Is your Governance stifling Innovation?

One of the greatest opportunities to realise the benefits of the modern workplace is to improve the way we work. Microsoft 365 and Power Platform give us powerful tools for communicating, collaborating and automation our work. We can use these features to work from anywhere with anyone, all while keeping our content and data secure.

Why is it that so many IT departments focus on locking down and turning feature off? In my experience it is for a few common reasons:

  • They have security concerns.
  • They aren’t ready to rollout and support the platform.
  • They are worried about the development of unsupportable solutions.
  • They are unsure of the licensing and cost implications.

Fair enough, after all IT are responsible for managing and support the environment. It can be a daunting place for someone unfamiliar how to manage Microsoft 365. Locking it down is the easiest approach.

What is the opportunity cost of the decision to turn things off and restrict access. By not using the new capabilities, the business risks slipping behind and not innovating as quickly as those who have.

If the IT Department wants to be seen as a business enabler and not a cost centre, then they must enable the business. They need to let go a little and enable the business to innovate. Wait, but what about the other role of IT, keeping systems supportable, secure, and available? That is where a good Governance approach is important.

A good Governance plan must recognise that innovation is an essential element for enabling the business to improve and develop new capabilities. It also needs to give the people in the organisation, parameters to work within, so they can innovate safely and in a supportable way.

Security is a requirement for everything we do. We should however review our approach and methods of securing the environment, update our knowledge and ensure everyone’s awareness is improved.

I recently saw a great example of this in action, the policies being developed were user centric. They had considered the needs of the organisation, the people working in the organisation and human behaviours. Security was enabling the business to work safely from anywhere, instead of blocking them from working, except from approved locations.

Innovation can be fostered through creating expert groups, allocating time for experimenting, piloting ideas, and providing greater visibility of what others in the business are doing. Innovation doesn’t mean breaking all of the rules for how we use technology, but it does mean we need to set out what is needed by the business for support and alignment with business and technology strategy. Build that into the plan and everyone wins.

I’ll end this post with a question. Does your Governance approach seek to support innovation or control user activity as much as possible?

One thought on “Is your Governance stifling Innovation?

  1. Completely agree. Very frustrating for an improvement specialist utilising Power Platform. And annoying how 3rd party software has very little control or anything after initial governance on contrast.

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