One of the questions that is on the mind of businesses and their service providers today is whether or not you need to backup Office 365.

The answer may not be a simple one. For some businesses, the data in Office 365 might not be important enough to require backing up. Alternatively, they may have a mail continuity service or line of business application that manages email retention for them.

Assessing the Risk

The immediate risks of data loss in the cloud may not be immediately apparent. After all, Microsoft is a big company and they must be taking care of my data right?

Yes they are. Unfortunately its limited and its possible to permanently lose data in the Office 365 ecosystem.

The graph outlines common data loss sources from a SaaS (cloud) report by the Aberdeen Group.

What is the cost of data loss?

 In 2012, Seagate estimated that $40 million is lost annually on data loss events.  According to an Aberdeen research study, the average company loses $163,674 in unused labor and lost revenue for each hour of downtime due to data loss. – Shadow Protect Blog

What backup does Office 365 Currently have?

The short answer is none.

Office 365 exchange has 99.9% uptime guarantee (as we proudly boast on our website). This only means that your email will be almost always available, it doesn’t have anything to do with backup or retention.

How about Sharepoint and Onedrive for Business?

Sharepoint is a little bit better in the sense it has a recycle bin for accidental deletions. Its still possible for both users and admins to permanently delete data in sharepoint, which means the malicious insider could delete critical business documents forever.

How important is the Data?

Whenever you are deciding on a backup strategy, you have to make a business decision on how important the data is. For example, you may have a business case where if you lost any or all of the data, it would have little to no business impact. This is a common situation for pre-launch companies who don’t have any important customer or business information.

On the other hand, an established business that relies on email for communication internally and with customers may have critical data that needs to be protected. Depending on the size and industry of the business, there may be regulatory requirements that dictate retention of emails within the organisation.

Decision Time

If you are storing information in office 365 exclusively where there is no other copy anywhere else, then it’s very likely you need to assess whether Office 365 backup is right for you.

There are currently many vendors out there offering backup solutions, and the one that’s right for you will depend on a number of factors. For example, some software suites (like skykick) back up into your own Microsoft Azure storage in the cloud, while others backup into Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Please leave a comment below and let me know if this article was helpful or not.

Images and statistics in this article were provided by Skykick.

Customers can learn more in our knowledge base.

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