The Google G Suite platform has been widely adopted by organizations in a variety of industries. The reasonably priced offering featuring Gmail and Google Drive particularly became extremely popular with various non-profit, public sector, and educational institutions looking to stretch a limited IT budget. Unfortunately, this may not be the case moving forward.
In October of 2020, Google announced that they were launching Google Workspace, a more integrated version of the productivity tools previously a part of G Suite. G Suite clients will be required to move to the Workspace platform when their current contracts renew. From a functional point of view, that requirement is not problematic. From a financial perspective, however, the transition to a Workspace plan may have significant financial consequences. In a 2021 Gartner® report, it is estimated that, “Customers with more than 300 users will see a 400% increase in list price if migrating from G Suite Basic to Workspace Enterprise Plus.” 
Of course, the impact of these licensing changes will vary based upon which edition an organization subscribes to, but clearly, Google customers should be prepared for some increase.
Minimizing Your Google Workspace Investment
Google has outlined four editions for the Workspace offering:
- Business Starter, starting at $6/user/month
- Business Standard, starting at $12/user/month
- Business Plus, starting at $18/user/month
- Enterprise, organization-specific pricing
Each edition offers these core Google services:
However, depending upon the edition, the capabilities for each service vary. For example, the Business Starter edition provides 30GB of drive storage per user, whereas the Enterprise edition includes unlimited Drive storage. It’s important to map your requirements to each of the edition offerings. As part of that analysis, Gimmal may be able to help your organization minimize a substantial licensing increase. By leveraging the Google information governance capabilities available in Gimmal Discover, you may be able to standardize on a less expensive Workspace edition tier for core services (i.e., email or file storage) while gaining new features such as
- The ability to perform federated eDiscovery searches. This Gimmal Discover feature not only allows your legal team to search Gmail and Drive content, but it also supports a host of other sources, including network file shares or user workstations.
- Robust retention policy management. The Gimmal Discover Data Governance module provides customers with a flexible workflow architecture to articulate complex retention rules to manage information across any of the supported content sources.
- Classification capabilities allow records managers to associate a content item with a particular record category then comprehensively manage the content within that category.
Google Workspace in Higher Education
Some Gimmal clients, like Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, have been able to realize significant savings by implementing Gimmal Discover. Although Point Park is standardized on the Microsoft suite, as opposed to Google, their strategy of avoiding the migration to a higher (more costly) licensing tier by implementing Gimmal Discover has paid great dividends. Not only did they save a substantial amount in licensing fees, but they gained visibility to content areas, such as employee hard drives, that were not supported by their office suite.
To learn more about Point Park’s experience with Gimmal, please take a few minutes to read their case study.
Privacy and Compliance
Improving the management of Google-based information is only one facet of Gimmal Discover. Public sector clients are reporting an increase in pressure to comply with regulatory and privacy mandates. For example, reporting requirements dictated by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act have become a prerequisite for universities to continue receiving federal funding. In addition, the rise of privacy initiatives has escalated the need to search for documents, files, or emails that might be specific to an individual as part of a data subject access request or freedom of information filing. Many Gimmal public sector clients have been able to fulfill these types of requests using Gimmal Discover’s eDiscovery searching capabilities to locate PII (personally identifiable information).
If you are currently a Google G Suite customer evaluating ways to migrate to Workspace economically, Gimmal may be able to help. Contact one of our team members to learn how Gimmal’s products can help your organization reduce risk and improve your information management process with a personalized demonstration.
 Gartner, “Quick Answer: How the New Google Workspace Licensing Updates Can Significantly Raise Costs for Enterprises”, Christopher Dixon, Marie Sienkowski, Joe Mariano, 9 July 2021. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission