A user needs a license to use Google Workspace services.
When users are created, they automatically acquire a Cloud Identity-Free license and then become eligible to be assigned a Google Workspace license. If organizations prefer not to have all users in Google Workspace and would like to have only a few of them assigned Cloud Identity accounts, then that is possible as well.
For example, this situation may be applicable for short-term employees who are the recipients of Google Drive content, interns who read data but do not create content of their own, or for other employees who require access to applications that are hosted on GCP. Anyone who does not require Gmail access or authorization to create content can use Cloud Identity.
Google has clearly laid out the requirements for how users will be mapped to a service, as outlined here:
- If an organization has more than one Google Workspace subscription or a mix of Cloud Identity and Cloud Identity...