Is the G Suite Enterprise Plan Right for You?

If you’re a fan of G Suite for personal use, it makes sense for professional use, too. G Suite’s current feature set compares very favorably with Microsoft Office⁠—even surpassing it in some areas.

G Suite Enterprise is the most comprehensive, and most expensive, option available. It generally appeals to large businesses that need maximum collaboration and data protection.

But do you need it? Could you save money with another version from the G Suite family?

Here’s everything you need to consider.

What does G Suite Enterprise include?

G Suite Enterprise has a multitude of features, allowing you to do everything from writing a secure email or creating a simple word processing document to creating a website or managing security for the organization’s data and communications.

Basic apps

With G Suite Enterprise, you get all the apps you’ve been using with G Suite Business or Basic, along with the apps that come with the free version of Google Docs. These include:

  • Gmail for email
  • Calendar for sharing
  • Drive for cloud storage
  • Docs for word processing
  • Sheets for spreadsheets
  • Slides for presentations
  • Sites for building websites
  • Forms for creating surveys
  • Keep for taking notes

Enterprise-wide collaboration

Users can also choose from a few different means of collaborating with each other, including:

  • Hangouts Chat for secure messaging
  • Hangouts Meet for video or voice calls (up to 250 participants per call)
  • Recording and archiving of video or voice calls for later playback

Custom solutions

Here’s where G Suite Enterprise sets itself apart with few customization features:

  • Currents (in beta) for sharing information across the enterprise
  • Apps Script for building your own code on top of G Suite
  • Cloud Search for searching inside and outside of G Suite

Security solutions

One of the biggest advantages of G Suite Enterprise over the Business and Basic versions is its enhanced security options, including:

  • Email scanning for sensitive information
  • Attachment scanning for dangerous or sensitive attachments
  • A security center, which gives admins access to security analytics
  • S/MIME encryption to enhance security for all email messages

Administrative controls

In terms of managing how users access various parts of G Suite Enterprise, you can:

  • Set archival and retention policies for email and chat messages
  • See real-time information on how users are accessing data
  • Use Vault to archive and search data
  • Analyze Gmail messages as they go through the delivery process
  • Set rules for managing mobile devices
  • Use automated user provisioning for various users in the organization

G Suite Enterprise cost

Pricing varies for different levels of G Suite. For Enterprise, it’s $25 per month per user, as compared to G Suite Business at $12 and G Suite Basic at $6.

If in doubt about which version you need, you can always try Enterprise free for 14 days.

Who qualifies as a user?

Google defines a user as any person in the organization who has his or her own email address through Gmail. If you’re using aliases with your domain name to create email addresses for certain departments in the organization, those aliases don’t count as separate users.

G Suite Enterprise vs other G Suite plans

G Suite Enterprise builds on the features you’ll find in the most basic plan (G Suite Basic) and the mid-range plan (G Suite Business).

G Suite Business includes all the features of G Suite Basic plus some extra and enhanced features. G Suite Enterprise is another step up.

G Suite Enterprise vs G Suite Business

It’s worth noting the features these two plans share:

  • Unlimited cloud storage (as long as the organization has at least five users)
  • Access to G Suite across any device
  • Management of mobile device access
  • Microsoft Office document compatibility
  • Document archiving in Vault
  • eDiscovery of documents in Vault
  • No advertisements
  • Alias creation in Gmail
  • Access to business apps in the G Suite Marketplace
  • Email and chat message retention

Here are the features you’ll find in Enterprise but not in Business:

  • Email and attachment scanning
  • S/MIME encryption for Gmail
  • Up to 250 participants per Hangout (versus up to 150 participants in Business)
  • Record and save voice and video calls
  • Live streaming options
  • Set rules for managing use of certain devices on the network

G Suite Enterprise vs G Suite Basic

The basic G Suite apps operate nearly identically in Enterprise and Basic. But Enterprise clearly outperforms Basic in terms of administrative controls and data protection measures. The enhanced/extra features include:

  • Unlimited cloud storage (versus a 30 GB limit per user in Basic)
  • Cloud search across all G Suite services
  • Gmail message retention and archiving
  • Hangout retention and archiving
  • Up to 250 participants per Hangout (versus up to 100 participants in Basic)
  • Email and attachment scanning
  • Access to the security center

How do I know if I need G Suite Enterprise?

G Suite Enterprise is made for large organizations with anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred employees. Managing so many people’s communication and document sharing can be a challenge, but Enterprise is up to the task.

Even if all your employees need access to different parts of G Suite or different teams work with it at different levels, Enterprise allows your admins to adjust your settings accordingly.

Enterprise also has significantly more security features than the other versions of G Suite.

How do I know if I should skip G Suite Enterprise?

Some organizations simply don’t have the need or budget for G Suite Enterprise. Here are some tips to help you decide whether another version of G Suite might meet your needs.

  • Storage: If you’re tempted by the unlimited cloud storage, remember that G Suite Business provides that too.
  • Archiving: While G Suite Enterprise will archive your emails and chat sessions, so will the Business version.
  • Members: When you only have a dozen or so employees, Enterprise is probably going to be overkill. This version really works best when you have a few dozen to a few hundred users (unless you’re a smaller business with security requirements that fit in well with Enterprise).
  • Control: If you only want to use G Suite’s primary features as they are, you probably don’t need Enterprise. It’s for companies that want to tweak the product to particular needs through extensive administrative controls.
  • Special organizations: If you’re an education or nonprofit enterprise, for example, you may be able to get G Suite free.

Not sure whether you’ll use all of Enterprise’s features? You can always start out with a cheaper version of G Suite and upgrade to Enterprise in the future.


If you still think of G Suite as only slightly more robust than the free apps you get with a Google account, think again. G Suite is a powerful set of tools aimed at business users.

With G Suite, you can collaborate with other members of your organization, sharing documents and calendars, to work more efficiently. You also get advanced admin and security controls.

And the bigger or more distributed your teams, the more important those become. For larger organizations, G Suite Enterprise is the clear winner.

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Bryan Wise
Bryan Wise,
Former VP of IT at GitLab

Incredible companies use Nira