This blog originally appeared on our partner LiveTiles website.

Microsoft has declared Teams their fastest-growing enterprise application with over half a million organizations using it and 13 million active daily users. For many organizations, Microsoft Teams (Teams) fills an essential gap for group communication and productivity, an area where other collaboration tools have fallen short helping fuel its viral growth. However, Teams sprawl, while excellent for organic adoption, can present governance and security challenges for organizations. When Teams is not managed properly it can lead to issues that damage the business value it delivers and leaves the company exposed to risk from data misuse.

What is Teams Sprawl?

‘Teams sprawl’ or content sprawl happens when users are allowed to create Teams on-demand with no governance or process in place. Making it easy for users to spin up new channels for collaboration may sound like a good idea, but in reality, you end up with lots of rarely used or dead Teams, too many or empty channels, and data sprawled out everywhere – attached to chats, in channels and Files tabs. Employees end up spending too much time trying to search for information or worse can’t find what they need. As a result, intranet satisfaction and adoption start to drop. Suddenly what started as a great tool for productivity and communication becomes a barrier instead of the facilitator. And your ROI and productivity come to a crippling halt.

4 Pitfalls of Microsoft Teams Sprawl

If you ignore Teams sprawl, your intranet will inevitably fall victim to a variety of issues including:

  • Loss of adoption. Teams search has limited functionality, unlike an intranet search, so when users can’t easily find what they are looking for they will stop using Teams and look for other ways to collaborate.
  • Stale and duplicate content. A proliferation of content and places to store it means users will inevitably grab the wrong content, outdated content or create duplicate content when they can’t find what they need.
  • Shadow IT. If your intranet is too hard to navigate, users may switch to “shadow IT” and use unsanctioned and less secure external systems that your IT team has no oversight of.
  • Data security risks. When governance is lax and new Teams are constantly being spun up by users you can’t ensure the right audiences have access to sensitive information. This puts your organization at risk for internal threats such as data misuse, theft and accidental sharing – the perfect recipe for a data breach.

5 Must-Have to Guarantee Teams Adoption and Data Security

If this sounds too familiar or has you worried about adopting Teams for your intranet there is hope. It is possible to reap the vast benefits of Teams collaboration without governance and security headaches. Join LiveTiles and Nucleus Cyber for a Webinar on March 19 at 3:00 PM EST to learn how to roll out a Teams intranet with governance and data security baked in from the start to guarantee adoption and secure collaboration.

In this Webinar we’ll explore the:

  • The 5 ‘Must-Haves’ to guarantee Teams adoption
  • How to provision secure Teams sites and limit sprawl
  • How to protect sensitive information in Teams files and chat content