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October 20, 2022

SharePoint, Groups & Microsoft Teams Provisioning Options

The number of daily active users of Microsoft Teams has almost doubled in the past year, increasing from 145 million users in 2021 to 270 million in 2022.

With the global push towards digitization, many organizations have adopted Microsoft Teams as their collaboration and communication platform of choice and soon started encountering some (or all) consequences of the push.

Massive Microsoft Teams sprawl

The users have embraced the new platform, but the lack of training, oversight, governance policies, the complexity of the platform, along with the wide range of tools that virtually do the same thing led to hundreds, if not thousands Microsoft 365 Groups, Teams, and SharePoint sites being created. Most of them are redundant, created without rationale, and often abandoned after a short time. The end-users are frustrated and cannot easily find workspaces, spread out across multiple locations.

Lack of consistency in workspace creation

With SharePoint, Groups, or Teams creation open to all (or even if it is limited to a select group of IT Admins), there is no consistency to the workspaces being created. Unless the organization has gone the extra mile with the premium AzureAD P1 License and implemented governance and lifecycle management policies, naming conventions, and created templates for workspaces that meet the business needs.

Teams, Groups, SharePoint site creation bottlenecks

Some organizations, either proactively, or retroactively (after witnessing the Microsoft 365 sprawl) make the decision to limit who can create a new environment. This leads to an unsustainable burden being placed on the IT administration team, who simply do not have the manpower to support the volume of requests they receive for new spaces, nor do they have the required time to delve into the true requirements behind each request.

With these prominent issues, IT Administrators are in the state of a constant struggle to control and manage the growth of their Microsoft 365 footprint and have a real need for a means to automate MS Teams provisioning.

In this post, you will learn about the out-of-box provisioning options available in Microsoft 365, their pros and cons, as well as the alternatives. 

Out-of-box Microsoft 365 offers 3 options for the provisioning process:

Open self-service Microsoft 365 workspace creation for all employees of the organization

Open self-service creation means that any employee within your organization can create any workspace without any restrictions, or approvals.


  • Encourages adoption – users can create what they want when they want.
  • No need to set up restrictions, rules, and role-based permissions.


  • Lack of control over the provisioning process.
  • Lack of consistency in the workspaces created (unless you have an effective governance plan in place)
  • Tool confusion. Unless all employees in your organization have had extensive Microsoft 365 training, they will likely be lost in the sea of options offered and will be confused about which tool to use for which project/task/job.
  • Massive Microsoft 365 sprawl. Since people can create anything, without any restrictions, you are likely to see an enormous growth of unused, abandoned, or duplicated content across your Microsoft 365 tenant.

Default team creation

Microsoft 365 workspace creation open to a select security group

With this option, the creation of Workspaces is limited to a select group of users. Self-service creation will need to be disabled, and premium Azure AD licenses will need to be purchased for the individuals in the group. We also recommend offering basic and specific Microsoft 365 training to the group of users who will be able to create workspaces to ensure consistency and best practices. 


  • Sprawl is likely to be reduced due to the limited number of creators.
  • Limited control over the provisioning process.


  • Bottlenecks are caused by reducing the number of creators and limiting it to a small group of users.
  • Lack of consistency in the workspaces being created (unless you have a comprehensive governance plan and controls in place).
  • Additional Premium Azure Ad licenses costs & the need to offer broad and specific training to the select group of creators.

Global admin settings

Microsoft 365 workspace creation is disabled for everyone in the organization

With this option, workspace creation relies solely on IT. None of your end-users will be able to create Planner, Teams, M365 Groups, Yammer (Viva Engage), etc., on their own. To start a new project or task, they need to send a manual request to the IT team and wait for them to complete the process.


  • Full control over the provisioning process.
  • Microsoft 365 sprawl will likely not occur, or won’t be severe. 


  • Severe bottlenecks. Since none of the users can create anything without the help of IT, day-to-day operations may slow down significantly.
  • Added IT hours and responsibilities. If your IT department didn’t have their hands full before, they definitely will now.
  • Lack of consistency in the workspaces being created. More often than not, the IT Administrators will receive workspace requests without justification or explanation, and they rarely have the time required to delve into the true requirements behind each request.
  • Shadow IT. If users aren’t able to quickly get the tools they need to be able to work effectively, they will start looking at more accessible tools, many of which may not comply with your security and privacy policies.

What is the best way to provision Microsoft Teams?

The ideal MS Teams provisioning scenario should give your organization visibility and control over what’s being created, by whom, and why, which will hopefully limit Microsoft 365 sprawl. But it should also allow users to create new Teams freely and easily, to reduce bottlenecks and end-user frustration.

Some workspaces should be provisioned without any restrictions, while others should require some approvals in order to ensure consistency and quality of the workspace set up are preserved.

Workspace approvals should be a shared responsibility and delegated to individuals who hold the knowledge of the true business needs for each workspace, and that cannot always be representative of the IT team.

Provisioning should be automated, to reduce the burden on the IT teams.

