Retention Policies in O365 vs. Google Workspace: A Comparison

Date Published
Jun 21, 2023 11:58:36 AM
Reading Time
Reading Time: 2 min

Retention policies play a crucial role in data management and preservation within organizations. In this blog post, we will compare the retention policies in two popular cloud productivity suites: O365 (Microsoft Office 365) and Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). Specifically, we will examine how these platforms handle data retention and restoration, highlighting their key differences and implications for real-life scenarios.

Retrieving Deleted Data in O365 and Google Workspace:
When it comes to retrieving deleted data, O365 and Google Workspace have varying capabilities. In O365, if a user deletes something, there is no built-in restore feature to recover it in its original form. While there may be records indicating that the data existed, the full original version cannot be retrieved. Similarly, if a user deletes something from Google Drive, there is no native way to recover it.

However, the situation differs when it comes to Gmail. In Google Workspace, if a user deletes an email, it can be restored. Not only can records confirm its previous existence, but the email itself can also be recovered in its original version.

Understanding Retention Policies:
It's important to note that the three scenarios mentioned above pertain specifically to data that has been deleted. Both O365 and Google Workspace offer retention policies that define how long data should be retained and what actions are taken after the expiration date.

Retention policies are typically established based on board policies and general records retention guidelines. They enable organizations to preserve content for specific periods, ensuring compliance and facilitating potential retrieval if required. These policies can be applied to all users and services or targeted to a subset of users/services.

Different Retention Policies for Different Needs:
In both O365 and Google Workspace, administrators have the flexibility to define retention policies based on their organization's requirements. For example, administrators can implement a 7-year retention policy with an archive action for certain data, meaning the data is archived after 7 years. Conversely, a 1-year retention policy with a delete action can be assigned to other data, resulting in its permanent deletion after the specified period.

Additionally, eDiscovery (or litigation hold) is a process that allows administrators to search and access all retained emails. By placing a specific user under eDiscovery or litigation hold, organizations can ensure that no data is deleted moving forward, providing legal and compliance advantages.

In summary, the retention policies in O365 and Google Workspace differ in their approach to data retention and restoration. O365 lacks native restoration capabilities, making it challenging to recover deleted data in its original form. On the other hand, Google Workspace allows for email restoration, providing users with an added layer of data recovery.

Understanding the importance of retention policies is crucial for organizations, as it allows them to specify how long content should be preserved and ensures compliance with board policies and records retention guidelines. By leveraging these policies, organizations can mitigate data loss risks and improve their data management practices.

Whether you choose O365 or Google Workspace, it is essential to assess your organization's specific needs and align them with the respective platform's capabilities. Additionally, considering the implementation of eDiscovery or litigation holds can provide an extra level of protection against data loss.

If you have any queries or require assistance in configuring your retention policies, please feel free to reach out to our team. We are here to help you optimize your data management strategy and safeguard your valuable information.

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