5 important tasks for G Suite administrators

Review your organization's G Suite settings to ensure they reflect company user, device, and app needs.

Screenshot of G Suite Admin console, with red circles around Users, Devices, and Apps.

Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

G Suite administrators handle all sorts of routine tasks, including: Add accounts and allow new devices to connect when people join an organization, authorize apps for additional solutions, and make adjustments when people leave, devices rotate out of use, or the need for apps ceases.

Sometimes an account, device, or connected app remains active longer than it should. If a G Suite administrator is out of the office or busy with other urgent tasks, these routine changes may be deferred or overlooked; the potential for delay increases when the G Suite administration is a part-time task, not a full-time job.

A prudent administrator periodically reviews G Suite Admin console settings and should schedule this review when other work demands are light, such as during a break or holiday season. For example, you could consider the following tasks an essential part of your start-of-the-year routine. A detailed review can take a significant amount of time, especially if your organization comprises a large number of people, devices, or apps.

You'll need a G Suite administrator account with the ability to access your organization's G Suite Admin console, and you should ensure you have organizational approval for any changes you make.

SEE: G Suite: Tips and tricks for business professionals (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

1. How to review the list of user accounts 

Review the list of user accounts to ensure that active accounts correspond to the set of people who should have them. To do this in the G Suite Admin console, select Users, and review the list of accounts. To suspend and/or delete any accounts not needed, place your cursor in the row of the account you wish to adjust, select More, then Suspend. Do not select Delete if you may need to preserve any data from that account.

In a larger organization with hundreds or thousands of accounts, you might export the account list to a spreadsheet, which makes it easier to compare with an active list of employees obtained elsewhere (e.g., human resources or accounting/payroll). To export the list, select Download Users (above the account list). You can export Currently Selected Columns or All User Info Columns to either a Google Sheet or comma-separated value file (Figure A).

SEE: 3 sets of G Suite security and privacy settings every admin should review (TechRepublic)

Figure A

Screenshot of G Suite Admin console User > Download user selection, with Google Sheet export option displayed.

For multiple user accounts, select Download Users, and export the list to a Google Sheet or a comma-separated value file.

2. How to review G Suite devices

A review of G Suite devices allows you to remove any that don't need access to organizational data. From the Admin console, select Devices, then Mobile Devices to view a list of Android and Apple devices and associated user accounts. You can sort the list by Last Sync to easily identify older devices no longer in use (Figure B). 

Once you identify devices to remove, you can take action to protect organizational data, as appropriate. Based on the device and type of mobile management options your organization uses, the options may allow you to erase organizational data from a device, or block or entirely erase a device.

Figure B

Screenshot of device listing, with device name, associated email account, and device details, along with last sync column sort (shows last sync dates ranging from 977 days ago to 426 days ago).

In the G Suite Admin console, review Devices to see if there are any that need to be removed.

3. How to review G Suite apps 

Review G Suite apps, Additional Google Services, Marketplace Apps, and any apps linked via SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) to identify any that are no longer needed. Choose Apps from the Admin home screen, then explore each app group (Figure C). Click the vertical three-dot menu to the right of a listed app to select an option, such as Turn Off For Everyone or to remove organizational access.

Figure C

Screenshot of G Suite Admin console > App screen, showing G Suite apps, additional Google apps, Marketplace apps, and SAML connected apps.

Select and review all G Suite apps to ensure they are needed in your organization.

4. How to review settings for each G Suite app

Review settings for each app to ensure the configuration meets your organization's needs. New app features sometimes offer new app settings, so adjust them for each of the app groups: G Suite, Additional Google Services, Marketplace Apps, and SAML Apps. Pay careful attention to those settings that affect sharing, such as those for Google Drive data, Calendar sharing, or Gmail delegation.

SEE: How admins can manage mobile devices with G Suite (TechRepublic)

5. How to address Google's announced changes 

Sometimes, Google makes changes that may require action from G Suite administrators, account holders, or both. For example, in August 2019, Google announced a timeline for the transition from classic Hangouts to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, with the transition starting in mid-2020. Similarly, a support page for Cloud Print indicates it won't be supported at the end of 2020. If you rely on either of these services, review the announced changes and plan accordingly.

Tell us about your G Suite admin practices

If you use G Suite, how many times a year do you review your organization's users, devices, apps, and app settings? What time of year works best for this review, and what adjustments or updates do you typically make? Let me know, either in the comments below or on Twitter (@awolber).

Also see