Enabling Governance and Collaboration in SharePoint

There are some things in life that just don’t seem to go together.

America and Soccer.

These two things don’t go together…or do they?  In the past, soccer has never been a first-class citizen in the world of American sports.  Even though soccer is the most popular sport in the world (based on number of fans), it is not even in the top ten most popular sports in America.  Despite these statistics, if you think back a few weeks, in a flurry of attention and fanfare, the 2011 US Women’s National soccer team made American history in their world championship game.  Not because they won (because they didn’t), but because they made Americans realize how much they valued the game of soccer.  Their game drew over 14 million American viewers, making it the second-most-watched women’s game in US television history, and ESPN’s most-watched and highest-rated soccer game ever.

Governance and Collaboration.

These two things don’t go together…or do they?  At first thought, these things seem completely opposite, and would almost hinder each other.  Both are very important in organizations, but both are very different concepts.  Governance has to do with disciplined handling of information with the goal of properly controlling that information.  Collaboration is about sharing knowledge without boundaries with the goal of freely sharing information with the right people.  In today’s organizations, information is exploding, and collaboration is becoming more and more mainstream.  Because of this explosion of information, governance on this information not only enhances collaboration, but has become a crucial component of a successful and secure collaborative environment.  In order for users to freely and successfully share information with each other, a comprehensive, high level data governance model must be put in place.  It could be said that the explosion information within collaborative environments has made organizations realize how much they need and value data governance.

Microsoft SharePoint is the world leader in enterprise collaboration and content management.  SharePoint is Microsoft’s fastest revenue growth product in company history, even faster than Windows and Office!  Mirroring this growth is the growth of information within each SharePoint environment.  Many of our customers express that their collaboration sites are quickly growing to a point where they are out of control.  SharePoint administrators, and subsequently SharePoint users, cannot properly control the information being shared, stored, and collaborated on within SharePoint.

Increased concerns regarding corporate accountability and compliance, as well as efficiency, are driving the need for organizations to maintain a consistent data governance policy.  The recent high-profile case of a Massachusetts hospital healthcare worker mishandling a sensitive document (resulting in a $1 Million penalty) is just another example that illustrates the need for data governance within organizations.

For proper data governance within SharePoint, organizations must put into place a set of processes, activities and procedures for ensuring that important data assets are formally managed throughout the enterprise, and throughout their lifecycles.  There are 8 steps to creating an effective data governance model for SharePoint:

  1. Define Roles/Policies and Stakeholder Agreements
  2. Apply Security Settings
  3. Enforce Document Creation Rules
  4. Control Access
  5. Raise Awareness of Data Sensitivity
  6. Promote End-User Accountability
  7. Manage and Log Document Lifecycle Events
  8. Audit and Report

For more details on these steps for how to successfully implement a data governance model within SharePoint, I urge you to read our whitepaper.  Please visit SharePoint Security to learn how the TITUS family of products can introduce data governance to your SharePoint environment.  TITUS products automate technical security controls through consistent, automated enforcement of metadata generation, document conversion to PDF, and labelling of documents.

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