Microsoft 365 Governance Best Practices Protect and Enhance Organizations  

As Microsoft 365 complexity expands, managing governance becomes more difficult but also more urgent 

When it comes to managing Microsoft 365, it’s all about staying on top of the seemingly small day-to-day governance tasks.   

IT teams are often forced to spend a large portion of their day essentially acting as technology lifeguards, scanning the technology “pool” for small infractions and potential emergencies. They’re reaching out to staff to find out why a Microsoft 365 group has no owners, reminding users to set up multi-factor authentication and monitoring for empty Teams groups. They’re also following up on issues such as disabled users who still have an assigned license and alerting users that their mailbox is reaching the send/receive quota percentage. Combined, the long list of such tasks can make governance feel overwhelming and tedious.   

And, just like the list of rules at the community swimming pool, each small task on its own can seem inconsequential—especially if an organization has experienced few significant issues. However, just like the “no running” rule at the pool, governance policies are always there for a reason. The small tasks can help fend off hackers, assure regulatory compliance, curb unnecessary expenses, meet productivity goals or maintain optimal equipment performance.  

Five common M365 problem areas  

When it comes to Microsoft 365 governance, organizations often struggle to manage a variety of common problems, which tend to fall into five key areas:  

  1. Security and identity   

The right governance plans offer a simple and effective solution for enhancing security, particularly when it comes to protecting sensitive information against attacks such as phishing and brute force. Ideally, governance procedures offer automated remediation tools, making it easier to manage on a large scale.   

  1. Microsoft Teams management  

Organizations that rely on Microsoft Teams face the challenges of effective management, administration and security. To ensure confidential files remain secure, organizations must create a strategic plan for their Team’s implementation to mitigate potential risks associated with sharing data.   

  1. License management  

The right Microsoft 365 license management policies help you identify and prevent license waste while ensuring the protection of valuable data. By effectively managing licenses, businesses can track and assign the right tools to the right employees, avoiding unnecessary spending while enabling access to critical features. This proactive approach optimizes productivity, enhances collaboration and ultimately boosts business outcomes by aligning technology investments with organizational needs.  

  1. SharePoint and OneDrive management  

SharePoint and OneDrive are the backbones of Microsoft 365, hosting collaboration, content management and data storage within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Effectively governing them means achieving seamless teamwork, efficient document management and enhanced productivity across your organization.  


  1. Exchange management  

As an essential component of Microsoft 365, Exchange Online fosters effective teamwork and streamlined workflows, allowing individuals and teams to work together efficiently, irrespective of location. By implementing best practices in Exchange management, organizations can safeguard sensitive information, prevent unauthorized access and adhere to regulatory requirements.   

Overall, a well-designed, comprehensive governance model enables consistent policy enforcement, real-time monitoring and the implementation of proactive security measures across all of these areas. And when things are running smoothly, all the organization stakeholders feel empowered to quickly respond to potential threats while also safeguarding data.  

A roadmap for M365 management   


So how do organizations address such a variety of governance issues? Well, even the most expansive Microsoft 365 set-ups can be managed with the right procedures and tools.   

These five key steps can provide a roadmap for organizations:   

  1. Define governance rules and policies.   

Before you can solve a problem, you must define it. Organizations should take the time to identify stakeholders and lay out best practices, policies and rules to create a governance framework that helps them achieve their goals.   

  1. Detect anomalies to ensure compliance.   

After identifying a problem, organizations next need to find the best set of tools for addressing it. By understanding the best methods for detecting compliance issues and anomalies in their environment, organizations can create the most efficient, effective governance policies possible.   

  1. Evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy.   

Implementation of governance policies and procedures is just beginning. Organizations should constantly evaluate how effective their governance strategy is, delving into the impacts, causes and trends tied to anomalies. It’s also important to make a conscious effort to foster communication with stakeholders so that together they can make collective, informed decisions on issues like exceptions and policy changes overall.  

  1. Remediate and manage exceptions.   

While many organizations have implemented automated alerts for potential governance issues, implementing automated remediation processes can mean the difference between preventing serious problems and having to use resources to solve them.   

  1. Communicate across the organization.   

Organizations need to create and maintain clear, effective collaboration across various departments, teams and stakeholders. After all, one of the most prominent M365 applications is literally named “Teams.” Governance works best when it’s done in a collaborative environment where multiple people and tools push policies and procedures to be more effective and efficient.  

 Third-party solutions offer essential tools  

As Microsoft 365 continues to evolve and expand its offerings, it’s clear that creating a truly successful governance strategy involves more than just the native tools.   

Third-party solutions like CoreView offer a crucial element in an effective governance plan. For example, CoreView’s advanced capabilities provide comprehensive insights, actionable data and streamlined management of Microsoft 365 applications, users and services. Such tools offer organizations deep visibility into their Microsoft 365 environment, the ability to identify potential compliance gaps and a way to optimize their IT operations. CoreView’s user-friendly interface and automation features also empower IT administrators to efficiently manage user access, permissions and security settings, ensuring a robust and secure Microsoft 365 ecosystem.  

In this rapidly evolving cyber-threat landscape, delaying the adoption of an advanced governance solution could leave organizations vulnerable to sophisticated attacks, data breaches and compliance violations. Microsoft 365 customers cannot afford complacency because, just like in swimming pools, avoiding the worst-case scenario is imperative.   

On the other hand, organizations that embrace innovative solutions can strengthen their security posture, ensure regulatory compliance and maximize the value of their Microsoft 365 investment.   

Governance problems aren’t going away, and in fact, they are only getting more expensive and complex. It only makes sense for the toolset organizations rely on to manage them, to do the same.  

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