Meeting M-19-21 Deadlines AND Keeping up with M365 Change a Huge Challenge

pace of change is a challenge

SharePoint was first introduced in 2001 — twenty-one years ago. The same year that SharePoint was introduced, Ray Kurzweil (of Singularity fame) noted, “The future will be far more surprising than most observers realize: few have truly internalized the implications of the fact that the rate of change itself is accelerating.”

The launch of SharePoint began a series of triennial versions and innovations over the course of two decades that seemed swift and accelerating. But in large-scale organizations, things moved a bit more deliberately. Most surveys taken in the year after one of those triennial SharePoint introductions found a bell curve of users — 10% on the newest and greatest version, and a long-tail of deployments still stuck in earlier versions. This created a vast number of unmanaged and subsequently abandoned SharePoint sites, leaving a significant gap in records management and increased organizational risk.

The shift to the cloud and M365 — dramatically accelerated by the pandemic and demands of remote work — changed everything. Deployment of M365 — fueled by Teams — exploded, often with little thought given to the governance implications created by the presence of such powerful tools in so many untrained hands.

Government information managers now have two sets of challenges: 1) reasserting control over the sprawl that occurred during the pandemic; and 2) keeping up with the pace of change on the M365 platform itself, now freed from the constraints of triennial updates. For 77% of organizations, the pace of change in the M365 cloud is a challenge, creating an additional set of challenges as all this change rolls down to unsuspecting end users.

In terms of end users, how are organizations addressing the change management challenge in M365? Even though the following items are those often found on many change management lists, they are worth reiterating in the context of M365.

  1. Provide direct help and support as soon as the need arises. Through proactive action, organizations can keep isolated problems from becoming a tidal wave of concern.
  2. Do not skimp on end user training, and more specifically end user training that is timely and in the context of the work that is being performed.
  3. Get executives involved in the change you are trying to generate, and do not be shy about enlisting them in making the change happen.


This is the third in a series of posts based on a new QAI/DocPoint research study conducted by the highly respected MER Conference.

To get a copy of the full research paper – Click here

#NARACompliance #M-19-21