October 20, 2017

How can Office 365 Improve Information Management?

4 minute read

Office 365 provides an excellent foundation for organizations to improve information management and productivity in the cloud.  But what about Office 365 makes it the ideal starting place for your policy initiatives?

It's all about flexibility and integration. With the right extensions, Office 365 can also provide structure to a hybrid environment that includes on-premises systems and other cloud solutions. 



A unified experience

Let's take a look at some of the features of SharePoint Online. Hybrid cloud search, for instance, provides a unified search experience where search results originating from on-premises SharePoint installations are indexed and displayed alongside Office 365 originating documents.

Additionally, a user can follow both On-Premise and Office 365 sites and see them all in one place under the "Sites" app.

Many of the compliance features in Office 365 likewise also consider on-premises SharePoint content. The In-Place Policy Hold Center and the Compliance Center allow you to build policies and apply them within the environment. These policies are very basic, and allow for things like deleting data in OneDrive for Business after x number of years.

These capabilities just barely scratch the surface of a true information governance program, but they are a huge step in the right direction. It is this philosophy of integration that makes Office 365 the ideal platform upon which to build a broader information governance initiative. 

What does this mean for information governance?

Overall, Office 365 increases efficiency and performance while delivering an interface consistent with what Windows users are accustomed to. Both administrators and everyday users will likely benefit from adoption.

From a compliance and records management standpoint however, Office 365 and/or SharePoint alone are often not comprehensive enough to address all of the requirements of many large organizations. The Compliance Center and In-Place Policy Center in Office 365 need additional capabilities to be considered a complete records management solution.

You can indeed manage records in place, but SharePoint drives records retention and disposition using simple content types. This means that most organizations need hundreds of content types at a minimum to support their retention schedules.  This becomes complex and difficult to manage.  With a solution that provides system-enabled retention and disposition according to a centrally managed retention schedule organizations can ensure their solution easily enables changes in policy and technologies.

But what about the rest of our content?

Often, organizations don't want to go through the time and cost of migrating content into Office 365. What about content that exists elsewhere? This includes email, file shares, Office 365, third-party cloud storage and even physical/paper-based records.  By starting with ubiqutous, integrated platforms, and then extending that integration to other business-critical repositories, you can acheive an information governance platform that is aligned with your organization's goals instead of constrained by your organization's platform requirements.

Central controls to manage content across repositories and reducing the time and cost of migration and training are two of the main reasons we have just released a major update to Gimmal Workplace Compliance.

Our CEO David Quackenbush crystallizes the expanded capability as follows “This release is a revolutionary step forward in the governance of information and greatly simplifies an enterprise’s ability to implement an overarching information governance solution with little or no end-user involvement or impact to its current internal systems.”

 We are showing these new capabilities each week in an online demo webinar.  You can join to learn more by clicking below!

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