The Importance of Office 365 Ownership

by | Aug 1, 2019 | Blog, Lifecycle Management, Office 365 Governance

Taking Responsibility

What exactly is a site owner for SharePoint?

Is it a group membership? a security role? a level of expertise? or a business function?

In reality, a site owner is frequently all of these, and an effective approach to facilitating and managing site ownership is key part of a successful SharePoint governance strategy.

Old School Site Administrator

Before we embark any further into Site Ownership, let’s have a quick history lesson.

The concept of a site administrator has existed across multiple versions of SharePoint On-Premises. The Site admin was the user who was given Full Control permissions to a site, enabling them to add new lists, customise pages and add users to SharePoint groups.

Some organisations referred to this user using different terms including ‘power user’ or even ‘super user’ bus as SharePoint has evolved terms such as these have begun to take on new meaning.

The Role of an Owner

Ownership is a more recent concept, which does include the site administrator functions detailed above but adds more.

An owner is typically required to perform more general lifecycle and governance functions within their sites, which often include:

  • Content – managing the structure of the site and ensuring that content stored is appropriate to the classification of the site
  • Security – continually managing who has access to the site, including external/guest users
  • Changing ownership – ensuring continuity of ownership by allocating a new site owner if roles or responsibilities change
  • Archiving – managing the lifecycle of a site with archiving actions at the appropriate point in time

Why Ownership Matters

Firstly, companies are putting increasing importance on the nature of information held within information systems. Ensuring that information is appropriate, required and appropriately managed. Placing this burden onto IT resources that typically have limited knowledge of the purpose of information, is impractical.

Secondly, organisations want to be confident that information is stored in the correct place and is appropriately secured. This governance could be performed by IT, but a site owner will far better understand the governance requirements for information within a given site.

Thirdly, accuracy and accountability are increasingly key to organisations especially those impacted by statutory or regulatory controls such as the GDPR or HIPAA. Placing the burden of compliance onto IT resources will almost certainly result in breaches.

Finally, effective management of information disposal is becoming increasingly vital both for reasons of user confusion (for instance, due to site sprawl) or for compliance reasons. Again, expecting IT users to manage the lifecycle of information through to disposal is an approach destined to fail.

ProvisionPoint 365 simplifies the tasks associated to site ownership, reducing the burden on the individual and lowering cost of ownership of Office 365. In addition, the management of site owners is simplified with ProvisionPoint 365 ensuring and enabling seamless end-to-end lifecycle management no matter how many sites, groups or Teams your Office 365 tenant contains.

Photo by Daryn Stumbaugh on Unsplash