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The Ultimate Guide to Managed Backup for Microsoft 365

If you’re setting up a Teams call, saving and sharing your files in Sharepoint and sending emails in Outlook, you’re one of the millions using Microsoft 365 cloud productivity tools every day. 

You’ll also know that if you overwrite or accidentally delete a file, you can just recover it by reviewing the Version History or poring through the Recycle Bin. 

However, if you’ve suffered a more serious case of data loss – or if you fear one – how confident are you in Microsoft 365’s ability to recover all of your data? 

If you’re not confident – or if you don’t even know the answer – you need to change that swiftly. 

We’ll explain how Microsoft 365 handles your data – and why you will certainly want to think of a more secure and seamless backup solution for your business. 

Why should my business store data in the cloud? 

To make sure that we start on the same page, cloud storage is simply when data – anything from project files to customer details – are stored in a ‘cloud’ environment. Essentially, a server that isn’t on your site. 

Microsoft 365, including its suite of Office software, SharePoint, Teams and Exchange (for emails), are all ‘cloud’ productivity tools. 

The main benefit of using cloud environments is that your saved data is easily accessible from any device, wherever you are, at a moment’s notice. 

How do I implement Microsoft 365 cloud storage? 

Microsoft 365 cloud storage is simple and intuitive to use – and the fact that tools such as OneDrive and SharePoint integrate Office 365 software so seamlessly is perhaps why it is so popular. Saving data in the cloud is as simple as saving data in your organisation’s SharePoint folders, or activating OneDrive. 

Separately, if you want to save email data from Outlook and Exchange, you can set ‘auto-archiving’ features, and Microsoft Teams lets you export data that you wish to store in SharePoint or OneDrive. 

However, notice that we’ve said ‘store’ and ‘save’ when talking about the Microsoft 365 cloud, but not ‘backup’.  


What’s the difference between retention, availability and backup? 

Microsoft 365 suite (and your data) is stored on a cloud – but this isn’t a ‘backup’. 

In practical terms, data will stay saved in the cloud, but if you (or someone else) actively delete that data from a folder in the cloud, a countdown starts. 

In the case of SharePoint data, this is 93 days, and files deleted from the OneDrive recycle bin disappear after 30 days. 

After that time, it’s gone for good. 

The key takeaway is that Microsoft 365 simply retains your data and makes it available when you need it – but it can’t recover it if it’s deleted. 

What are the risks of not backing up Microsoft 365 data? 

The main risk of not backing up your data is that if you, a malicious, or careless person delete data, neither you nor Microsoft can recover it. Microsoft makes clear that backup isn’t their responsibility, as part of their ‘shared responsibility model’. 

So, should disaster strike, and all your data vanish, your business would grind to a halt. If you depend on Microsoft 365 services to work, it’s an existential business continuity risk. 

Aside from that potential threat, however, there are a few more operational concerns that come from not having a backup solution: 

  1. You are vulnerable to cyber-attacks: If cyber-criminals gain access to your data on OneDrive or Sharepoint, they can threaten to delete it (demanding a ransom). 
  2. You are likely running a compliance risk from not storing sensitive data or PII (personally identifiable information) securely, unless if access to these files is very restrictive. 
  3. You will even struggle to recover data from ‘everyday’ data loss incidents (e.g. from corrupted or accidentally deleted data). 

Fundamentally, the underlying problem is that you are limited in your access and control of your own data. 

How can I back up my Microsoft 365 data? 

Solutions that back up Microsoft 365 cloud data are known as ‘managed backup’ services. Services like these should do three key things: 

Backup services provide vital peace of mind in case your Microsoft 365 data is deleted for any reason: however, some managed backup services are more comprehensive than others. 

Datto️-powered managed backup services safeguard Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams data, but they also allow you to: 

Managed backup services like Datto depend on a secure, immediately-accessible server environment to store them, which Arc Systems provides in its data centre, all for just a few pounds per month per user. 


Want to see where your trouble spots are? Take our Microsoft 365 Security Assessment to see what you need to do to make your MS365 suite more productive, protected and powerful. 

It’s not just disasters you can protect yourself against, but also more common data loss incidents that hinder your productivity every day. 

With Arc Systems’ Datto-powered managed backup services, you don’t need to add data backup to your list of responsibilities – you can simply focus on your growth priorities with the knowledge that your data is in safe hands. 

Do you think you could work smarter, or are you worried about your cyber security? Take our quick assessment to see where your Microsoft 365 weak spots are – and how to fix them.


You can reach our friendly experts at 01268 288100 or email us at [email protected]