Get Ahead of the Microsoft 365 Information Tsunami in 2023

Part 2: Delivering a unified M365 IG strategy across the records life-cycle

In last month’s blog, Gareth Aitken, Vice President of Preservica Commercial Strategy outlined the challenges of managing the pace and complexity of information as a result of rapid Microsoft 365 adoption over the past few years. This month, we’ll take a look at the information lifecycle and how new tools for Microsoft 365, including Purview (formerly known as Microsoft Compliance Center) and Preservica’s forthcoming Preserve365 active digital preservation technology, address this problem for long-term content (records kept anywhere from 10, 20, to 30 years or more). Let’s dig in.

The complexities of managing the records lifecycle

Many organizations today rely on a patchwork of disparate systems and applications to manage the full life-cycle of records. Long-term or permanent records are often transferred to a separate, end-of-life archive at the completion of the lifecycle.

This non-unified approach to managing and governing M365 records across the full lifecycle is not only inefficient – at a time when efficiency and automation are key to managing the information tsunami – but also exposes the business to compliance risk through greater complexity:

1. Multiple Records Management/Information Governance tools and rules,

2. Records are stored in different places, even duplicated

3. Inefficient search especially for end-user looking to quickly self-serve

4. No protection from data loss caused by file format obsolescence

An additional challenge is that the disposition of long-term and archival content is often not considered until end of the lifecycle leading to a large, accumulated backlog of records to sort through. A better solution would be to apply retention and disposition labels to high-value long-term and permanent records at the start of the lifecycle and automate the process. This would especially apply to records that are known to be “born-permanent” or “born-archival”.

In order to overcome the complexities and streamline records handling, a new approach is needed. A new unified approach to records governance We need to redraw the workflow to provide people (staff and end-users) a simple consistent way to label, transfer and retrieve records where the information lives and where the work is happening (in Microsoft 365), rather than having to distribute the information into different systems and applications for specific purposes. What does this reimagined workflow look like? The graphic below outlines the new approach. By seamlessly embedding archiving and digital preservation into Microsoft 365 (Preserve365) and using Microsoft Purview to apply records labels and disposition rules, the governance of the full records lifecycle can be unified with a single tool – and inactive or archived records can be retrieved simply by using Microsoft 365 search. The result is improved compliance accuracy and efficiency, and, best of all, there is only one system to search.

Let’s explore how this new approach works in a little more detail.

The Microsoft Purview Portal becomes the one place where you can create your retention schedule or retention classification for all applications and for all information. This is entirely managed within Microsoft 365. And from that place, records managers can deploy retention labels or retention rules to information that is managed in SharePoint, Teams, Exchange Online or OneDrive for Business.

Purview retention labels can be applied earlier in the life cycle. What’s even better, is that one of the retention label options is active digital preservation (courtesy of Preserve365), which is specifically designed for the unique needs and care required for long-term records (see why here). All decisions are made in the familiar environment – Microsoft 365 – and digital preservation is a seamless action that allows all records to be searched and recalled within Microsoft 365, when needed.

How do I learn more about unified full lifecycle management with Microsoft 365?

Those who would like to learn more now are encouraged to join Preservica’s Preserve365 Early Access Group here or request a Compliance Workshop here with Infotechtion to help establish a data-driven strategy for managing your information and records.

In next month’s blog, we’ll discuss how to prepare your organization to redraw its workflow to align with the diagram above and ways you can work with Preservica and Infotechtion today to advance your Microsoft 365 strategy.


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