Having transitioned your team to Office 365 was a smart move - it lets them collaborate from any device in any location. Within the next year, 50% of business email users will rely primarily on a mobile device. You have set your team up for success: enabled them to work when and where they need to.

But before you rest on your laurels, put your feet up on your desk, and book that trip to the Caribbean, there is one more important play to make: backing up your Office 365 data.

Why Office 365 Backup?

Let’s face the stats:

  • 80% of the Fortune 500 is on the Microsoft Cloud

  • Microsoft’s goal is $20 billion in commercial cloud annualized revenue in 2018

  • Office has been downloaded 340 million times on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices

The sheer size of Microsoft is something most people likely cannot fully comprehend. They are big; they are responsible; they are not going anywhere. So, why backup your Office 365 data? It is not about saving you from Microsoft failure (though Office 365 outages do happen). It is far more likely that you will need backup due to:

User error

When they accidentally delete or overwrite files, employees will be knocking down your door - where and when they need to (even a hotel room in the Caribbean is not hard to find when they mistakenly erase the critical files they need for an important account).

Hackers and thieves

The instances of Ransomware in Office 365 are on the rise and when files become inaccessible and bitcoin is demanded to release them, you will be immune if you have a recent backup that can be recovered in lieu of paying the hostage-takers: no downtime, no ransom paid (extra Piña Colada for you).


When an employee leaves the company (and the company’s Office 365), their files go with them. In the system, any inactive or deprovisioned user data is permanently deleted. Since you don’t want to keep paying for licenses for departed employees, yet need to maintain control and ownership of your company’s data, you must use Office 365 backup to archive their files.

Since these things happen (far more often than we all like to admit), an Office 365 backup is critical. You have several options when it comes to backing up your cloud collaboration data.

How to Backup Office 365: Your Options

To ensure your Office 365 data is safe from user error, ransomware, terminated employees, app outages, and other threats, you need to choose a cloud backup provider wisely. Here are some points to consider (and ask!):

  1. Tech Support: One universal truth about data emergencies: they never happen when it is convenient. Make sure the provider you select has round-the-clock tech support available to you by phone (unless you like needlessly opening customer support tickets or waiting for an email reply), make sure the support team is US-based and knowledgeable. You need a team that will become your team in crises.

  2. Data Storage: Even your backed up data provides an access point and may present a security loophole. Ransomware may not be as prevalent in backups, but a compromise to your company’s intellectual property is quite a concern. Find out where your backed up data will be stored. It will be safest in a compliant private cloud.

  3. Data Security: Securing data at the storage level (a common practice by providers that will store your data on AWS) is subpar. Ideally, your data should be secured at the app level. Data must be safeguarded at rest and in transit in order to ensure your security and maintain compliance.

  4. Speed: In emergencies, time counts! Educate yourself not only with the materials published by backup providers, but also by reading actual accounts of users who have used the system and independent analysis for Office 365 backup restore and export speeds.

  5. Frequency: How much work does your company do in a day? If your backup provider automates daily backups, how painful would it be to your team if their restored files were 23 hours old (thanks for that law, Murphy!)? An ideal solution will be backing up your Office 365 data multiple times per day.

  6. Reporting: Save yourself from hours of tracking and checking multiple systems for your multiple needs. Find out if the provider you choose offers a single pane of glass to manage the backups of all of your Office 365 users and apps.

  7. Cloud: The move to the Cloud was a wise one. Don’t make it a case of one-step-forward, two-steps-back by opting for an on-prem backup solution. Use a provider the securely backs up your O365 data to the cloud and can responsibly, quickly, and completely restore it when and where you need it.

The Answer

To the question of “how to back up Office 365” there is only one good answer: use a cloud provider that is focused on multiple daily backups, gives you a single pane of transparency, stores securely on a private cloud, is recoverable quickly any time, and comes with a support team to back you up. To learn more about data loss in SaaS applications (and how to ensure this doesn’t happen at your business), check out the full Forrester Research Report, “Back Up Your SaaS Data - Because Most SaaS Providers Don’t.