Understanding the Costs of Microsoft Teams Sprawl

When digital platforms become integral to the daily operations of businesses, it’s imperative to understand the scope of their usage. One such platform, Microsoft Teams, is becoming indispensable for many, but its unchecked growth can pose serious challenges. Here’s an in-depth look at the concept of Microsoft Teams sprawl, its implications, and potential remedies.

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Deciphering Microsoft Teams Sprawl

As enterprises evolve, their reliance on software resources grows proportionally. Microsoft Teams acts as a catalyst for employee collaboration. But without deliberate oversight, its deployment can inadvertently lead to a muddled and underutilized environment.

Consider the onboarding of new employees. They should be integrated into the right Teams corresponding to their roles and projects. However, some tend to create new channels, perhaps unknowingly duplicating existing ones. This redundant creation leads to a phenomenon known as “Teams sprawl,” characterized by a proliferation of redundant or inactive Teams.

Such sprawl can give rise to confusion, waste of resources, security threats, diminished productivity, and even revenue loss. And without proper organization, training, and governance, the true potential of Microsoft Teams remains untapped.

The Real Cost of Unmanaged Growth

  1. Time and Resources Drained Away
    • The average organization with a workforce of 1,000 can create approximately 50 Teams a month. This translates to nearly a full workweek invested in just spawning new Teams.
    • The ensuing surge in Teams demands more from IT staff. They must analyze, initiate, and constantly update scripts to guide the executive team on optimal Teams organization.
    • Regular audits become mandatory, covering aspects like:
      • Teams activity
      • Outdated content
      • Unidentified inactive Teams
      • Content duplicity
      • Inconsistent naming patterns
      • Partially constructed Teams
      • Teams limited to only the General channel
  2. Security Becomes a Gamble
    • Overlapping Teams channels can open doors to Shadow IT, where unsanctioned cloud software is used instead of the main platform. With the rise of remote working, this risk has surged.
    • Alarmingly, 46% of IT heads think that such unsanctioned software applications make safeguarding company data nearly impossible.
    • Cyberattacks are also rising, with cybercriminals exploiting undetected vulnerabilities in unauthorized apps. A staggering 45% of all breaches now happen in the cloud.
  3. Efficiency and Productivity Take a Hit
    • Duplicated Teams on similar topics create ambiguity. For example, if a sales team gets varied updates from different Teams, discerning the most recent or reliable one becomes challenging.
    • Such discrepancies can seed misunderstandings, mistakes, and inevitably plummeting morale.
  4. Escalating Costs
    • Onboarding and training personnel to use Teams can become a tedious and expensive affair, especially for larger organizations.
    • The inundation of queries directed towards the IT department concerning the usage of Teams is also a concern. It’s estimated that IT teams expend between three to five hours weekly, summing up to roughly 200 hours annually, addressing software-related queries.

Microsoft Teams Sprawl

Finding a Solution

Mitigating the complications of Teams sprawl is paramount for companies wishing to maximize productivity. One approach is leveraging Microsoft’s advanced templates. These are structured to foster organization and maintain uniformity across varied business operations. However, tailoring these templates for intricate business needs can be daunting, straining resources many companies might not have.

Conclusion

The unchecked growth of Microsoft Teams can pose unforeseen challenges, but with a strategic approach, these can be tackled. Focusing on structured governance, continuous training, and understanding the platform’s potential and pitfalls is key. Addressing Microsoft Teams sprawl is about improving the platform’s usage and maximizing overall business efficiency.

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