activity in these areas:

  • Outlook conversations
  • Outlook Calendar modifications
  • SharePoint activity in the admin center or in a site or site contents
  • Teams messages

The ShareGate crawl extracts the dates of those activities in your teams. You can choose how many days without activity would qualify that team as inactive, whether that’s 30 days or 365.

Screenshot 2022 11 02 At 8.35.51 Am

You can also customize what the inactivity threshold is based on the team’s purpose tag. We know that “inactivity” for the accounting department’s team might be different from “inactivity” for a one-time project team.

You can also use the Ask the owners feature to have notifications from the ShareGate Teams chatbot or emails sent to team owners to alert them when their team becomes inactive.

Team owners are the ones who actually know whether or not a team should be kept or deleted. Maybe that team is for quarterly meetings, so despite not having any activity during the 60-day threshold you set up, the team owner knows that team should be kept. Whereas the team created for a marketing campaign that ended two months ago probably could be archived or deleted.

That’s why this feature is so impactful, it finds inactive teams quickly and asks the right people to take action on them.

Once a team is deemed inactive, you’ll see it on the ShareGate Manage page, where you get visibility into all of the teams, groups, and communication sites in your tenant.

Sgt Manage Icons 1

By clicking on the inactive teams tile, you can see all of the inactive teams in your tenant. You can get information on each team by clicking on them.

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From here, you can take keep, archive, or delete inactive teams yourself or manually send notifications to the owners to act on them.

The inactivity detection feature is a great way to keep your Microsoft 365 environment clutter free and secure, and it offers huge time savings. It also helps you collaborate with and empower your end users. Win-win-win!


How ShareGate’s automated inactivity detection takes the burden off IT teams

At ShareGate, we’re always looking for ways to improve our product and your experience with it. This means we do a lot of analysis and reflection on how ShareGate is currently being used. One of the big things that stood out to us recently is how many team owners are getting involved in managing their resources with the help of ShareGate.

Across all of our clients between September 2021 and September 2022, 70% of inactive teams were kept or removed by the team owner, not IT admins. So, when team owners received a notification or email from ShareGate letting them know that their team was inactive, 70% of the time the owner decided whether to keep, archive, or delete it.

That means that IT teams didn’t have to build reports or write PowerShell scripts to find inactive teams, and they didn’t have to track down the owners of those teams and call or email them to find out what to do with the teams.

Sgt Opt Chatbot 1

IT admins typically don’t know enough about the team to know with certainty whether it needs to be kept or removed. They usually don’t know why it was created, if it may be used again later, or if the files inside it are still needed. Those are generally questions only the team owner can answer.

Instead of adding “Track down inactive team owners” to the never-ending list of things IT teams need to do, you can use ShareGate to enlist team owners’ help for you.

This client data shows one way (of many) that ShareGate’s automation can help take the burden off IT and shift content ownership to end users.

ShareGate also crawls for orphaned teams and groups and suggests which of its members could be new owners or asked if the team is still needed. This helps to keep your environment and clutter free.

If you’re concerned about security, especially after enabling self-service for end users, ShareGate has two automated features to help: external sharing and guest access reviews. With each of these, you can decide how often you’d like the ShareGate crawl to look for links that are shared externally and guests within your tenant.

Then the team owner is notified and can keep things as they are or delete links and revoke guest access.

Sgt External Sharing Review

With ShareGate’s automation features, you can empower your end users to better understand their responsibility in Microsoft 365 and take ownership of the upkeep tasks required for the content they create, all while freeing up your IT teams’ time.


How ShareGate’s automated inactive teams policy helped the IT team at Arkin

We just told you about data across all of our clients. Let’s zoom in on one client to see exactly how ShareGate’s inactive teams policy saved their IT team time and money.

Vera van Es, Functional Microsoft 365 Administrator at Arkin, said that trying to manually find and remove inactive teams in her tenant was incredibly time consuming and frustrating.

“We used to draw straws to see whose turn it was to search for the inactive teams,” Vera said.

“We had to create reports within SharePoint and check each team to see if it had an owner, how many users, and what the last activity date was. Then, we had to email or call the owner to ask if the team was still in use. It took hours of work over the course of months.”

The process took so long that Vera said, “By the time you’ve finished tracking down one batch of inactive teams, you have to start over again, because everything will have changed already.”

Vera found a solution in ShareGate. “With ShareGate, everything is automated. It saves us so much time.”

Because we don’t have to spend as much time keeping the environment tidy, we can do more to help the business.

Vera van Es, Functional Microsoft 365 Administrator at Arkin

Using ShareGate, Arkin discovered that a whopping 27% of its teams were inactive, and 98% of those were removed from their tenant, mostly by team owners.

Arkin is saving time and storage space, not to mention decluttering their environment so it’s easier to use and manage for both IT and end users.

With the extra time, Vera is working on more valuable projects than the manual repetitive tasks of finding inactive teams.

“Because we don’t have to spend as much time keeping the environment tidy, we can do more to help the business.”

You can read about Vera’s experience with ShareGate’s other automations in the Arkin user success story.


How can ShareGate save you time and clutter?

You might be thinking that your tenant probably has some inactive teams, but so what? Have you considered that, like Arkin, more than a quarter of all your teams could be inactive, and nearly all of those could be taking up storage space and cluttering your tenant unnecessarily?

How would your end users’ productivity increase if they were able to find the resources they’re looking for in your Microsoft 365 environment more easily instead of being confused by duplicate teams? What kind of projects could your IT admins tackle if they weren’t getting bogged down in time-consuming, repetitive tasks? How much could you save if you weren’t needlessly paying to continue storing inactive teams in the cloud?

If you want to see for yourself how ShareGate could improve productivity and organization in your tenant, start a 15-day free trial!

Already a customer but not sure how to get started with ShareGate’s inactivity detection? Get a one-on-one demo from our customer success team!

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