Most enterprises that have moved from on-prem software into the cloud have done so because of the ease of deployment, increased scalability, and decreased costs.

However, with the latter benefit -- decreased costs -- IT departments must pay particular attention to operating expenses, like unused license fees, which can unexpectedly increase the cost of cloud services.

According to research, 38% of enterprise software licenses go unused, costing businesses upwards of $34 billion per year.

This insight is more timely than ever due to recent changes to Google’s cloud-based productivity tools. Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is more than a name change. The new alias also comes with new storage limits and an updated pricing structure, which means some businesses may find themselves needing to purchase enterprise licenses for the first time.

Read on to learn more about the changes in Google Workspace, and what you should know about cutting costs for your enterprise account.

Google Workspace Storage and Pricing Changes

Google Workspace Storage

One of the biggest changes between G Suite and Google Workspace is the amount of storage available with each license.

G Suite provided Business Plan licenses unlimited storage. Google Workspace, on the other hand, limits Business Plan clients to 2 Terabytes of storage, and Business Plan Plus accounts to 5 Terabytes.

While 2TB and 5TB is still a large amount of storage, it’s not unlimited.

Businesses already exceeding storage limits will receive an email from Google to discuss over-quota storage policies.

According to revised policies:

  • Google may delete user’s content from Gmail, Drive, and Photos for inactive accounts (dormant for two years or 24 months).
  • Google may delete content across Gmail, Drive, and Photos if the user exceeds the storage limit for two years.

This means inactive licenses may have data automatically deleted, and non-enterprise clients with excessive data may also experience involuntary data deletion.

The changes to storage limits mean that businesses generating significant amounts of data, or fearful of losing existing data, may upgrade to the Enterprise plan, for its unlimited storage.

Google Workspace Enterprise License Costs

Google Workspace plans now include ‘Plus options’ for both Business and Enterprise:

  • Business Starter: $6/user/month
  • Business Standard: $12/user/month
  • Business Plus: $18/user/month
  • Enterprise: (*pricing not listed)
  • Enterprise Plus: (*pricing not listed)

(*While Google doesn’t publish the cost for Enterprise plans, leaked information indicates the cost could range from $20-$30 per user.)

All budget-conscious IT teams will try to find the fit most cost-effective for them. But, because Google implemented a 300 user maximum to all plans besides Enterprise, some organizations might feel like they don’t have a choice but to move forward with the top-tier plan. And, the upgrade from a business plan to an enterprise plan could increase license costs by 60%.

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Cutting Costs with an Enterprise Google Account

Whether you’re an existing enterprise account with Google or you’re newly upgrading, you’re probably paying attention to operating costs.

Considering the following tips for cutting back on expenses.

Right-Sized Plans

The first step toward mitigating unnecessarily high costs for cloud productivity tools is to find the right-sized plan for your organization. Can you get creative with how you dole out licenses? For example:

  • Can you mix and match plans to provide specific users with the specific capabilities they need?
  • Do you have variable staff over the year? You may also be able to cut costs by signing up for plans with a monthly commitment vs. an annual subscription.

Backup Archive Users

One of the biggest culprits of unnecessary spending on cloud licenses is paying for former employees.

When an employee leaves, businesses can’t just delete employee access immediately. Without a Google Workspace backup in place, deleting the owner of a file in Google Workspace will also delete their files. To protect user data, enterprises often leave former employee accounts in purgatory.

Instead, businesses should let go of unused accounts by implementing a third-party backup solution to backup archived users, transfer data of past employees, and cut costs.

See how much you’re currently spending on unused licenses with this calculator!

Protecting your Data

You might be wondering why you need a third-party backup tool when Google Vault promotes its ability to retain, hold, search, and export users' data.

It’s important to note that Google Vault can’t be treated as a true Google Workspace backup product. Even though Google secures your organization’s data against multiple threats, including the complete annihilation of a Google server, things happen.

Like on September 28th, users of cloud-based Microsoft applications including Teams, Microsoft 365, Outlook, Exchange, Sharepoint, OneDrive, and Azure were unable to access the business-critical applications for up to five hours.

Despite the ability to eventually recover data from an outage, the inability to access your data in real-time will cost you a pretty penny. Research shows that systems downtime can cost three times as much as a year-long cloud subscription.

A third-party backup solution also protects your data from instances that Google’s shared responsibility model won’t cover, like user error, which is the leading cause of data loss for all enterprises.

Want to learn more about how to cut costs and protect your data in Google Workspace? Schedule a live, personalized demo of Backupify.