Compliance and governance are two words that strike fear in the common SharePoint user. Many people liken this to the “process police,” or whomever internally is responsible for ensuring that the processes setup by the organization are followed. Of course, we all like to do things “our own way” and that small issue causes large fundamental problems for companies.
In my experience, one issue is that many organizations run and rely on is the tacit information that is maintained in our minds each day. This is the content that is never written down or documented; it is simply the knowledge of one (or many) individuals and frankly, taken for granted. This is typically the case with employees who have been with the company for many years, or in specialized fields such as legal.
Conversely, explicit information, the data that is documented and lives on within the organization when people depart the company, is easier to manage and set precedents against. However, this can also cause issues and strike fears of the process police mentioned above. Many organizations see this as a cultural issue; something that is systemic and rarely improves as time goes on.
On July 2, 2015, Microsoft released a compliance toolkit for Office 365, which includes Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive and Skype to allow companies to get this important (and previously un-governed) information better managed. This is a somewhat new space for Microsoft, as this content was previously managed by third-party solutions. SharePoint users, however, are used to the eDiscovery features that were released in SharePoint 2010.
The catalyst to this enhancement was the acknowledgement that many users store critical business information within folders on Exchange. As someone who is certainly guilty of doing so, I can see how this will be critically important for organizations looking to get better hold of their tacit data.