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Cloud Backup is an important part of your offboarding process.

Back in 2019, we discussed the benefit of backing up your Google Workspace. Today we’re going to discuss those benefits in the context of user offboarding.

Your data is important, so back it up.

If your data is important to running your business then it needs backing up, even if you’re running your entire infrastructure in the Cloud, you need a backup. Running a business without a backup strategy is like driving a car without a seatbelt or insurance.

When it comes to backup solutions we recommend Afi.ai, not only is it by far the fastest backup solution on the Google Marketplace it’s also extremely accurate, and when it comes to backing up that’s critical.

Free archived users

As part of your offboarding process, you can be happy in the knowledge that you can delete inactive user accounts from Google Workspace and still have their backed up data available in Afi. Deleted users will appear in Afi in the “archived” status, and their data can be restored to any other account, exported offline, searched and previewed online. What’s more, archived users are free and without retention limits.

One time Archive v Back up

Some organisations may perform a one-time archive, via Google Takeout, or GotYourBack, of user data before they finally delete their account. However, from a deprovisioning and offboarding perspective, this can often leave the organisation seriously exposed. If the only time you copy a user’s email inbox is just before or just after they have left, you’re unlikely to be retaining all historical information. Even the best employees feel that it’s necessary to tidy up before they exit an organisation, and may automatically and systematically delete emails from their inbox. A disgruntled employee is likely to delete their entire inbox and may have started the process weeks or months before exit.

In these scenarios, an Archive isn’t going to cut it, as you’re highly likely to be missing key and often critical information. The only solution is a constant and regular backup of all users’ data.

Conclusion

When it comes to user offboarding the only guaranteed, sure-fire way to make sure that you’re retaining all information is to take regular backups.

Built-in Google Workspace tools such as Google Takeout require no additional investments but are significantly limited and leave an organisation exposed. eDiscovery solutions, including Google Vault and 3rd party tools are normally used by large organizations and provide a semi-automated backup option of Google Workspace email where the recovery has to be performed manually. Third-party cloud backup options that fully support Google Workspace typically provide the most complete and automated service.
Therefore:

  1. If you have no budget, think about combining the built-in Google Workspace tools, Google Takeout and GotYourBack, to implement a manual/scripted Google Workspace email backup policy. However, please be aware of the limitations and make sure that it is someone responsibility to perform monthly Google Takeout data exports of all users in order to be able to recover messages deleted 30+ days ago. Please note that you will need to gain access to the users password to manually perform a Google Takeout.
  2. Use 3rd party backup tools to automate backup of Google Workspace email data. Make sure that the tool you select adequately supports the critical Google Workspace email backup requirements, including scheduled atleast 3x regular daily backups, user self-service and granular Gmail data recovery options.
  3. Use eDiscovery tools, such as Google Vault, if you are subject to data retention requirements. Organizations typically use eDiscovery tools in combination with backup services. eDiscovery software provides data retention capabilities but should not be used as Google Workspace email backup solution. The software is useful if you don’t expect to restore emails back to Gmail and the retention of metadata is not needed.

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