In a world that continues to be fuelled by data, it is becoming more prevalent for organisations to harness the power that data IT can provide to drive innovation and make informed decisions, but with a continued focus on collaboration and the potential security implications it implies.

Office applications have been supporting sensitivity labels for data since 2018, with roll outs to Office for PC and then, eventually, to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook with expansion to Mac, Web and Mobile. This has been done for a comprehensive and consistent experience for end-users but, also, for the control of administrators over the course of many years.

Introducing Microsoft Purview Services – revolutionise the way organisations manage, govern and drive insights from their data. Introduced back in 2022 and eventually rolled out during 2023, Microsoft Purview Services is now being built-in and will replace the Azure Information Protection (AIP) add-in that some have come to know. Microsoft Purview integrates former Azure Purview and Microsoft 365 compliance solutions into a single platform, offering risk and compliance solutions to aid organizations in managing compliance risks and meeting regulatory requirements. Additionally, it provides a robust suite of tools for comprehensive data security, including data loss prevention, information barriers, and insider risk management.

What is Microsoft Purview Data Governance?

Microsoft Purview is an integrated data governance platform, built on Microsoft 365, and designed to help organisations discover, understand, and manage their data efficiently and securely as data continues to grow. It enables businesses to bridge the gap between their on-premises, multi-cloud, and SaaS (Software as a Service) data sources, helping to facilitate data management and governance across their entire data estate. The advanced data curation features of its data catalog enable quick and easy data discovery for both business and technical users. Microsoft Purview also provides a comprehensive view of an organization’s data sources, enhancing the overall data landscape.

Microsoft Purview Services represents a significant leap forward in the realm of data management and governance for Data Officers, CISO’s and IT Directors who want to control and manage enterprise data across their organisation. Through providing a comprehensive, unified platform for data discovery, classification, governance, and analytics, Purview empowers organisations to harness the full potential of their data while maintaining compliance and security.

Where do I start with deploying Microsoft Purview for Data Lifecycle Management?

If you are already using Azure Information Protection, then you can use the self-evaluation readiness form below to help tailor the migration guide to built-in labelling for Office Apps, of which this will help to further provide migration playbooks and comparison guides between the Azure Information Protection vs built-in labelling.

How will Microsoft Purview benefit my business?

There are several areas that Purview will benefit your business, and we have provided some detail around some of these below.

1. Data Accessibility and Efficiency:

  • Providing a unified Data Catalogue – meaning Purview can help provide a single, centralised catalogue that allows employees to easily discover and access relevant data from various sources. This reduces the time and effort spent searching for data, promoting efficiency and productivity. The Microsoft Purview Data Catalog enables quick and easy data discovery for both business and technical users, enhancing overall data accessibility. 

2. Data Governance and Compliance:

  • A key component to Purview is Data Classification and Protection and is a widely discussed topic for businesses with data across multiple areas – Purview helps by automatically classifying sensitive data, helping businesses adhere to data protection regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, and others. By automating the process this helps to ensure that sensitive information is properly managed and protected, reducing the risk of data breaches and compliance violations. Microsoft Purview addresses the full lifecycle of data through its data lifecycle management capabilities, ensuring proper management and governance from creation to disposal. 
  • Data Policies and Auditing: Purview enables organisations to define and enforce data governance policies depending on your business’s requirement, ensuring data quality and consistency across your data set. It also offers auditing and monitoring capabilities to track data usage, changes, and access, which is crucial for compliance and accountability. Additionally, Microsoft Purview offers a comprehensive suite of data security solutions, including Data Loss Prevention, Information Barriers, Information Protection, Insider Risk Management, and Privileged Access Management. 

3. Improved Decision-Making:

  • Gain better Data Insights and Analytics: With Purview’s integration with Azure Synapse Analytics and Power BI, businesses can bring together meaningful insights from their data allowing decision-makers to make informed choices based on insights driven by data, helping to lead to better strategic planning and competitiveness.

4. Data Collaboration:

  • In a world where collaboration is becoming more vital, Purview fosters collaboration among teams by facilitating data sharing and visualisation but ensuring that data governance policies are enforced. This helps to improve teamwork and collaboration, whilst also ensuring that teams are working with accurate and consistent data backed by security policies set by the organisation. Microsoft Purview allows for the central management of data sharing relationships, enabling data providers to monitor and revoke sharing, while data consumers can access received data and turn it into insights using their own analytics tools. 

5. Cost-Efficient Data Management:

  • Reduced Data Duplication: By centralising data assets and providing a unified catalogue as detailed above, Purview helps businesses reduce duplication of data and redundancy to avoid multiple data sets and conversations and streamline efficiency. Saving both storage costs but also ensuring consistency.

6. Scalability and Adaptability:

  • Scalable Solution: Whether a business is a startup or even an enterprise, Purview can help with scaling to accommodate growing data needs and compliance requirements. It can adapt to evolving business requirements and integrate with various data sources, cloud platforms, and existing systems.

7. Competitive Advantage:

  • Innovate through data – taking advantage of the insights gained from Purview, businesses can identify various market trends, customer preferences, and operational efficiencies. This will in turn help to innovate products and services or even processes helping to gain a competitive edge.

8. Risk Mitigation:

  • As is a common theme with Purview, Data Security surrounds the service with data classification and protection features, businesses can reduce the risk of data breaches and associated financial and reputational damage through built-in labelling and compliance features. Additionally, Insider Risk Management helps in discovering and protecting sensitive information, ensuring comprehensive data security across the organisation.

9. Simplified Data Integration:

  • Data Integration: Purview simplifies data integration across on-premises and cloud environments, making it easier to manage data pipelines and extract value from diverse data sources.

Microsoft continue to invest in further compliance and security features, as businesses continue to increase their data sets and storage through utilising tools such as SharePoint, Teams, and other tools it is becoming prudent for organisations to recognise such vast data sets have increased their requirement for more governance and control.

Microsoft Purview Services benefit businesses by enhancing, not only the accessibility of data, but also ensuring that governance and compliance is enforced across the IT environment. In turn this allows businesses to focus on better decision-making, increased collaboration, cost-saving measures but also adapting to change in an increasingly data-driven world with the backing of protective measures to prevent potential data breaches.

So if you are interested in Microsoft Purview, or have any other IT requirements, Vissensa are here to help – just get in touch!