Gartner Research

Devising an Office 365 Data Strategy

Published: 04 April 2017

ID: G00317599

Analyst(s): Guy Creese


Organizations running Microsoft Office 365 are struggling to manage its data consistently. This assessment will help technical professionals involved in architecture and security understand Office 365's complicated data architecture so that they can craft an effective data policy.

Table Of Contents


  • The Three Main Issues With Office 365 Data
    • Office 365 Does Not Have a Coherent Data Architecture
    • Data Sprawl Is the Norm
    • Enterprises Must Fill In the Gaps
  • The Purpose of This Report
  • Data Protection
    • What You Need to Know About Data Protection in Office 365
    • What You Need to Do About Data Protection in Office 365
    • Security
    • Archiving
    • E-Discovery
    • Enterprise Mobility Management
    • Rights Management
    • Data Loss Prevention
    • Advanced Data Governance
  • Data Topology
    • What You Need to Know About Data Topology in Office 365
    • What You Need to Do About Data Topology in Office 365
    • Data at Rest
    • Data on the Move
  • Data Reporting
    • What You Need to Know About Data Reporting in Office 365
    • What You Need to Do About Data Reporting in Office 365
    • Business Reporting
    • Recommending User Actions
  • The Seven Tiers of Control for Managing Data Policy in Office 365
    • The Missing Eighth Tier: Location
  • Future: The Impact of Microsoft's Acquisition of LinkedIn
  • Strengths
    • Microsoft's Data Security Is Often Better Than Enterprises'
    • Microsoft Handles Some Difficult Data Management Tasks
    • Office 365 Supplies Recommendation Data
  • Weaknesses
    • The Service Doesn't Offer Unified Management of Data Policies
    • Microsoft Doesn't Handle All Data Management Tasks
    • Office 365's Network Topology Can Cause Performance Problems


  • Avoid Microsoft's Product View; Adopt a Role and Process View
  • Use a Worksheet to Document Decisions
  • Convene an Office 365 Data Task Force

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