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November 26, 2023

Microsoft 365 Governance: Your Business Guide

In the digital age, governance within Microsoft 365 has become critical for businesses. With more than a million businesses worldwide relying on Microsoft 365 every day, it is important to understand what governance means, why it is essential, and how to form effective governance plans.

What is Governance in Microsoft 365?

Governance within Microsoft 365 includes a wide range of activities and processes aimed at effectively managing data and IT assets. This includes accurately knowing where your sensitive data resides, ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to it, and proactively preventing security incidents. It ranges from implementing strict security protocols and complying with legal regulations to more routine tasks such as properly naming folders and managing user rights. Governance within Microsoft 365 ensures that your organization is not only secure, but also operates efficiently and in compliance with required standards.

Why is M365 governance Important?

  • Over the past two years, there has been a 47% increase in incidents involving unintentional data loss or intentional data exfiltration.
  • More than 70% of employees have access to data they should not have, highlighting the importance of automated governance.

The Challenges of Governance

  • The complexity of Microsoft 365, with more than 30 applications and services, presents challenges for IT and other departments in terms of oversight and security.
  • Sensitive data is often shared via messaging platforms such as SharePoint, Teams and Outlook, which requires careful distribution of data.

Management of Sensitive Data

  • Governance tools ensure that only authorized users have access to important data in SharePoint, OneDrive or Exchange.
  • Existing security measures should be supported by governance best practices to prevent data breaches.

Compliance and Regulatory Affairs in Europe

  • For European companies, compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDG or GDPR) is essential. These regulations require strict control and protection of personal data.
  • Governance within Microsoft 365 must be set up to comply with these European rules, with careful attention paid to data storage, processing and access.
  • Companies should ensure that their use of Microsoft 365 products is in compliance with these regulations to avoid fines and legal complications.

Governance Planning and Lifecycle Management

  • Effective lifecycle management of data and applications is critical for any organization using Microsoft 365. This management covers the full spectrum from creation to eventual deletion or archiving of data and applications. Companies should develop strategies for adopting new applications, updating or replacing existing tools, and disposing of obsolete or unused software. It is also important to establish clear rules for data retention, such as how long certain types of data should be kept and when they should be deleted or archived. All of this must be done within the frameworks of compliance and security, keeping in mind data protection and privacy laws.


Good governance within Microsoft 365 is not a one-time action, but requires continuous effort and commitment. ALTA-ICT can help your organization create effective governance plans, manage compliance and ensure data security within your Microsoft 365 environment. With our expertise, you are assured of a secure and efficient digital workplace.

Contact ALTA-ICT for expert support in setting up your Microsoft 365 governance.

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