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Get Started with Microsoft Office 365 Compliance.

Updated: Apr 29, 2020

With Microsoft Information Governance / Advanced Data governance (ADG), Office 365 customers have access to variety of options to enable unified labels based compliance features across Microsoft services. Organisations new to the concept of a single integrated collaboration and compliance platform should read this post to learn helpful tips based on lessons learnt from ADG programmes.

Compliance in Microsoft Office 365 is about managing all information across content service applications consumed by business users. Today teams rely on multiple collaboration tools that combine a wide range of technologies and features in new and innovative ways. Hence, the information compliance scope will include more than implementing records management in SharePoint online. Lets take a look at the key Microsoft services to be considered while scoping a holistic view of compliance implementation programme.

Microsoft O365 Content Services

Once you have a holistic view of how information is created and managed, you can align with your organisation's compliance standards and, outline an implementation scope for each Microsoft service. For example, your compliance standard may not consider Yammer to be used for ' decision making' or holding information of long term business value, this would translate into deciding whether an information deletion policy or an integrated eDiscovery capability be sufficient to meet your compliance standards.

Having done the above assessment for each content service would give you a baseline of your scope. The next step would be to create a programme roadmap as per your business and compliance priorities. A key activity would be to first establish an Information management strategy with required frameworks to manage information compliance using a well defined metadata model, and a retention catalogue for each ' type of information' relevant for your business.

Considerations for an Information Compliance strategy

As the way we work and collaborate is changing, the scope for managing Information compliance is changing too. The shift in a digital workplace is continuously transitioning from an 'individual focus' to a 'team based collaboration' focus. A well thought through strategy is essential to ensure that with changing 'digital workplace' landscape, compliance programmes have a well defined scope and direction to manage the continuous shift in both behaviours and technology.

When companies buy software as a service, the only lasting asset is the information. Atle Skjekkeland, CEO Infotechtion

More on the guidance for creating a strategy, read An Information Management Strategy Template for Microsoft Office 365 and Beyond .

Powered by your Compliance Vision, success definition and requirements, create a solution blueprint for information governance and compliance across all products. Consider every Microsoft product service in your organisation landscape in blueprint scope. Quite often this blueprint will be an addition to an existing product, factor the complexities involved in deploying updates to an existing product. E.g. SharePoint online sites may well require upgrade to Modern User interface, and remediation of existing customisation.

I would also recommend showcasing your blueprint with 'proof of concept' and bring your blueprint to life for your stakeholders. With predefined templates, you can build a credible demonstration using the 'zero code' model. The power of Microsoft's 'tech-intensity' driven collaboration with partners and customers is providing a real value to fulfil simple scenarios using the wizards and templates available in Microsoft's advanced compliance toolkit. This will further strengthen your planning and eventual business 'value' case. You can use this article as a reference candidate for a SharePoint based validation of your blueprint.

Strategy Considerations

While your solution blueprint should be holistic, your planning and delivery roadmap must prioritise and balance the key features (Minimum viable product) to enable a baseline product setup to mature and evolve with the Microsoft roadmap. Here is a summary of key activities to consider in your technical strategy based on SharePoint as the first candidate for enabling compliance in your technical roadmap.

A key lesson learnt from transitioning some of the largest (30,000+ users) organisations, setting up a baseline product consistent across all content services is far more valuable and demonstrates faster adoption with end users.

Next Steps

We hope this article provides you useful tips for your own definition of compliance adoption programme. Today, compliance is much more than implementing archiving solutions, it requires constant innovation to enable collaboration and compliance together across multiple technology platforms, disciplines, and geographies.

Thanks to Microsoft 'tech intensity' driven compliance focus, customers can now benefit with compliance 'built in' these technology platforms, significantly simplifying the technology readiness of adoption programmes. Find out more about customer success stories, lessons learnt and Book a demo with us to 'see in action' all the key Microsoft compliance features at work to fast-track your compliance programme.

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