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Tackling Microsoft Teams & SharePoint Sprawl

Getting control of an organization's Team & SharePoint site sprawl is a challenge for many organization leaders. Learn what you can do to combat this issue and what could happen if ignored.

An out-of-control Microsoft Teams or SharePoint environment has become a common challenge among organizations. While Microsoft 365 is set up to let people create whatever they want at any time, that also creates issues with inconsistent naming and behaviors that make finding and working with different groups of people difficult and uncontrolled.

Centralizing the creation of Teams and Sites to IT support teams can also cause delays and frustration that get in the way of getting work done in your organization.

Ignoring Teams sprawl could lead to a variety of issues including:

  • Loss of Adoption: Teams search has limited functionality, unlike an Intranet search, so if users can't easily find what they are looking for they will stop using Teams and look for other ways to collaborate.

  • Stale and Duplicate Content: An abundance of content and places to store it means users will inevitably grab the wrong content, outdated content, or create duplicate content when they can't find what they need.

  • Shadow IT: If your Intranet is too hard to navigate, users may switch to "shadow IT" and use unsanctioned and less secure external systems that your IT team has no oversight of.

  • Data Security Risks: When governance is lax and new Teams are constantly being spun up by users you can't ensure the right audiences have access to sensitive information. This puts your organization at risk for internal threats such as data misuse, theft and accidental sharing - the perfect receipt for data breach.

Where To Start

Designing a simple, yet powerful collaboration environment in Teams and SharePoint does not need to be overwhelming if you start with the following steps.

Categorize Your Sites & Teams

Not all types of collaboration within an organization works the same. Sharing information within your department will be different than working with outside organizations during a project. While Microsoft gives you many ways to securely work with others, it can become confusing when each group of people are working in different ways. Establishing a simple set of categories to guide people to the right workspace develops a consistent and easy experience for people to work across the organization.

Use Naming Conventions

Apply a common naming convention to each type of Team can quickly provide people guidance on what type of workspace it is and helps them know when to use it. For example, content shared during a project (like a project status report) loses value over time but content like department job aides should exist while the process is still in use.

Archive Old Content

Initiatives come and go within the organization but sometimes the old workspaces are kept for long periods of time, causing confusion and taking up storage. Monitoring which workspaces are no longer needed cannot be centralized to the IT staff that will not know if it is still needed and needs to be a responsibility of the people using the area.

Use A Provisioning & Governance Tool

A Microsoft 365 provisioning & governance tool to address the complexity, challenges and chaos of Microsoft 365 may be what you need. Apsidien365 was created to enable self-service creation and governance for every type of Microsoft 365 workplace. Apsidien365's powerful feature set brings workspace governance to life, solving real-world business challenges within Microsoft 365.

  • Prevent Workspace Sprawl

  • Implement Your Governance Policies

  • Empower Users with Self-Service

  • Reduce Compliance Risk

  • Accelerate Microsoft 365 Adoption

  • Increase Efficiency of IT Resources

  • Improve Collaboration Across the Organization

  • Automate Workspace Disposal

Some of the key features of the Apsidien365 tool include:

  • Use templates for repeatable Teams/Sites for projects or clients

  • Define categories and give anyone the ability to request and create workspaces on their own without sacrificing control.

  • Define & apply naming standards to help users & administrators including the ability to add a prefix or suffix

  • Prevent external sharing & apply controls to protect information

  • Ability to require approvals for governed areas

  • Self-service creation of Teams & SharePoint sites for users

  • Archiving and retention of content and add leases to a workspace to automatically archive after a given number of days or use inactivity to determine when something is not in use.

  • Reporting & auditing of the environment to know it is controlled

Download an Apsidien365 Fact Sheet for more information on pricing, licensing and what's included

Jonathan Schultz President, Apsidien


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