The Office 365 Data Retention Policy & How to Ensure Business Continuity

For many organisations, the volume and complexity of data change on a daily basis. This includes more emails, Teams posts, Teams files, documents and voice messages every day. With the ever-growing rise of data generation, it’s important to understand how your enterprise is retaining and backing up data to ensure you can find what you need when you need it.

If we use email platforms as the primary example, Microsoft Office 365 (O365) is widely seen as the most popular email platform for enterprise. There are many reasons this is the case. For many organisations, O365 is seen to foster greater productivity by streamlining data and offers rich user and admin experiences.

Microsoft manages quite a lot for its users, including infrastructure and helping to maintain uptime. Something that is often overlooked, however, is the lack of data management and backup recovery. Being a large player in the market, we’ve focused on O365 to develop an independent data retention and recovery solution that your business might need.

What is Data Retention? – Relying on the Current 30-Day Retention Policy

So what is data retention? Similar to other platform management policies, the O365 data retention policy focuses on two areas. Primarily, retaining data or content so that it can’t be permanently deleted during the automatic 30-day data retention period. And, after this period has ended, ensuring the content or data is deleted! While this framework often puts enterprises at ease,

Brennan IT advises against relying on this since the short-term (30-day) user error version history protocol does not include much of the data enterprises produce.

Ensuring Short-Term & Long-Term Data Recovery

While O365 outlines how organisations can structure their recovery to ensure data maintenance, it’s important to understand the level of ownership for data protection and recovery. While Microsoft ensures protection against loss of service due to natural disasters, 30-day user error and version history, it’s on your enterprise to ensure data protection from:

  • Deactivated accounts with departed employees
  • External breaches
  • Malware
  • Prolonged outages and data recovery
  • Long term accidental deletion coverage

With enterprises responsible for data protection and recovery, it’s important for businesses to have ample backup and recovery solutions in place to meet these needs.

The Importance of Good Data Hygiene

The concerns mentioned above, alongside growing organisational needs, often lead to many businesses not looking at data hygiene until it’s too late.

It’s important all organisational leaders understand the benefits of data hygiene, which can include better decision-making, increased productivity, and cost-efficiency. All of which can lead to boosted results and increased revenue. For these reasons, it’s important to understand the current data retention and recovery systems in place to ensure you’re set up for business continuity.

While you have version control in place, for example, shared documents can often lead to multiple versions of the same document and create inefficiencies in data management. This is a common cause of poor data hygiene, which results in increased inefficiency for a business and bad practice for organisational compliance. This is a major concern for many businesses, as they still rely on version control for data backup and recovery.

Ensuring Business Continuity

For these reasons, good data compliance leads to reduced maintenance costs, improved data security and increased alignment with evolving technology. It will ensure you maintain good data hygiene and ensure that, if a disaster hits and the 30-day backup protocol of O365 is not enough, you will still be covered.

Brennan IT offers a number of IT services and solutions to meet these needs for all types of businesses. From small enterprises to large organisations, all businesses need a system that is easy to manage and easy to access.

If you’re looking to future-proof your business with a Backup and Disaster Recovery solution, you can download our eBook on possible solutions or get in touch today.

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