If You Use Office 365, Do You Still Need to Backup Your Data?


Why Backup Your Data with Office 365

Office 365 offers some great data protection, but it doesn’t actually provide for all personal data storage needs -and does not come close to all business data archiving needs. Why back up your data when working with Office 365?

Office 365 Backups Only Last 30 Days

The first and most important reason is that Office 365 only backs up data for 30 days, typically, or 90 days in some circumstances. This is a long time for collaboration, but not long at all for backups and archiving. 30 days means that you can’t restore backups or rollback changes made over 30 days ago. It also means that mistakes and accidental deletions that aren’t noticed for over 30 days are lost. There is no restoring data that Office 365 drops after 30 days. This includes version control from recent and old changes and the archives.

Working with Hybrid Storage

Hybrid storage is when you store some of your project assets in Office 365, and some on local computers or servers. This is very common for business  usage where not all your data is used in Office 365 or you work with file types and editing software outside if Microsoft Office. If you are using hybrid storage, anything stored locally should also be backed up locally. After all, Office 365 can’t create cloud backups if your files aren’t within its duplicated file system.

Likewise, if you set up One Drive to back up a specific local folder, this can get tricky. Changes to the cloud folder and the local folder will need to sync, including deletions, which can result in lost data. In general, if you are working with a hybrid workflow with files inside and outside cloud syncing, then backing up everything is the best way to avoid data aberrations between the two file storage systems.

Compliance Archiving

Office 365’s backup system also does not prepare you for compliance archiving. Many regulations require a business to keep certain documents archived for potential audits in the future. This includes things like payroll and certain employee records. Having these documents available and properly stored is essential, should they ever be needed. Every now and then, an audit will mean pulling out all of your archives for review.

With Office 365 alone, there’s no guarantee that all those historical backups will still be available. Fortunately, there are other ways.

Landmark Version Control

You may also want to be able to roll back your projects to specific landmark points – before certain decisions and changes were made to the design and stages along the way. This is not doable with Office 365 temporary backups, but can easily be done by taking your own backups at landmark points in each project.


How to Backup Your Data Alongside Office 365

How can and should you handle data backups while working with Office 365?

Microsoft 365 Cloud Drive Backups

The best solution is to pair your cloud-based Office software with Microsoft’s cloud storage solution. Microsoft 365 is inheriting the system from Office 365 and also offers specialized Microsoft Cloud storage. From Microsoft 365 Backup, you can choose the amount of cloud storage you need and rely on Microsoft to keep the backups in your separate cloud storage readily available for as long as you need. Microsoft 365 Backup is a great product for dedicated Microsoft using teams.

Local Backups and Archives

Always be ready to take your own local backups, at least temporarily. Knowing how to take a local backup of certain files and documents is essential for complete control over your record keeping. Even if you are somehow cut off from the cloud, you should be able to create and archive your own local backups.

Have hard drive and server space ready for your backups and choose a secure location/configuration so that your data is safely stored behind firewalls and encryption – in case of hackers or their free-roving malware.

Cloud Storage Backups

Outside of Microsoft 365, you can also choose to upload specific files or zipped folders to the cloud storage of your choice. From Google to Amazon, there are many commercial cloud storage services that are designed to hold onto your records and archives for the long-term.

Backup Recovery System

Finally, make sure that you have a complete and functional backup recovery system. This means automated backups are taken at practical intervals and automatically saved to the right well-secured server. The recovery system also includes a plan to enact where backups are used for partial and total recoveries of broken passwords or old settings.


Planning for Backups With Your Office 365 Documents

If your team is using Office 365 or Microsoft 365, you still need to make backups and keep your own archival records. The cloud version control system used to enable Office 365 flexibility and collaborations is not the same as the robust backup and recovery system that every business needs. Whether you are managing the paperwork for a large and growing business or sharing Office 365 with a small, elite team, White Mountain IT can help you hone your systems for Office 365 performance, hybrid and local data backups, and automated Microsoft 365 cloud backup services. Contact us today to learn more and build your custom data plan alongside Office 365.


Related Posts