To Backup Or Not To Backup, Is That Really The Question?

Some companies hesitate to use Cloud-based enterprise applications, such as CRM, because they are worried about vital corporate data, such as contact information, sales leads and sales orders, being kept outside of enterprise premise in the servers of the cloud application vendor.

Undoubtedly Salesforce.com is great for your business. It lets you ‘consume’ powerful sales and marketing capabilities – but without having to purchase or maintain the software that does it. However, you don’t physically hold your Salesforce.com data – it sits out there in the Cloud, on the Web.

If you are also using any ‘user-defined’ objects or using any other aspects of force.com platform, the issue is even more prominent. Yes, the whole Cloud premise is designed to liberate an organisation from the day-to-day running of IT and to allow enterprises to consume it “as-a-service”, but can we really completely rely on a 3rd party when it comes to backing up our data?

The answer is not a simple yes or no, to start with, many organisation are obliged to own backup-restore capabilities and to demonstrate this working as part of corporate governance (such as BASEL II or SOX), some companies feel that their real asset is the data they manage and from corporate risk management policies they must maintain a copy for themselves, and some people feel okay to rely on Salesforce.com backup and restore services, after all this is what consuming IT in the cloud is all about.

It really boils down to the question; can you afford not to back-up your Salesforce.com data? Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with Salesforce.com back-up and restore services, it works, but it could cost you lot of money.

Rest assured, if a “disaster” happens, you are covered by your subscription contract with Salesforce.com, and Salesforce.com will restore all your data into a new instance. If something went wrong during a Salesforce.com upgrade you are also covered. But what would happen if your data is damaged due to your user’s actions, boy-o-boy you’d feel it in the pocket!

Wouldn’t it be great if for more or less the same cost of “one restore service” you could own your back-up and restore tool? Wouldn’t it be great if you could be in control of what you backup and restore, when you do those back up and restores while safe in the knowledge that you can have a copy of all your data secured on your premises?

Obviously this would mean that you need to operate a bit “out-side” the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) premise and actually own a piece of hardware on-premise that will operate as “data vault”, but don’t you think it’s worth it? Isn’t always important to have a “Plan B”?

David Akka is Managing Director at Magic Software Enterprises UK. David is a successful executive manager with a proven track record as a general manager with a strong background in sales, marketing, business development and operations. Past experience in technology and service delivery include both UK and European responsibilities.