How Data Governance Reduces SharePoint Content Sprawl

Chaos is never good for business, but the reality is that it’s the state in which many companies live on a daily basis. The global pandemic shut down offices and dispersed workforces to employees’ homes and other socially-distanced locations. Without data governance plans to support remote workers, employees scavenged for, and used, tools and processes that helped them get their jobs done, often with little regard for long-time implications or risk to the company.

IT got into the game as well, and for many companies with existing Microsoft footprints, they accelerated the adoption of M365 productivity tools, like Teams. As a matter of fact, Teams' user base grew 894% worldwide from February 17 to June 14, 2020.

While it’s an outstanding solution for remote collaboration with a slick, modern interface well suited for today’s work-from-everywhere environment, Teams presents a number of problems for IT administrators, chief among these is content sprawl. Each time a new Team is spun up, a new repository(ies) is created for the shared content, leading to a proliferation of critical business files in SharePoint or OneDrive. Currently, the only way to share files stored through Teams is to move to 'View in Sharepoint' and from there create links with access rights for staff outside of your team - which only adds to the chaos and creates a disjointed experience for users.

Couple your Microsoft repositories with the locations your employees may be using as workarounds, like Box, DropBox or Google Drive the question becomes, “How do you protect one a company's most important assets: content?"

There is always a need to secure critical data while monitoring for unusual activity and enforcing compliance and identifying where sensitive data lives in your repository. When files are sprawled across multiple repositories, it’s near impossible to do this manually, leaving your content vulnerable to ransomware, breaches, and internal threats.

In other words: ungoverned chaos.

The bottom line is Teams (or M365 as a whole for that matter) is not a content management tool. It needs help to keep critical content in line of sight for IT administrators or IT security so files can be easily found and properly classified and governed.

That’s where Egnyte comes in. Egnyte gives IT a single-pane-of-glass view into content across multiple repositories - both Microsoft and others - and can automatically scan your repositories for sensitive data and apply machine-learning-based policies and governance to your sensitive files. Additionally, Egnyte can monitor all content sources continuously to automatically identify sharing and permissions issues, eliminate non-secure links, audit and streamline permissions and spot unusual activity.

Egnyte does this across repositories, no matter where your content lives.

Content sprawl could be a major problem for your company; it’s a productivity killer and it could lead to security and compliance liabilities. And there is a good chance the bill hasn’t come due for it yet. But, rest assured, it is a real one that has the potential to cost your business. We understand that you aren’t going to take all of the chaos out of your business - or even your file collaboration and governance - but Egnyte offers a solution that will help you make sense of the content sprawl chaos and keep it from getting out of control.

As a Microsoft MVP, our colleague Christian Buckley has developed unique insights into the issues of Sharepoint content sprawl. He offers fresh thoughts on how to reduce content sprawl in two recent blogs, Managing Content Sprawl in Sharepoint, Microsoft 365, and Managing Content Sprawl in Microsoft 365.

On-Demand Webinar [register]: Ordering the Chaos: Combatting Teams and SharePoint Content Sprawl

  • Kyle Wallstedt: Sr. Solutions Architect, Egnyte
  • Christian Buckley: Microsoft MVP
  • Stephen Hand: Director of IT & Cybersecurity, Tilson
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