Sharespace Information Governance on Office 365

27. April 2018 Stefan Gohr Culture, Sharepoint
Office 365 is a powerful digital cloud workspace offering numerous features that simplify collaboration with documents and information. With Sharespace, you don’t have to bother with the numerous storage options in Office 365, so you can also avoid potential data chaos.

Well-organised data from the outset

Most of the features in Office 365 are designed for preparing information and making it available to peers in the short-term. In the long-term, users have to think about how they want to save and manage this information. The software maker (Microsoft) does not provide any specific recommendations in this regard.

O365 offers various storage options. If these options are used indiscriminately, it can be almost impossible to manage and find the data again later. There is a whole range of possible storage locations: documents can be saved on OneDrive, Teams, Groups, Outlook Online, SharePoint sites or in libraries.

A closer look at Office Groups also shows that there are various options for creating Office Groups. Depending on which version is being used, the information and documents are stored in different locations, including Exchange, Yammer or SharePoint, for example. There are many options for organising documents and data in Office 365. But this wide range of possibilities is also the crux of the problem.

The bigger the company, the greater the potential for chaos

Using Office 365 in a small group of employees who produce a few dozen or a few hundred documents is normally something that is easy to manage. But what happens in larger companies that have hundreds or thousands of employees storing their documents with Office 365? It quickly becomes clear that without proper information governance, the many tools and storage locations available in Office 365 can create enormous data chaos.

How can a company ensure that information is stored according to a standardized procedure and that documents can be located again several months later without requiring any major search effort? While Office 365 supports the use of policies for the naming of groups, password guidelines, life cycles, etc., such policies do not solve the fundamental problem of information governance.

A lost OneDrive and Delve to the rescue?

Imagine that an employee who no longer works for the company leaves behind a disorganized OneDrive that gets forgotten. The data still exists, but the company effectively loses it or has to undertake expensive search and clean-up tasks.

So then what about the artificial intelligence offered by Delve? Wouldn’t it be possible for users to use it to search and access their data? Delve is a very helpful tool for getting creative suggestions about documents and information as well as for inspiring employees. But Delve is the wrong way to reliably locate documents.

Finally, it should also be mentioned that information can be organised on two hierarchy levels with Teams and Channels. However, these options do not meet the needs of more complex enterprises. 

Sharespace offers a central, virtual workspace

Sharespace is a collaboration platform and social intranet that is based on SharePoint. Users like Sharespace because it combines all of the main features of O365 on a central, user-friendly platform, eliminating the tedious jumping back and forth between apps.

The Provisioning Engine in Sharespace lets users create standardized virtual workspaces in Office 365. The Sharespace toolbar offers O365 users easier, quicker access to their spaces and documents at all times. Virtual workspaces in Sharespace are enriched with metadata and feature workflow-supported lifecycle management. This ensures that it is always clear whether the data in the workspaces is still current or can be archived.

Multiplying workspaces at the click of a mouse

The special Template Engine makes it possible to define central templates for various workspace types, such as project spaces, contract spaces, product spaces, HR files, etc. Meanwhile, the Snapshot Engine offers an elegant way to save reusable templates created with SharePoint spaces that have been ‘clicked together’ with SharePoint-native tools. Thanks to the centralized configurations, extensions in the workspace structures can be applied to all existing workspaces. For example, when a project manager opens his or her project space, a notification appears letting them know that a new version of the project space will be available when they open it. If they accept the new version, all changes to the space are automatically applied to the existing project space, and the new status KPI appears as if by magic on the start page of the project. But nothing about Sharespace is mere coincidence. Rather, it offers powerful governance features in its central configuration and Template Management Engine.

All key documents at a glance

The Sharespace toolbar gives users constant access to all workspaces and documents that are relevant to them. Users no longer have to bother with the question of whether they have stored their documents in OneDrive, Teams, Groups, Outlook or elsewhere. The CIO controls data governance from the central Sharespace configuration and knows exactly where to find their company’s data and documents.

How Sharespace can work for your company

Data is the gold standard of the modern world. With Sharespace, you can be sure that your data will be profitable for your company and that it is usable in the long-term. From a business standpoint, you benefit from faster project workflows, more productive teams and greater data security. These are essential to beating out the competition and delivering innovations to the market.