Microsoft Teams Shared Channels - Can they help with Team Sprawl?
Jul 16, 2023 11:35 AM

Microsoft Teams Shared Channels - Can they help with Team Sprawl?

by HubSite 365 about Daniel Anderson [MVP]

A Microsoft MVP 𝗁𝖾𝗅𝗉𝗂𝗇𝗀 develop careers, scale and 𝗀𝗋𝗈𝗐 businesses 𝖻𝗒 𝖾𝗆𝗉𝗈𝗐𝖾𝗋𝗂𝗇𝗀 everyone 𝗍𝗈 𝖺𝖼𝗁𝗂𝖾𝗏𝖾 𝗆𝗈𝗋𝖾 𝗐𝗂𝗍𝗁 𝖬𝗂𝖼𝗋𝗈𝗌𝗈𝖿𝗍 𝟥𝟨𝟧

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Microsoft Teams Connect Shared Channels: What You Need to Know

In March, Microsoft launched a public preview of Teams Connect shared channels, a feature that simplifies internal and external collaboration by allowing users to invite external partners to a shared workspace. This is crucial in our hybrid work era where digital interactions with external partners are equally important as internal collaborations.

Benefits and Use Cases of Shared Channels

Shared channels offer a streamlined approach to collaboration, bypassing the complex configuration, provisioning, and permissions associated with guest access. This feature allows you to create a shared space where external users can join the channel without needing an invitation to the host team or tenant, thereby reducing the likelihood of data sprawl, misplaced or duplicated files, and oversharing.

However, shared channels are not meant to replace guest access, as both have different best-case scenarios. For short-term projects, shared channels are advantageous due to their simplicity and flexibility. Conversely, for long-term collaborations requiring access to many facets of your tenant, granting a guest access account may be more appropriate.



Updating Your Governance Policies

In order to minimize security risks, governance policies should be updated to include guidelines for shared channels. Although shared channels come with native policies such as adopting host tenant’s settings, it is crucial to remember that anyone with channel access can access everything shared within. Therefore, team members need to understand these policies to avoid unintentional security threats.

Tools for Secure Collaboration

Tools like AvePoint Policies and Cloud Governance can be useful in setting, enforcing, and monitoring policies to secure your environment while enabling easy external collaboration. These tools can prevent oversharing and control data sprawl, which are potential issues with shared channels due to their "boundary-less" nature.

The Possibility of Oversharing and Sprawl

Despite their many benefits, shared channels could also lead to oversharing and data sprawl due to the limitless number of users and channels that can be included. Oversharing can expose sensitive information, and without intentional information hierarchies and lifecycle rules, crucial data could be lost in a sea of SharePoint sites.

Final Thoughts

The introduction of shared channels brings streamlined collaboration within a secure, governable, and compliant environment. However, appropriate precautions must be taken when using this feature to avoid compromising tenant security. With careful implementation and adequate policies, shared channels could become an invaluable tool in your collaboration toolkit.


More On Microsoft Teams Connect Shared Channels

Microsoft Teams Connect Shared Channels revolutionize how businesses collaborate. By providing a shared space for both internal team members and external partners, companies can greatly enhance their collaborative efforts.

This feature eliminates the need for complex permissions or configurations associated with guest access, thereby, speeding up the collaboration process.

In addition to increasing efficiency, Teams Connect Shared Channels improves the quality of collaborations by effectively mitigating data sprawl, duplicated files, and oversharing occurrences.

However, it doesn’t replace guest access, as both features have different use cases.

Utilizing this feature can enhance data organization and efficiency in project execution, especially short-term projects.


Learn about Microsoft Teams Shared Channels - Can they help with Team Sprawl?

Microsoft Teams Shared Channels can be a great way to reduce the complexity of collaborating with external partners. They offer a streamlined approach to collaboration, eliminating the need for complex configuration, provisioning, and permissions. This feature allows users to create a shared space where external users can join the channel without needing an invitation to the host team or tenant, thereby reducing the likelihood of data sprawl, misplaced or duplicated files, and oversharing. Benefits of using Shared Channels include simplified collaboration with external partners, less complexity in managing permissions, reduced risk of data sprawl, and increased security. Shared channels can also be used for short-term projects, as well as for more long-term collaborations. In addition, they allow for more flexibility in terms of who is allowed into the channel and who can access the shared information. Finally, they provide an easy way to keep track of conversations and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

When using Shared Channels, it is important to understand the features and best practices that will help you get the most out of the feature. Make sure to understand any limitations or restrictions that may apply to your team or organization. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the right level of security is implemented, as shared channels can increase the risk of data leakage. Finally, ensure that everyone who needs access to the shared channel has the right permissions.


More links on about Microsoft Teams Shared Channels - Can they help with Team Sprawl?

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Apr 13, 2023 — This article shines light on the Microsoft Teams governance best practices for shared channels to enhance security and compliance.
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