Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario Teams and Sites Governance Solution
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) is an independent regulatory agency created to improve consumer and pension plan beneficiary protections in Ontario.
FSRA was established to replace the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO). The agency is flexible, self-funded and designed to respond rapidly to an evolving commercial and consumer environment. In this capacity, FSRA:
- Promotes high standards of business conduct
- Fosters a sustainable, competitive financial services sector
- Responds to market changes quickly
- Promotes good administration of insurance and pension plans
- Encourages innovation
FSRA maintains a modern, technology-enabled workplace for its employees, based on a combination of advanced on-premise and cloud platforms that together provide the necessary tools to achieve high productivity and efficiency within a highly skilled workforce of professionals. A move to the Microsoft 365 platform, with the adoption of the full suite of the technology stack, immediately highlighted the need for an accompanying Change Management and Governance Plan that would keep up with the rapid pace and demand for technology services.
Migration to SharePoint Online and Teams provided further stimulus that came about from the availability of advanced collaboration features and ease-of-use in both tools. The need for timely provisioning of SharePoint sites and Teams and a simple user interface that facilitates advanced configuration options behind-the-scenes became top priorities for the FSRA technology team.
An automated Sites/Teams provisioning, based on the Envision IT open-source solution provided an ideal governance framework and starting point, with a simple, easily configured request form and underlying workflow built on top of the existing Microsoft 365 platform already in use by the organization. Provisioned sites were indexed in a central listing, providing easy access to owners and members. Proper permissions management facilitated by the tool ensured users had only access to the sites they owned or were invited to.
Further custom development enhanced the baseline solution for FSRA, providing additional advanced features such as whitelisting domains for externally shared sites, attachment of Terms and Conditions documentation to each request, assignment of AAD Guest Inviter roles to owners of externally shared sites and support for the application of sensitivity labels based on the template chosen. Other administrative enhancements also included periodic Azure AD Access reviews.
The updated Teams Provisioning system was launched in September 2021, in time to provide additional support to IT staff in their endeavours to provide top-notch services in spite of challenges presented by a rapid pace set by the very nature of the FSRA mandate as well as the ever-present COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying lockdown. The online form and approval workflow immediately empowered staff working from the office and remotely, who are now able to submit and obtain approval for critically needed collaboration sites. The IT department is also able to delegate user invitations to site owners whilst having complete confidence that external sharing and security configurations were configured appropriately in the provisioned sites.