Backup for SaaS data is unnecessary, until it isn’t

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

A common question our sales team gets goes something like this: “Why do we need extra backup, we’re buying a service from [Google Apps, Salesforce, Office 365], shouldn’t they make sure our data isn’t lost?” It’s a good and valid question that we at Cloudfinder keep coming back to. There are numerous studies, like this one showing that unrecoverable data loss happens frequently in SaaS applications, but the most important evidence of all is the frequency with which Cloudfinder is used by our customers to restore lost data. In 2012, when we were still hacking away at what was going to reach the market as Cloudfinder for Google Apps, we honestly thought we were going to be very similar to a fire insurance policy – vital to have but rarely used. We were wrong. It literally only took days from when we started working with real customers in 2013, for us to realize we were going to be a frequently used tool for our customers. Restoring user accounts, a deleted email, lost documents, etc, etc, etc. So, thanks to customer feedback, we no longer have to theorize or rely on external studies. We know data loss in SaaS is common, and can be very costly if not corrected through swift backup restore operations. Coming back to the title of this post, that backup for SaaS data is unnecessary, until it isn’t: It’s painful to see a company we’ve interacted with, where we were ┬ánot able to convince them in time to start using Cloudfinder, lose data. Once data loss in a SaaS app has happened, it’s of course too late to help rectify the situation. Even if we then sign this company as a customer, to prevent future data loss, it would clearly have been better for them if we had managed to convince them sooner. I hope we will become much better at educating and explain risks to users in the future, because we’d rather be proven right by a successful backup restore in Cloudfinder, than by learning how someone thought backup for SaaS data is unnecessary, and learnt the hard way that it isn’t.

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