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.