Archived User Licenses vs. Cloud Storage


Why businesses store archived data

Storing archived user information is an important procedure for many businesses who retain data for compliance and audit purposes, with organizations typically storing data for up to 7 years after an employee has left the business. Documents, Mail, Calendars, Appointments, Address Books, Groups, Group Members, Contacts, Tasks and Notes are stored in order to be utilised at a later date if needed. Organizations are also keen to avoid business disruption when an employee leaves, and so transferring some of this historic data to joiners and movers to help with the onboarding process is ever more common. Forward thinking businesses are also using this historic data to help guide them in making informed strategic decisions using indisputable evidence. It means each decision is justifiable to stakeholders, no matter what the outcome.

As the amount of data businesses are using increases, unfortunately so does the cost of maintaining this data in an archived account until needed. Archived user licenses with Microsoft and Google have been the standard for businesses that intend on storing data once a user has been deprovisioned. Exchange Online Archive licenses cost tens of dollars per user per year, and Google Vault Former Employee licenses have been free up until this year, where they will soon cost even more than Microsoft's archive licenses. This poses a serious issue for many businesses, especially Google customers that will see their license renewal costs increase exponentially, with enterprise sized businesses seeing license costs increase by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Cloud storage acts as an alternative to archived user licenses

Businesses are searching for alternatives to traditional archived licenses to help overcome these extra costs, and one popular solution is to migrate the data to cloud storage. Cloud storage offers a scalable, cost effective solution to traditional archived user licenses, especially when the majority of users are unlikely to ever be fully restored.

As companies grow so will the amount of archived user licenses needed, but using cloud storage allows for elasticity for future planning. Organizations only pay for the capacity they use, and despite costs inevitably increasing over time due to rolling data volumes, the costs of storing this data is pennies, in comparison to archived user license costs year on year.

Both options of archived user licenses and cloud storage have their advantages and disadvantages, therefore it’s beneficial for organizations to find out which solution is most suitable for them. The process of converting an active user license into an archived user license is as simple as clicking a button within the admin panel. There is no transfer of data so it is a much quicker process than migrating archive licenses to cloud storage. Despite this, the action of restoring historic data to a live G Suite or Office 365 account is a similar process, both in procedure and speed. Admins are still required to identify the items needed, export them and then import them into an account in the correct structure, So regardless of which option you choose, this is still a slightly convoluted process. The real advantage of using cloud storage is price. Instead of costing between $30 - $90 for an archived user license per year, migrating that data to cloud storage will literally cost pennies per user, per year, saving enterprise sized businesses tens of thousands of dollars per year.

How CloudM can help

In order to combat changes in the industry and help businesses find a cost effective way to store data, we’ve developed a solution to help organizations take full control of their license costs, while still protecting their data. Using CloudM Migrate and CloudM Manage side by side can help businesses save hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary renewal costs.

Using CloudM Migrate, businesses can now migrate archived user data to Google Cloud Storage and Microsoft Azure Storage, regardless of which source platform they’re migrating from. CloudM Migrate can transfer documents, mail, calendars, appointments, address books, groups, group members, contacts, tasks and notes to cloud storage. The data is also migrated in the correct structure, ready to be restored whenever needed.

When the time comes for the data to be restored, CloudM provides a free restoration license with every migration license purchased. So if data is needed by another user, or for audit and compliance purposes, it can be migrated back in the correct structure to a live G Suite or Office 365 account at no extra cost.

As well as instant cost saving using CloudM Migrate, CloudM can also help control license costs in the long term by deploying CloudM Manage to automate your deprovisioning process. CloudM Manage allows IT Admins to configure custom workflows for joiners, movers and leavers, designed to automatically run an offboarding procedure for any deprovisioned users. Admins can then remove or reuse their regular G Suite or Office 365 license immediately. This saves busy IT teams time as they no longer have to manually run the deprovisioning process and also saves costs by avoiding a build up of old users.

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