TL;DR: We launched a new app. It's a personal assistant for Office 365 Groups and Teams governance that helps admins effortlessly collaborate with users to control sprawl and prevent shadow IT. You should check it out!
Updated on October 18, 2019.
Giving users free range to create teams and groups left and right in Office 365? To a lot of IT professionals in charge of workplace productivity, that sounds like a giant mess waiting to happen. You've told us time and time again: the lack of governance options for Office 365 Groups is such a major pain that many of you opt to disable self-service provisioning entirely.
But preventing people from using one of the main features in Office 365 doesn't solve the problem: it just means that instead of dealing a with a graveyard of inactive groups, you'll be stuck manually approving requests to create them. And, as we mentioned in our recent article on managing Office 365 group creation, if your users aren't able to create their own Plans in Planner, they'll probably just turn to Trello—hello, shadow IT-induced headaches.
So how should admins go about deploying self-service for Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams? Is there an easy way to deal with the management challenges that come with greater user freedom, such as shadow IT and data sprawl?
The simple way to manage Office 365 Groups
ShareGate's got your back.
We know how much you have on your plate. We know that your users don't always (or, let's be honest, ever) follow best practices, but we do believe there are ways they can help lighten your load.
Over the past months, our incredible product team—with the help of our invaluable private preview participants—has been on a mission to build something we think you'll love: a governance tool that aims to empower both admins and end users to take full advantage of cloud-based productivity. Today, we're ready to show you the result of all our talented team's (mostly metaphorical) blood, sweat and tears.
ShareGate Apricot, our take on simple, effective governance for Office 365 Groups and Teams, is finally live. We're pretty proud of the result—and we're just getting started.
Office 365 admins, meet collaborative governance
The secret to a sprawl-free Office 365 isn't about limiting what users can create; it's about empowering them to do their part in keeping clutter under control.
We built ShareGate Apricot to help you manage Office 365 Groups proactively with the assistance of your users. Yes, really.
We call it collaborative governance.
Here's what it looks like:
- ShareGate Apricot's algorithm tracks activity across your Office 365 Groups (it even crawls private Teams!)
- When it detects that a group hasn't been used in a while, it flags it as inactive
- You can view the list of inactive groups in your environment and decide whether or not they should be archived—but you don't have to
- ShareGate Apricot lets you delegate the decision-making to trusted users
- Group owners you entrust with management responsibilities are notified directly whenever one of their groups becomes inactive, then prompted to take action: keep the group if it's still needed; archive it if it's not
By putting users in charge of archiving their outdated groups, you can efficiently control team and group sprawl in a self-service environment without worrying about discarding important content. Simple as that.
🎥 Psst! Bullet points are fine and all, but nothing beats seeing it in action. Watch how ShareGate Apricot can help you out in your day-to-day:
Permissions, membership, and automatic lifecycle management. Just around the corner.
There's more to collaborative governance than making sure irrelevant content gets archived by the right people. Group owners should be held accountable for the resources they create—and the people they share them with—throughout the entire lifecycle.
With that in mind, we have big plans for ShareGate Apricot. Here are a just a couple of Office 365 administration duties the app will soon be able to help you with:
- Automating permission and membership validation with group owners. Make the right people accountable for ensuring everyone who has access to information should have that access.
- Creating and enforcing custom policies to govern group and team provisioning. Fight mislabeled content and duplicate groups proactively by preventing their creation altogether.
We hope our newest solution succeeds in making your job more manageable. At the end of the day, that's our main goal for ShareGate Apricot: taking some of the more tedious Office 365 governance tasks off your to-do list and helping you delegate them to the right users at the right time.
We built ShareGate Apricot for you, and we couldn't have done it without your input at every step of the process. As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts once you've taken it for a spin! Swing by the product overview page to learn more about what the app can do for you. When you're ready to get started, all you'll need are your Office 365 global admin credentials to use the full version of ShareGate Apricot for a month, no strings attached. Enjoy!
ShareGate Apricot is easy to setup and even easier to manage—no clunky interface, no coding, and no Azure AD premium subscription required.