SharePoint on-premise has a top-level administrative role: the Site Collection Administrator (SCA). Each site collection can have several SCAs, one of which is the primary. Sites (strictly, these are sub-sites) sit within a site collection and each site can have several Site Owners, who have full permissions on that site.
In SharePoint Online, this structure will be changing. Site owners will remain largely the same, but SCAs will be replaced by two new top-level roles: the Site Network Administrator (SNA) who is responsible for SharePoint Online in their area, and the Business Owner, who is accountable for it.
Site Network Administrator (SNA)
Site Network Administrators (SNA) are similar to the current SCAs and are responsible for the structure, usage and permissions of their hubs and sites. They control their content and application creation, page layouts, navigation, libraries and folders. They can read, download, create and edit content and documentation. Site Network Administrators provide technical assistance to Site Owners.
The Business Owner is a completely new role that is being introduced to help manage the University’s SharePoint Online. They oversee and are accountable for the content and use of SharePoint Online in their college, department or division.
Ideally this person is a senior administrator or Senior Management Team (SMT) member, but need not be a technical person, as they have no responsibilities within the system.
Their role is to ensure the business use of SharePoint Online in their unit is compliant, consistent, managed and supported, and to nominate a sufficiently skilled Site Network Administrator.
We have written a Quick Reference Guide with more details about these new roles