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How Businesses Can Save Up to 64% on Google Workspace Licenses

Google Workspace is a top-notch collaboration and data management suite, and it worth every penny – there is no doubt here. But there are some instances when your company can and, well, should be spending way less money than it is currently doing.

As a cloud data protection company, we develop products for organizations that use Google Workspace (and Office 365). One of the reasons why our software works for them is because it helps them save money, yet cost savings on Google Workspace licenses is not our selling point. We see it as our obligation to share with you some tips and tricks on how you can save your company a good buck on Google Workspace (former G Suite) licenses even without our products.

Before you find out how exactly you can reduce the company’s spendings, we need to talk about the main cases when companies pay way more money for licenses than they should. 

1. Paying for inactive licenses 

Google Workspace subscription works the following way: as long as you keep an account, you pay for it, regardless of the status. If some accounts have been suspended or blocked, it still means you have to pay for them to keep the information around. Most companies choose to keep accounts of their ex-employees or suspended or blocked accounts of their current employees for the sake of data that is on it.

You might think, “So why not simply transfer this data to the new or existing employee’s account and be done with it?” The main reason it shouldn’t happen is that some information can’t be exposed to third parties, including other employees. The same is fair for the new employees that join your ranks – not always can and should you share all the data on the ex-employee Google Workspace account with them.

At the same time, the information, services, and third-party apps connected to this account must be preserved even if this would mean paying for inactive licenses.

So, what do you do with inactive licenses then?

There are three options:

  1. Assign licenses to another individual, to the organizational unit, or the whole organization. This way, you’ll provide them with access to the data and services within the license/account. But remember that you are still paying for the license.
  1. Transfer all the information to another account and remove the Google Workspace licenses. This way, though, you risk exposing some business-critical or sensitive information to another employee, which may result in compliance violation and penalties.
  1. Securely backup all the Google Workspace account data and remove the license. Keeping a cloud backup of the account data is much cheaper than keeping inactive licenses (we talk numbers further in this article). 

Something to keep in mind: when you delete a user account /license, don’t forget to check if there are any services assigned to this account that are important to your business continuity. 

For more information on the correct employee offboarding, check out this article.

2. Buying Business and Enterprise licenses to comply with regulatory requirements

Google offers G Suite users three plans: 

G Suite Basic – $6/user/month

G Suite Business – $12/user/month

G Suite Enterprise – $25/user/month

Inactive g suite licenses

All the three plans provide the same set of applications – Gmail, Google Drive, Calendar, Google Meet, etc. And yet, some companies choose to opt for more expensive plans. The reason behind it is that Business and Enterprise plans include some data retention and security features that are required by some compliance regulations (if you are interested, we have detailed guides on how to meet GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, and SOC-2 compliances).

 The need to meet data compliance standards is why some companies choose to get more expensive Google Workspace licenses. 

Here are the main perks Google Workspace Business and Enterprise-grade plans provide users regarding data loss prevention and data retention:

  • Google Vault archive to retain and search emails and chats in eDiscovery for legal purposes
  • Unlimited Google Drive storage in data centers located in regions specified in your compliance requirements
  • Data loss prevention for Gmail and Google Drive in case of accidental deletions or ransomware (included in Enterprise plans only)
  • Advanced cloud search capabilities (included in Enterprise plans only)

The benefits of these plans seem to be pretty obvious, especially for companies that have to comply with industry regulations to protect their data. So, what’s the problem then? 

The thing is, your company needs to spend $12 on Business and $25 on Enterprise plans per user accordingly, which can break the bank for a company where the number of users is supposed to grow. It would’ve been a reasonable and necessary investment for many companies if there was no more affordable way to meet the data compliance standards.

But there is. 

How to Save Money on Google Workspace Licenses Using Backup [Calculations Included]

As you may know, backup is an essential part of data loss prevention practices for any organization that relies on data. But not everyone knows that if a backup service meets all the security requirements, it can help companies ensure compliance on much more reasonable terms than G Suite. 

Let’s talk numbers:

  • G Suite Business: $12/month per user

+ Data retention, advanced search, and archive with Google Vault’s eDiscovery

+ Ability to choose data regions

+ Unlimited storage

– No data loss prevention tools (no backup)

  • G Suite Enterprise: $25/month per user

+ Data retention, advanced search, and archive with Google Vault’s eDiscovery

+ Ability to choose data regions

+ Data loss prevention tools (backup)

+ Unlimited storage

  • Spinbackup (or another cloud-to-cloud backup tool): $3/month per user

+ Data retention, advanced search, and archive capabilities

+ Ability to choose data regions

+ Data loss prevention (backup) with quick one-click data restore

+ Unlimited storage (or 30GB if Team Drives are included)

Let’s count how much all the three options will cost you if you have 50 employees with 50 G Suite licenses:

  • 50 G Suite Business licenses $12/user + Backup service apr. $3/user (50*15) = $750/month
  • 50 G Suite Enterprise licenses $25/user (50*25) = $1250/month
  • 50 G Suite Basic licenses $6/user + 50 Spinbackup licenses $3/user = $450/month

By choosing G Suite Basic license + Spinbackup, you save $3600/year compared to G Suite Business license and backup service and $9600/year compared to G Suite Enterprise license while staying compliant with data protection regulations.

The more users your organization has, the more money this approach is going to save you. 


Using Spinbackup helps to deal with inactive Google Workspace licenses by transferring user data to the backup accounts and removing the inactive licenses. This method saves your business $6, $12, or $25 per user. It is much more beneficial than assigning inactive licenses to other employees while still paying a full price for them. 

If you want to know more about how Spinbackup enhances data security and saves your time and company money, check it out here. 

You can get a Free 15-day Trial now, or Request a Demo to see it in action with no strings attached.

Good luck!

Dmitry Dmitry Dontov CEO and Founder
About Author

Dmitry Dontov is the CEO and Founder at Spin.AI. He is a tech entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity and team management. He also has a strong engineering background in cybersecurity and cloud data protection, making him an expert in SaaS data security.
He is the author of 2 patents and a member of Forbes Business Council.
Dmitry was Named 2023 Winner in the BIG Award for Business and Small Business Executive of the Year.

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