AIIM Open Forum : O365 in Government?

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   Below is a bit more insight into some of the current aspects of managing records in O365 that could be either gotchas and/or issues (almost wholly dependant on your needs/wants). Here’s a bit of a list and I’m sure many other folks on this board could add to this:

  • The permissions required to update a retention label are the same as required to update other metadata on an item (could be an issue in terms of separation of concerns)
  • There is currently no capability for multi-level retention management
  • End users can remove some labels (dependent on their assigned permissions and what type the label is)
  • You can’t make a label required
  • You can’t default labels at an entire site/site collection level (which also means a team in Teams). You can apply the Retention Policy at a site/collection level, however, you then lose the ability to do disposition review as you can only have a review against labels
  • Moving a file from one folder to another will not change the label (100% guaranteed one or more of your users will expect it to and this could lead to issues)
  • Moving or copying a file into a library in SP/SPO with a default label will not apply that default label. Users must either ‘upload’ or create from the ‘new’ command in the library
  • I haven’t been able to get a drop off library/content organizer to work with labels. Theoretically this should be possible, but it breaks for me
  • Case management of files spread across multiple site collections is…challenging
  • Triggering event-based management automatically requires using: 1) Power Automate (aka Flow), or 2) PowerShell, or 3) HTTP client
  • Disposition approvals, through disposition review, are only one level (so not possible to have the “RM team” approve and then also have a BU approval)
  • If you assign a Group as the approver for disposition, it only takes one person from that group to approve it and it’s done (this is equal parts bad and good in my opinion)
  • Only 1 retention label can be applied to any given object at one time (so, if you need/want cascade retention, that’s not possible)
  • If you need multi-language, that’s not yet available
  • Auto-apply of labels does not work against Exchange for email
  • It takes multiple days for retention to actually be applied to objects
  • You can’t assign labels to content in a “classic” SP/SPO site
  • Labels can’t be renamed after they are created
  • As far as I’m aware (very happy if anyone can contribute different experience), if you were using content types for retention in legacy SP/SPO, there is no way to convert that to an O365 label. If you had that setup quite extensively, I’m reasonably confident you would be looking at a fair bit of custom dev and scripting to accomplish the migration

Hopefully that might help a bit more.


  Subject: RE: AIIM Open Forum : O365 in Government?


I’m not aware of any authoritative assessments since different organizations have different needs and desires in both compliance-driven and business-driven retention and management. That said there are both organizations and other people that would have a much better idea. For example, ARMA (probably the best place to start given their focus), and from an AIIM perspective: Georgina, John M., Bob Blatt, and so on. I know just enough about RM (as differentiated from ECM/Content Services) to be annoying to actual Records Managers 😉

But I’m honest about it!

Anyway, as that blog post illustrates, MS is definitely on a path towards achieving what I would consider “full” RM capabilities, but still has a way to go for those organizations that have moderate to high needs. For simpler organizations (which tend to also be smaller) that operate partly or wholly in low-compliance industries and/or locations, what’s there today is quite possibly all they need. For large-medium up to MNC type orgs that need to manage information outside the boundaries of M365, and want to do so as much as possible with a single tool, well, “you can’t get there from here” as they say 😉.


  Subject: RE: AIIM Open Forum : O365 in Government?

Hi Lorne, Do you know if there are any assessments available (via AIIM or other sources) on records management capabilities in Office 365?

I saw the MS has accounted general availability of Records Management. I am very curious about this webinar.


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