Microsoft 365 governance

How to prevent IT admin burnout? Collaborative governance might be the answer

Burnout is real, and it’s costing your company money. Collaborative governance in Microsoft 365 might be what you need to prevent it. Discover why.

When COVID kicked off a digital transformation, many IT admins faced complicated migrations, transition to the cloud, and implementation of new security protocols. Those changes had a massive impact.

According to a recent report, an incredible 70% of IT admins felt symptoms of burnout in the last two years.

Burnout is real, and it’s costing your company money.

We’re talking about higher turnover and lower productivity.

The cost of a disengaged employee is $3,400 out of every $10,000 in salary, while the replacement cost for the average worker is one-half to two times the annual salary.

As for the cause, 46% of IT admins reported huge workloads caused by inefficient IT systems and content sprawl. The solution might be collaborative governance in Microsoft 365.

Controlling data sprawl in Microsoft 365

Data sprawl is typically defined as unregulated and unmanaged growth within your Microsoft 365 environment.

Your employees generate loads of resources as part of the collaborative creative process, which is understandable and encouraged. Over time, some of the newly created resources will be archived and reused, audited, researched, and adapted by future users. Such resources include requirements documents, research data, project plans, meeting notes, etc. By contrast, those with a shorter lifespan will be forgotten quickly, cluttering your environment.

When kept under control, data sprawl can be a good sign – it shows that your users are successfully adopting and fully utilizing Microsoft 365 and its features. If you want to learn how to keep data sprawl under control check out our webinar on tackling sprawl in Microsoft 365 or download our eBook on controlling sprawl in a Microsoft 365 environment.

But let’s also consider the flip side – if you use it without a clear purpose, Microsoft 365’s incredible flexibility in user collaboration can easily backfire.

Users get carried away and create duplicate workspaces, sites, channels, and documents, which end up unused and unstructured. The process may have consequences for overall business success, including:

  • Security risk: Increased clutter goes hand in hand with decreased visibility and content management challenges. Admins cannot simply check and see if company policies and procedures are in place, which can lead to security and compliance risks. Accessing sensitive information happens instantly – it’s hard to tell who’s behind it quickly, and the consequences can be expensive. In such cases, treating the symptom rather than the cause is not an option. 
  • Decreased business value: When your end users cannot discover content in a timely manner, it stops being valuable. 
    The lack of discoverability defeats the purpose of an all-encompassing collaboration system such as Microsoft 365. After all, how useful is content that cannot be sourced when needed but slows things down instead? 
  • Poor employee productivity: Unoptimized, unclassified, and unorganized data makes your employees work harder to find it. Consequently, they have to reprioritize, shift their focus away from more meaningful tasks, and waste their precious hours on administration. Let’s observe how data sprawl can negatively affect non-IT and IT users’ productivity.

The admin perspective: Inefficient ticketing systems

Although they should benefit employee productivity, IT ticketing systems can create additional work for admins.

They can be complex and difficult to navigate, requiring training and support to be used effectively. It doesn’t help that they’re often rigid and inflexible, meaning that admins must customize them to accommodate their workflows.

From the productivity perspective, the situation is far from ideal, right?

Just wait until we add end users into the equation.

Out of the box, the Microsoft 365 access request feature allows users to request access to workspaces where they don’t currently belong. And when someone requests access to a site, your IT team will get an email to approve or decline their request.

As your IT team gets swamped, they will have trouble deciding if they should approve them or not since they lack the context for different teams’ admission rights.

Attempting to resolve tickets as soon as possible, they will waste time contacting site owners (team leads) to determine if an employee should belong to a certain workspace.

The process grows in complexity even further in large and highly regulated organizations, where rules are many and slipups expensive – a single one can cost you money and your reputation.

On the other end of the access request approval spectrum, there are non-IT users.

The user perspective: Dependency on the IT team

Your IT admins aren’t the only ones dealing with productivity downsides caused by ticketing systems.

While they gather information on admission rights, your end users will encounter delayed response times for their requests, leaving them unable to join a project when they need to.

The inability to access a workspace is just the tip of the inefficiency iceberg.

It also means they won’t be able to access the workspace resources at the time of need – they will have to contact other workspace members to acquire vital information, documents, or folders.

Suddenly, your IT and non-IT employees are affected by the unproductivity domino effect without an end in sight.

Without a timely response or ticket resolution, your end users may even become frustrated and send further complaints – and so, the cycle continues.

Solution: Collaborative governance in Microsoft 365

The answer to the serious question of how to reduce the stress and workloads of IT professionals could lie in delegating responsibilities, implementing easy-to-use IT platforms, and improving the availability and quality of IT tools. Improving work conditions could decrease turnover, curb the costs of losing valuable staff members, and boost productivity.

82% of IT admins agree, saying that non-tech savvy employees who are resource owners should be more involved in IT processes. Their involvement would considerably help IT pros lower the workload in keeping the tenant uncluttered and secure.

And collaborative governance in Microsoft 365 might be the way to go.

It refers to the processes, policies, and tools organizations can use to facilitate collaboration and manage access to content and resources within the platform.

It is a collaborative effort among IT admins, business users, and compliance professionals who work together to establish guidelines for using Microsoft 365 effectively and securely.

Some key components of collaborative governance in M365 include:

  • User roles and permissions: Defining user roles and permissions to ensure that users have the necessary access to perform their tasks while preventing unauthorized access.
  • Information architecture: Creating a logical and structured information architecture that makes it easy for users to find and use the content within your Microsoft 365 environment. This may involve custom metadata, content types, and site templates that reflect your organization’s business processes and information needs.
  • Compliance and security: Defining policies, approval steps, and automated workflows to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and protecting sensitive data. For example, workspace provisioning can support establishing compliance from the beginning of the lifecycle and empower end-users through self-service tasks, such as requesting access to workspaces.
  • Training and adoption: Providing training and support for users to adopt the platform effectively. This may involve creating user guides, conducting training sessions, and providing ongoing support to address user questions and issues.

As mentioned before, empowering non-tech savvy users to take ownership and control over their resources doesn’t happen overnight. They need to know the subject and have the right tools to execute these tasks easily and properly.

Collaborative M365 governance and self-service for end users in practice

Organizational norms can create a culture of burnout. Fortunately, leaders can do something about it.

An automated self-service solution can give you all the security benefits of a zero-trust approach without compromising user collaboration.

A platform like Syskit Point can help streamline your workspace approval/request process with significant benefits for all parties. Here’s how it works:

  1. Admins: The admin sets up a governance policy, defines the approvers, and where to apply it. With it running in the background, they can keep the data secure and maintain control while delegating responsibility to those with operational knowledge. They no longer have to deal with outdated IT ticketing systems and content sprawl caused by end users’ duplicate requests.
  1. End users: Your end users can search and see a list of all M365 workspaces – the public ones and those with the applied policy. They can request access directly without any complexity, cut waiting time and get the information they need when they need it. Most importantly, they’re required zero or minimum training to perform it.
  1. Team leads: Workspace approvers (site owners) specified by the admin can easily revise all access requests and approve or reject them. They know their resources the best – their purpose, who is collaborating on what, and who should be added to a project or switch teams.

On top of access requests, you can enable your admins to set up regular access reviews during the workspace lifetime. This way, owners can check if the right people have the right access, if external sharing is under control, who the members are, etc.

Stay in control of an external project, such as rebranding, which guest users shouldn’t be allowed to access after completion. You can also stop sensitive document sharing, etc.

Giving your admins back the time to do work that drives the company’s success will pay huge dividends by raising productivity, increasing output, and reducing burnout. Everybody wins.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Related Posts