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    Backup & Recovery Plan for your SaaS Applications?

    • This is the Digital Universe – Do you Know your Backup and Recovery Process?

      The benefits of SaaS applications and The Cloud, in general, are tremendous. The costs of IT usually decrease, scalability is no longer a concern, and you typically only pay for what you need (pay-per-use). However, as more data moves to the cloud (or is born in cloud), businesses increasingly realize that they should avoid entrusting their business-critical data solely to the SaaS vendors & will require tools/solutions to protect & manage this data. There will be individuals and businesses who will find ways to use this data responsibly and then, of course, there will be those who will attempt to get their hands on this data and use it maliciously.

      With this in mind, it has never been more important to protect your data and undertake a vigorous business continuity plan. Whether you are an individual or a small, medium or very large multinational enterprise it is important that your cloud-based data is protected.

      Ask yourself these questions:

      • If you experienced loss or corruption of business-critical Cloud-based data, would you be able to provide the high quality service that your customers have come to expect, would you be able to deliver that important project that is on deadline, or review your current finances?
      • If you rely primarily on your SaaS vendors’ built-in data export tools, like Salesforce’s Weekly Export, do you know how long it will take to restore your data and get your business back up and running? SaaS providers have disaster recovery plans for their disasters not for clients’ user inflicted data loss scenarios.
      • Are you likely to ever have an employee who becomes disgruntled and has access to the all company data?
      • Or what about plain old human error – an employee who just accidentally hits the delete key?

      These things happen all the time and, if it hasn’t, it is only a matter of time!

      By now, I think everyone understands that if a business loses its data they often lose their business. Or do we? It seems that many organizations, and individuals within an organization, don’t understand how their backup and recovery process works for their cloud-based data.

      Let’s look specifically at backing up your Salesforce data in particular. While Salesforce backs up and can restore your data it doesn’t retain deleted data for more than 90 days. Once the 90 days has passed that data is lost forever. Additionally, there can be long delays in recovering your data and it can be extremely expensive. Given that the 2013 Abderdeen Group Survey, attributed two-thirds of all data to user error, such as accidentally deleting or overwriting it is critical that your organization adopts a business continuity plan and can backup and restore your data whenever needed.

      So the first question is, now that you are more aware of the risks of losing Cloud-based data, how are you going to mitigate this risk? There are a lot of benefits to utilizing an automated cloud-to-cloud backup solution. Here are a few:

      • Multiple Backups – Other than your data being stored off-site, it is also copied to other servers in multiple locations therefore if a disaster happens in one area your data is still protected.
      • Lower cost of ownership – There is no need to invest in expensive hardware & IT resources to backup your cloud data to on your premises, for lots of space to house your hardware, and also for air conditioning to keep your hardware cool.
      • Encrypted Data – Cloud-to-cloud backup vendors encrypt the data when transferring from Salesforce’s Cloud to Amazon’s Cloud. The client data is also encrypted while being stored in the cloud giving you peace of mind that it is safe and secure.
      • Speed of recovery – Provides tools for comparing & restoring data which helps facilitate efficient recovery and business continuity.
      • Reduced administrative costs – Once a cloud based backup regime is selected the company just “sets it and forgets it”. It works seamlessly in the background enabling IT or administrative staff to concentrate on more strategic tasks.

      Even salesforce.com®, the biggest SaaS provider globally, recommends in its official help page that “it’s important to back up and be able to restore your own “salesforce.com data”. Salesforce also recommends using AppExchange backup solutions of which there are a few to choose from.