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Roundtable: The Challenges Faced with The Governance of Teams and Office 365

Last month on behalf of M8 Solutions powered by Auxilion, I held an insightful roundtable to discuss The Challenges Faced with The Governance of Teams and Office 365 within NHS Trusts, along with nine CIO's from various NHS organisations.  

We started off the session by outlining benefits of Teams for access to files, collaboration on documents, shared content, intranet sites and business processes. I then demonstrated how Governance365 can wrap around Office 365 and apply governance to the use of the tool which is already heavily engrained in processes and continuity across the NHS:  

  • To give users a self-service way to request new Teams & Channels without the need for IT / Service desk involvement
  • To provide IT visibility of all Teams & Channels & confidence that policies have been used to create Teams & Channels
  • To ensure consistency of configuration through a system driven policy-based managed solution
  • To Automate Team & Channel provisioning
  • To remove IT/Service desk /Local admin provisioning, using a systemised automatic process to centralise control over provision and lifecycle management
  • To provide availability to meet Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
  • To reduce the risk of unauthorised guest access to team/data shared
  • To retrospectively- Identify Teams that are not compliant with your Governance policies & ability review and remediate

Following this overview around the great benefits that Teams can bring to the NHS, and the way that Governance 365 can support this, we began discussions with the various attendees to gain a better understanding of how they are currently using Teams and the challenges they face within the NHS. 

Challenges they face: 

  • Working across departments, differing Trusts and with external groups, panel members faced the challenge of having no access to a directory of contacts outside of their tenancy.   
  • There could be licencing issues, with users needing more than one license if they work across multiple organisations and therefore different tenancy access.  
  • Office 365 is only backed up from Microsoft for 30 days, which is not a sufficient backup for their usage of the tool. 
  • There could be potential cost and trap leveraging features such as PowerApps 
  • There is a requirement to integrate apps and/or additional note taking solutions with Teams 
  • Using multiple comms channels such as email, teams, Whatsapp and texts can make it difficult to remember which channel certain information came from, and difficult to quickly reference back or locate vital information. 
  • There are potential challenges with spiralling numbers of teams and dormant teams 
  • There is a requirement for records to be kept for certain lengths of time, and so this needs to be looked at to comply with policies 
  • Recordings from Teams can be inserted directly in EPR, but these are currently unsecure STOP THE PRESS! We have now completed further development and as such, we now provide recording encryption which means Governance365 directly meets the requirements of our NHS colleagues who raised this issue to us 
  • Virtual Consulting is scaling up across all services, so the ability to view a recording of these sessions as part of the Patient Record is essential Our development in this area represents an opportunity for NHS Trusts to consider their additional services for video consultation. 
  • Without much expertise in the area, some panel members were seeking for best practise examples and guidelines to follow 
  • The DPIA needed for the adoption of Microsoft365 is a huge challenge on time and resources and needs to be completed on a local level. 

Following these discussions and revelations, our roundtable Chair summarised that the best approach to address these challenges would be:  

  • Working with this community around their high-level requirements mentioned today to: 
  • Build consistency around the requirements: 
  • For Inter Organisational channel Communication  
  • For Integrated Care System (ICS) 
  • To ensure clinical workflow 
  • For Multi omni-channel approaches 
  • For MDT – Clinical workflow  
  • Overall focus will be: 
  • Systems Administration of Teams – Automating the creation and management of Teams governance & policy to control this fully is in the Governance365 solution. 
  • Integration/Federation over Tenancies 
  • Backup issues 

I was delighted that this will then inform a written set of standards and requirements, that will address and mitigate these challenges, and can be utilised moving forwards. Our continued investment in Governance365 with the NHS sees several organisations move forward with the introduction of our solution to their environment. 

Whether you are experiencing similar challenges around the Governance of Teams and Office 365 or just starting your journey with Microsoft Teams implementation, we can help. Our team will work with you to deploy Governance365 to protect your Teams environment, identify and create policies that are needed to support your organisation and create a plan for the adoption of Governance365 by your Teams end-users. 

So why not drop us a line today and find out how we can help? 

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