In an ideal case scenario (which thanks to Orchestry exists, but more on that later), the users should also be able to select and create Teams that are already pre-configured for business-first scenarios (for example, a Team that is meant for project management, or employee onboarding), filled with the right tools for the job and embedded with applicable governance policies.

For power users of Microsoft 365, there is a feasible solution for setting up semi-controlled provisioning and approval of Teams. 

Microsoft 365 workspace provisioning workflow using Power Automate

As an alternative to provisioning that is open to everyone within the organization, you may want to implement provisioning & approval workflows using Power Automate. This option will require in-house technical expertise or in cases of more complex workflows either the usage of the PnP Provisioning engine or the help of a Microsoft 365 consultant.


  • The self-service provision process is open to everyone within the organization but requires the approval of a workspace before it is provisioned. 


  • Complex workflows require highly skilled technical talent, creating & regularly maintaining scripts using PowerShell.
  • Added costs & time for the development and maintenance of Power Automate workflows.
  • In the case of more advanced workflows, you will need to start using Power Automate premium connectors, which will further increase your Microsoft 365 license costs.
  • Lack of intuitive user interface (for both, the end-user and the IT admin).

Provisioning workflow

A better way

We at Orchestry believe that Microsoft 365 tools don’t have to be difficult and require deep technical expertise to use them effectively as a cloud-based collaboration platform. Our mission is to develop digital solutions which:

  1. Provide autonomy, freedom, and flexibility to the end-users to do their work effectively, resulting in cross-organizational adoption of Microsoft 365 tools without extensive training.
  2. Distribute the responsibility of managing the Microsoft 365 environment, reducing the burden on the IT Administrators.
  3. Provide IT Administrators with tools built by Microsoft 365 MVPs and experts with decades of experience and best practice knowledge to automate most day-to-day tasks, governance, provisioning, guest, and lifecycle management.
  4. Standardize business processes using Microsoft 365 and bring a higher return on license investments.
  5. Reduce security risks associated with remote work, fully digital environments & Shadow IT.
  6. Effectively move the needle on the digital transformation of the organization towards a fully digital environment.

Orchestry recognized the shortcomings of all the out-of-box, as well as more advanced Microsoft 365 Workspace provisioning options, and we developed a whole set of incredibly valuable features to address them, which include Orchestry’s Workspace Provisioning, Workspace Templates, and Workspace Governance.

Workspace Provisioning

This functionality offers full control of the request process of Workspaces which includes:

  1. Comprehensive workspace approval workflows, or direct provision of workspaces without the approval steps.
  2. Detailed configuration of templates that can be made available for workspace requests.
  3. Configurations of the workspace request flow for the end-users.
  4. Workspace end-user customization permissions (allow your end-users to customize the contents of the workspace during the workspace request process).
  5. Review workspace requests, provide feedback, and approve or send requests back for edits in a single beautiful interface.

Orchestry's workspace provisioning workflow

We have put together comprehensive blog posts about workspace provisioning experience, both from the IT Administrators’ and end-users perspectives.

Read the blog about requesting workspaces with Orchestry as an end-user.

Read the blog about setting up workspace provisioning workflows with Orchestry as an IT Administrator.

See what Orchestry's provisioning engine looks like in action in this guided tour:

See Orchestry's Provisining Engine in Action!

Workspace Templates

This functionality allows you to

Orchestry’s Workspace Templates include support for Microsoft Lists, Planner, Channels, Channel Tabs, Documents, Folder structures, custom web parts, and much more.

You can easily customize every detail of the workspace:

  1. Set up the name, description & category of the template
  2. Turn existing workspaces into templates
  3. Apply lifecycle, guest management, and naming policies
  4. Customize metadata fields
  5. Associate workspace approval workflows with the template
  6. Set up default access, permissions, and security settings
  7. Configure the templates with adoption features, like charts, task reports, calendars, workspace documents, third-party integrations, and more
  8. Set up default channels & folder structures

Orchestry's Microsoft Teams template library

If you are curious to learn more about Orchestry’s templates and customizations, read our comprehensive blog.

Workspace Governance

Create and apply additional controls to existing workspaces and workspace templates to help ensure long-term governance through features like approval processes, minimum owners, naming conventions, required metadata, and much more.

Meta data and naming convention configuration

Interested to learn more about Microsoft 365 Governance with Orchestry?

Want to see Orchestry in action?

Orchestry offers a free full-experience trial for 28 days. 

  • Trusted by thousands of IT admins, and leading Microsoft 365 partners worldwide  
  • Fully secure application attested by SOC2 Security certification 
  • Full features, zero commitment  
  • No credit card required 
  • Orchestry apps installation takes less than 15 minutes 
  • No obligation – if Orchestry is not your cup of tea, simply delete the apps at the end of the trial and all the content you created using Orchestry will remain

Book your demo today to chat with one of our Microsoft 365 experts about the opportunities you can unlock with Orchestry and see it in action.

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