Organizations simply using Office 365 without any thought of backing up the data they use daily in the world’s most popular office platform are putting operations at risk.

Most organizations are using some or all of Office 365’s premiere services, which include Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive, and Teams. These offerings make up a material portion of your business operations; your communications, collaboration, and file sharing are all hosted by Microsoft. Every day, your company relies on Office 365 to be available and the data to be current in order to operate.

But should the data in Office 365 become corrupt, be deleted (beyond any retention timeframes), or be the target of a cyberattack, you need an ability to recover this data.  Just like when it was all on-premises, you need to have backups of your data so you can put operations back into a known-good state.

But, since you’re reading this article, it’s probably likely you’re not protecting your Office 365 data. So, the question becomes Why aren’t you?

There are a few reasons why you aren’t already backing up Office 365 data:

  1. Assumptions of the Cloud – there’s an unwritten notion that when something is placed in the cloud, it’s completely managed by the cloud service provider.  And especially when it comes to SaaS solutions, there is an assumption all you need to do is pay for it and use it. But the data doesn’t belong to the provider, right? It’s your data. Sure you only need it within the cloud solution, but it’s extremely likely the cloud provider makes it clear in their SLA or license agreement that they aren’t responsible for maintaining your data. In the case of Office 365, Microsoft promotes a shared responsibility model, in which it’s very evident that they aren’t responsible for your data.
  2. Oversight – This article may be a facepalm moment for some of you.  You may have completely forgotten about the need to protect the data in Office 365. With so much emphasis on the migration of data, the training of users, ensuring adoption within the organization, licensing, security, and more… the idea of data protection simply fell by the wayside. Your data in Office 365 needs to be treated like you would if it were on-premises. 
  3. Lack of Ability – Your current backup solution may only leverage the cloud for backup storage or as a recovery target and don’t even recognize Office 365 as a data source.  There are a number of software solutions and service providers that backup and recover Office 365 data that can be utilized to craft a tailor-fit strategy to ensure an ability to recover.

While Office 365 definitely experiences outages publicly, the loss of some portion of one organization’s data is hardly newsworthy.  The data in Office 365 is yours and yours alone to protect – it’s time to do something about it.