That's just exactly why we need this feature, because there is no longer a direct connection to the admin pages of groups. If all you do is join groups as a place to host your deviations, then yeah, I can see how that would be just a repackaging.
Well, yes... and no. The sidebar has a kind of functionality that is missing from much of the interface, and in a way that expands what can be done in a small space that is tucked away when not in use. The list of groups you belong to is in the sidebar and currently each icon also has its own sub menu (the ubiquitous ellipse). That menu allows you to pin/unpin your favorite groups to the top of the list or to visit the group or to unwatch. But could easily have added choices like going directly to the admin pages you need if you are a founder, etc.