migrate your data to the G Suite

Reasons to migrate G Suite data

7 Mins read

When you migrate your data to the G Suite Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud, you may assume that you will never have the need to migrate your data again. Once your data is already in the cloud, are data migrations a thing of the past? For those that are new to cloud SaaS, the answer may surprise you. You may eventually have many reasons that come up to migrate your data. What are those?

In this post, we will take a closer look at the reasons why migrating on-premises data to the cloud is more critical than ever before. Also, why might your organization continually need the ability to migrate G Suite data that already exists in the cloud? Let’s take a look at scenarios that may come up that require migrating cloud data and see how you can solve this often a very challenging task.

Organizations are moving to Cloud SaaS

Google G Suite, now Google Workspace, is one of the most feature-rich cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) environments in the market.  It provides a wealth of services and data resources that allow organizations to move at a more rapid pace, unlimited scale, and flexibility that simply would not be achievable with on-premises resources.

Since the beginning of this year, organizations have been facing a global pandemic that has led to the need to rethink how business is carried out and how resources are accessed across the board.  This has led to many businesses looking to the cloud to be able to leverage readily available infrastructure, data storage, and services that can be provisioned instantly.

Suggested Reading: 64% of business in India to increase the budget on cloud due to COVID-19: IDC

This generally begins with a data migration from on-premises environments to cloud SaaS environments like G Suite. Data migration involves essentially copying data from one location to another location. In the case of migrating to the cloud, this means data is copied from on-premises storage and systems to cloud SaaS storage and services.  Organizations often choose to migrate on-premises email as well as on-premises file storage, first.

Cloud SaaS environments like G Suite often provide tools or connectors that allow synchronizing (copying) data from traditional on-premises environments to the G Suite equivalent for email and file storage (Gmail and Google Drive storage). What about when data is already in G Suite? Is there ever a need to migrate this data?

Migrate G Suite Data

Once data is migrated to G Suite from an on-premises environment, there may be situations that arise where data migration is desirable and even necessary. What situations may arise that would mean migrating data that is already in G Suite? What challenges may be involved? Let’s look at the following scenarios:

  • Employee offboarding
  • Migrating data between Google Organizations
  • Compliance

Employee Offboarding

One of the major use cases for data migration in G Suite comes into play with employee offboarding. When employees leave the company, their G Suite account may contain data that is business critical. Ideally, organizations should migrate the former employee’s data to the G Suite account of the new employee filling the role. This will mean that data needs to be migrated between accounts in the same G Suite organization.

However, employee offboarding in the cloud has proven to be a challenge for many organizations. Due to native tooling that may use complicated or cumbersome processes to migrate data out of an employee account, organizations will often simply leave stale employee accounts in the G Suite environment. These are left only for historical data access or fear there is data that may be needed in the future.

Over time, organizations may amass dozens of accounts of former employees who have left the company. These accounts still require a G Suite license. This means the spend for cloud licensing continues to increase as old accounts remain in the environment only for data access.

While there are a few native tools that can provide data migration capabilities, such as Google Data Migration Service and Google Takeout, these generally have limitations and lack enterprise features you would expect in a fully-featured data migration tool.  Using a third-party data migration tool can usually make the process of migrating data from one account to another much more manageable.

Migrating data between Google Organizations

While employee offboarding involves migrating data between accounts in the same G Suite domain, another type of G Suite data migration involves migrating data between Google organizations. This means you would like to migrate data between two different G Suite organizations. Why might this data migration need arise?

There may be a need to have data migrated between G Suite domain and another in today’s world of mergers and acquisitions. There may be business reasons for doing this, such as consolidating G Suite resources. This is a task that a capable third-party tool will be able to help with.


Today’s world of compliance regulations has certainly created new requirements and even limitations in regard to where data can be housed. When you think about how compliance regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have changed how organizations think about even simple concepts such as data locality. While cloud SaaS and IaaS literally allow data to be stored in a data center anywhere in the world, this may not be in line with GDPR or other compliance mandates.

Some organizations may have data that exists in a G Suite organization housed in a region that is not aligned with compliance regulations. In the case of GDPR, data may have been migrated from on-premises to the cloud before GDPR compliance was required. However, an organization may now be required to comply with GDPR or another compliance regulation.

New compliance regulations may require businesses to rethink where data is housed in their G Suite environment. This, in turn, may lead to a migration of data from one cloud region to another or between G Suite organizations, as mentioned previously.

Easy data migration tool for G Suite

Granted, native tools can allow some degree of data migration once your data is housed in G Suite. There are native tools like Google Data Migration Service and Google Takeout, which were mentioned earlier. However, these tools do not provide the seamless enterprise data migration experience that you would expect when working with your important business data.

As an example, the Google Data Migration Service:

  • Can transfer data of only one user at a time
  • Requires separate procedures for Gmail, Contacts, and Calendars migration
  • Need to allow apps to access your data, some of which might be risky
  • Need to enable the IMAP service for users
  • For 2-step Verification enabled accounts, you have to create an app-specific password
  • The migration process does not scale well if you need it often and with high volumes of data

Is there a better tool that allows easily migrating your G Suite data within the same account or between entire G Suite organizations?

Here I will discuss one such tool in detail.

SpinBackup allows your organization to migrate G Suite data using enterprise backup and migration features for a seamless and intuitive data migration experience. Using the SpinBackup, you get a true enterprise backup solution for your G Suite environment. Features included with SpinBackup are:

  • Data backup and data migration features
  • Migrate data between users or between G Suite organizations
  • Perform automated backups of G Suite
  • Data is encrypted both in-flight and at-rest
  • Backups are searchable to easily find your data
  • Guaranteed 100% accurate restores
  • Choose the cloud service provider and region for your G Suite backups

Let’s take a look at SpinBackup data migration.

Easily Migrate G Suite Data with SpinBackup

Having a Google apps backup solution allows easily migrating G Suite user data between users in the same organization or a new G Suite domain. Let’s first look at the quick process to migrate data between users in the same organization.

Choose the restore option

After selecting the items, you want to restore, choose the different user account that you want to restore the items to.

Migrating items to a different user account in G Suite

The migrated data is restored to the target user account and will appear as Restored by Spinbackup in the target user account.

After migrating user data to a different account in G Suite

What about migrating to a different domain altogether?  First, choose the Domain Migration option in the SpinBackup console.

Starting the domain migration process

Choose the destination domain

After the destination G Suite administrator accepts the domain migration request, you select the users to migrate.

Select the G Suite users to migrate

After the migration is complete

The destination account will have access to the data in the Migrated by Spinbackup folder.

Migrated data appearing in the destination account

Concluding Thoughts

Data migration is generally a process that is required for getting your data from on-premises up to cloud environments like G Suite. However, data migration is not a task that organizations think about once data is already in the cloud. Due to many different reasons, data may need to be migrated between G Suite accounts or between different domains, as explained above.

When offboarding employees from your organization, migrating data to another G Suite account allows maintaining a lean number of G Suite users, directly impacting the spend on licensing. Due to mergers or acquisitions and even due to compliance reasons, data may need to be shifted to a different location or domain to satisfy various business requirements.

While there are a few native tools that allow downloading and migrating data to a degree, these can either be complicated or cumbersome to use. Having a third-party app is a solution that provides the right tools for data migration needs. It allows smoothly moving data between user accounts in the same G Suite organization or a new G Suite domain.

About Author:
Evgeniy is a cybersecurity enthusiast. His passion is to share his knowledge of the industry with business owners that want to enhance their cybersecurity. His articles help people with understanding basic concepts of cybersecurity and cloud data backup.

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