If you are working at a smaller organization or a nonprofit, your Google administrator is usually the person who knows the most about IT and it may not be part of their primary job function. Luckily, being a Google administrator is very simple, as long as you know some basic tips and tricks. 

Set up Google Vault

First, make sure you are using Google Vault to archive organizational data. Google Vault is included with Workspace Business and Enterprise editions, and it archives all company data in a format that is compatible with ediscovery – handy if you ever run into any legal issues. Setting it up for your organization is easy, but you do need to set it up before it starts retaining data. 

You can find out which edition of Google Workspace you have by signing into your admin console and clicking “Billing”. If you are not on the Business or Enterprise plan, contact your Google Partner about upgrading so you can unlock Google Vault. Do this before you get into any user management so you can preserve old data. Once it is set up, make sure you can go in and find the data of the user that you want to remove. 

If upgrading is too expensive, consider the cost of not doing so – if your business gets into any kind of legal trouble at any point, you may need to recover old emails and files from deleted users. There are also a whole host of other features that come with upgrading, including added storage space and expanded functionality across all Google Workspace apps. If it is still too expensive, you can retain employee data by following the instructions below, but it is not going to be time stamped or easy to search. Plus, you’ll need to reassign a new Google Workspace license to access it. 

Adding & Deleting Users: Google Advises Against Deletion 

Adding a user is straightforward, unless you are deleting a user and need to reassign their license to the new user you are adding – in which case keep reading. The best way to delete a user is to not delete a user. Bear with us here. 

Rather than deleting a user, unassign their Google Workspace license and suspend them. You can do that by following the instructions here. Once you are done with that, suspend the old user. Google does not recommend deleting users since their data will be destroyed if you do, even if you have Google Vault installed. 

You can only go so far with the Google Admin Console. If you start requiring management of multiple devices, have multiple developers working in the Google Cloud environment, or simply have a large number of users, you’ll want to graduate to Google Cloud Identity. 

When to use Google Cloud Identity? 

Cloud Identity is Google’s unified identity, access, app, and endpoint management (IAM/EMM) platform. If you have a number of employees using the Google Cloud platform for development purposes, and/or a large number of employees, you’ll want to manage users with Google Cloud Identity. The free version of Cloud Identity allows for basic user management and other simple functions. Google Cloud Identity Premium allows for many more features, and you can still keep some users on the free version who do not need access to those features. 

Why not just start with Google Cloud Identity? 

This is a good question. With the simple interface and the free option, every Google Workspace customer should configure Google Cloud Identity so it is available when – not if – you need it. For example, if you are running an office with 10 users, and three of them have Chromebooks and eight have company mobile devices, that’s the point at which you want to graduate to using Google Cloud Identity. 

Hopefully, every business will grow and it is worth it to lay down the foundations in advance. While Google Workspace will certainly grow with you, Google Cloud Identity will help you secure the company data which is valuable to that growth, and Google Vault will help you to store it. We believe in crafting solutions to scale and not for just what you need in the present moment.