Published: 12 February 2020

Reading time: About 3 minutes

Technology is transforming day-to-day business operations for financial organisations by facilitating greater governance and enhanced security.

SharePoint Online, Microsoft’s cloud-based sharing platform within Office 365, supports this with a secure system for staff to share files, review projects and safely store classified documentation.

At Automated Intelligence, we work with numerous organisations such as banks and insurance companies which use SharePoint Online to deliver on projects. However, through our experience we can see how some clients fail to utilise SharePoint Online to its full potential due to a limited understanding of the platform’s capabilities.

Our Services Consultant, Patrick Watters, explains: “We recently worked with a bank, which sought to migrate actively-used file shares containing terabytes of data into one large SharePoint Online document library. This library was then to be synced onto users’ PCs.”

“The outcome of this would have created serious performance issues and a poor user experience as the response time to access files would have been dramatically reduced. Crucially, this would not have offered the client the benefits of SharePoint Online that prompted them to move onto the platform in the first place.”

“As with every organisation working in the financial services sector, security was a significant concern for our client when transitioning to the cloud. It was essential that the bank’s onsite security models were replicated on SharePoint Online in a secure and robust way. This related to access permissions for particular files, which were only accessible to designated users.”

“Financial services companies face rigorous industry regulations against the data they hold, particularly with Personally Identifiable Information (PII). The bank’s original cloud migration strategy did not guarantee increased governance over its data storage as a single document library would have exposed the bank to potential compliance risks.”

As a platform, SharePoint Online allows organisations to create hub sites which can represent different departments, projects or regional bases. These hub sites can be easily linked through SharePoint Online depending on the nature of a project and which users require access.

At Automated Intelligence we emphasise these benefits to ensure our customers receive the full value of the platform. Patrick commented: “In instances where we find a client is not utilising SharePoint Online or 0365 to its full potential, we advise them on the additional features that they could be taking advantage of to further improve productivity and to ensure that they get the most value for their money.”

With regards to the client referenced above, Patrick and the services team worked with the bank to circumvent possible slow response rates. Patrick said: “To ensure that growth and governance over time were optimally managed we encouraged the client to move away from migrating all of their data into a single document library.  Instead, we worked with the bank to identify units of work within the organisation and each unit of work was assigned its own site collection.”

“From here we could then group connected units of work together using Hub Sites. As organisations evolve, the one thing we can guarantee is change. Using Hub Sites in this way can help organisations easily adapt to changes in a way that works for the user.”

“We also addressed the client’s security concerns by implementing specific security measures to ensure only certain users could access classified files.”

By accurately adopting technology solutions like SharePoint Online, financial organisations can reap the benefits of greater governance, enhanced security and an empowered workforce. Contact us today if your organisation is interested in adopting a new way of working using these technologies.