Why would you create a SharePoint Site without an Office 365 Group?

by | Jun 30, 2019 | Blog, Provisioning

People who are new to the world of SharePoint may imagine that Sites only come in one form, which is the Modern Group connected Team Site. In fact, there is a range of other types of SharePoint Sites which can be created without a Microsoft 365 Group. There are several reasons why an organisation may choose to create these non-group connected Sites in addition to the Group connected Team Sites.

Modern SharePoint Sites

Before we consider the reasons for creating different types of SharePoint Sites, we need to understand the different types of Modern Site.

Firstly, there is the Microsoft 365 Group and Modern SharePoint Team Site, which is one of the default Site creation options for users. Several other services are created with the SharePoint Site including an Exchange Mailbox, OneNote Notebook and Planner plan. Security across these Services is controlled by a security object in Azure Active Directory which can be managed directly in the SharePoint Site or the other services.

An alternative for site creation is the SharePoint Communication Site. This type of Site is designed for sharing news, important announcements updates on a project or to communicate new initiative. A Communication Site does not include a Microsoft 365 Group and security is managed by the SharePoint security group model.

Beyond the standard modern site options, two more possibilities are available.

The Modern SharePoint Team Site without a Microsoft 365 Group can be created via the SharePoint Admin Center or by end users if Group connected Sites are disabled. This type of Site is a Modern version of the Classic SharePoint Team Site. It includes a Document Library as standard but is not connected to a Microsoft 365 Group meaning that security is managed directly by the SharePoint security group model.

Finally, there is the Hub Site, which is not actually a type of Site, but instead a state of an existing Site. Any of the other types can be registered as a Hub Site, to organise and roll up content from associated Sites.

Which type of Site is correct?

There is no simple answer to which type of Site to use, and instead it very much depends on your requirements. While Microsoft encourages you to create SharePoint Sites with a Microsoft 365 Group, that may not be suitable for reasons that include:

– There is no current requirement to use the other services of a Microsoft 365 Group
– The technical limits of Groups make them unsuitable given the scale of a requirement
– Where governance rules have not been defined for how Group objects will be created in Active Directory
– When there is a migration of Classic SharePoint Sites to the Modern interface
– The structures and tools in place in an organisation are not suited to the decentralised security model typically associated with Groups

So why you would create SharePoint Site without a Microsoft 365 Group can be because of several factors. This type of Site allows organisations to adopt the benefit of the Modern SharePoint interface without the additional governance considerations of Groups or Teams. How long an organisation uses non-group connected Sites is dependent on their circumstances and requirements. There is nothing wrong with using a mixture of different types of Sites and Teams to suit various business needs.

Contact us to understand more about the different types of SharePoint Site available and how to manage governance across them.