Take control of hybrid Office 365 SharePoint permissions


When your company moves to a hybrid cloud environment, managing Office 365 SharePoint permissions might not be the first thing admins think about. However, it is an important factor to consider, since it introduces some problems you might not have come across before.

In a ‘pure’ Office 365 environment or ‘pure’ SharePoint on-premises environment, managing your company’s permissions is fairly straightforward (especially if you use the right tools). By contrast, Office 365 SharePoint permissions in a hybrid environment add an additional layer of complexity to your security and information management. All of a sudden, you have two places where permissions can be broken, two places where employees might access data they shouldn’t and two places where a small mistake can have big costs.

This brings about a lot of extra complexity for everything you do around permissions management:

  • You have a different interface for managing permissions in different environments
  • You need to update both environments at the same time
  • You need to update your strategy and policies for permissions management
  • You need to train administrators on how to manage permissions in two different environments

Until now, there has been no easy way of managing Office 365 SharePoint permissions in a hybrid set-up—the simplest approach was to manage each environment’s permissions separately, yet this approach is fraught with problems. Our tool – DeliverPoint – is already used by thousands of SharePoint administrators to manage permissions in ‘pure’ on-premises or ‘pure’ cloud environments—is due soon to manage permissions in hybrid environments, too. Let’s see why this is better than the approach of managing each environment separately.

Limits to out of the box hybrid Office 365 SharePoint permissions

Both on-premises SharePoint and Office 365 include standard, out-of-the-box permissions management tools. However, these have their limits. For instance, completing SharePoint on-premises permissions reports is a long and arduous process that can take hours to complete because you have to do the manual reporting at the SharePoint Site level. If your organisation has more than a handful of Sites, the whole thing takes very long indeed. Similar problems arise in Office 365 permissions management. The Azure permissions management tool gives you very little insight into how permissions are distributed within a Site.

So, if your organisation has opted for a hybrid environment, you will find yourself dealing with not one, but two fairly complex tools for carrying out permissions reporting. But, besides the time and frustration factor, there are more important reasons why managing permissions in your hybrid environment separately is a problem. Let’s explore these with an example:

  • Company A decides to use Office 365 with their travelling sales team. They decide to manage Office 365 permissions in the cloud separately to their SharePoint on-premises permissions. After all, the sales team just need Office 365 when they’re on the road—why integrate the permissions structure across both environments?
  • Company A starts to see the benefits of storing data in Office 365 and sets up a proper hybrid Office 365 and SharePoint environment. All the same, only a couple of different teams are really using Office 365 and SharePoint Online, so why bother reconfiguring permissions across both platforms?
  • As Office 365 usage grows, the basic permissions Company A configured for the cloud start to erode.
  • There is less and less consistency in permissions between Office 365 and SharePoint on-premises, meaning the user experience becomes painful.
  • Company A has one IT person in charge of managing permissions in the cloud and on-prem. This leads to breakdowns and mistakes over time as this person forgets what they have previously done in the other environment.
  • The company ends up spending hours reconfiguring Office 365 SharePoint permissions as priorities and data change, leading to unintentional mistakes in permissions management.

Clearly, the company in the example above started using Office 365 on a small scale; only later did the permissions challenge between the two environments become so obvious.

Unify Office 365 SharePoint permissions

The example in the previous section outlines the hybrid Office 365 SharePoint permissions dilemma faced by many organisations. As Office 365 usage expands, this kind of permissions chaos can easily build up.

And this is where DeliverPoint comes in. DeliverPoint is our tool for permissions management in both Office 365 and SharePoint on-premises currently used in thousands of organisations worldwide, which is now able to support the management of hybrid permissions. DeliverPoint has always made permissions management easier than the out-of-the-box permissions management options from Microsoft, and it is now able to support permissions management across your hybrid environments, too.

By bringing permissions management for your two different environments into one central place, you save time, ensure consistent permissions management across platforms and end permissions confusion.

To learn more about DeliverPoint for hybrid Office 365 SharePoint permissions, get in touch with us today.

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