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ShareGate answers questions on Copilot and M365 sprawl

Microsoft 365 (M365) with Copilot broadens and deepens capabilities that can enhance productivity in multiple ways but can also increase sprawl and risk if not well managed and governed, according to M365 tool vendor ShareGate.

“Copilot opens new ways to create and access content, allowing users to dive right into the features across many M365 apps. This shift in how we work challenges IT professionals in managing an AI-powered workspace,” the ShareGate team said in an explainer, which you can read in full here.

Microsoft Copilot has been described as a “premium productivity assistant powered by generative AI” across the M365 suite, with different versions for specific Microsoft applications.

In Word, Copilot can summarise a document, create draft documents, or polish existing text, accessed via an icon on the toolbar. In Excel, Copilot can assist data analysis, or in PowerPoint, it can be used to create presentation slides — while in Teams, it can summarise meetings and find information.

“At a more advanced level, it can help with data analysis and business intelligence (BI), managing security, and writing code,” according to the ShareGate team.

However, Copilot use can also result in sprawl, with IT teams having to devote more resource to cleaning up tenants and optimising environments. “Having a good governance strategy and a solid foundation is more important than ever,” they said.

“Added content could lead to unauthorised, inconsistent, and duplicated content, making the environment messy and hard to navigate. It also raises concerns about IT teams being unaware of what end users are creating and its impact on security, performance, and compliance.”

Users must purchase M365 Copilot licences for each user of Copilot at a fixed monthly price per user regardless of industry, organisation size, and Enterprise Agreement discount level, and it can be administered from the M365 Admin Center on its own landing page, they added.

Copilot may also encourage oversharing, or access granted to the wrong users, they warned. For instance, external or internal collaborators who no longer need access to specific files might get hold of sensitive data without the IT team being aware.

Copilot uses existing permissions and policies to deliver relevant information, so make sure you have good content management practices in place, such as workspace provisioning,” said the ShareGate team. “Ensure you have the proper practices and tools to prevent oversharing across your Microsoft 365 environment.”

ShareGate provides tooling for migrating, provisioning, automating and administering M365 management, including permissions, including for Exchange, Teams and SharePoint. ShareGate can assist with merging, restructuring and dividing up multi-tenant environments, including for granular tenant-to-tenant and mailbox migration.

( Image copyright © Microsoft 2024 )

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