Gartner Research

When to Leverage Third-Party Solutions to Back Up Office 365

Published: 03 March 2020

ID: G00407515

Analyst(s): Guy Creese


As Office 365 is adopted in the enterprise, I&O technical professionals must implement a backup and restore policy for it. This research assesses the strengths and weaknesses of Office 365’s native data protection functions and provides guidance on when to leverage third-party tools.

Table Of Contents


  • Data Is the Customer’s Responsibility
    • Ways in Which Data Can Be Lost in Office 365
    • Mitigating Risk
    • Backup and Data Protection Policy Alignment
  • When to Use Third-Party Backup Tools With Office 365
  • Overview of Third-Party Backup Tools
    • Backup-as-a-Service Vendor Solutions
    • Traditional Enterprise Backup Vendor Solutions
  • Differentiating Third-Party Capabilities for Office 365 Backup Solutions
    • Nine Mandatory Capabilities
    • Eight Desirable Capabilities
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


  • Review the Organization’s Backup and Restore Policies
  • Compare Backup and Restore Policies to What Office 365 Can Do
  • Use Gartner’s 17 Capabilities to Evaluate Third-Party Solutions
  • Implement and Test a Third-Party Backup Solution
  • Revisit Backup and Restore Policies Periodically
  • Conclusion

The Details

  • Native Data Protection Methods for Office 365
    • Retention Policies
    • Exchange Online
    • SharePoint Online/OneDrive for Business
    • Microsoft Teams
    • Litigation Hold
  • Common Terms of Note

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