Across the globe, organizations of all shapes and sizes are faced with unprecedented challenges. The current situation has caused us all to react quickly and decisively…from mandating work-from-home policies and restricting non-essential employee travel…to canceling large events and postponing business initiatives.
Of course, the most important thing is that we stay healthy and protect the health of everyone around us. But beyond a greater focus on maintaining the well being of employees, families, and customers, these changes have cast a spotlight on how prepared companies are for crises.
Given our current climate, it’s more important than ever to review how the backup and recovery of your Salesforce data fits into your business continuity plan.
How Backup and Recovery Fits into Your Business Continuity Plan
To set the stage, let’s take a quick look at what we mean by business continuity and why having a plan should be part of normal business practice.
In short, enterprises need the ability to respond rapidly to disruptions caused by factors that are out of their control. By preparing business continuity plans in anticipation of risks like those we face today, companies can minimize the resulting impact on their operations.
This strategy is designed to answer one primary question: What steps can we take today so we are able to return to business as usual as quickly as possible when the inevitable occurs? To answer this question, the plan needs to take into account the organization’s technology, but also looks more broadly at other factors such as people, processes, and communications.
The unfortunate reality is there are many, many factors that can cause disruption without warning. Aside from the obvious example, we are experiencing right now, companies must plan for other unpredictable influences like adverse weather, natural disasters, system failures, and cybercrimes. The one thing each of these disruptors has in common is that we know they are going to happen—we just don’t know when. That’s why one of the most crucial components of a business continuity plan is data protection through backup and recovery.
Data Loss Happens More Often Than You’d Think
To lighten the topic a bit…the important thing to keep in mind is that the vast majority of data loss and data corruption issues aren’t tied to worldwide events. Simple mistakes happen each and every day. For example, a Salesforce admin could accidentally delete opportunities and be unaware until someone from the sales team sounds the alarm. While no company can completely prevent incidents like these, they can certainly anticipate they are going to occur and have a plan for how to recover.
Salesforce is the most secure and available platform in the industry. Yet data protection remains a shared responsibility as it does with all modern SaaS platforms. Customers are responsible for preventing user-inflicted data and metadata loss and corruption and for having a plan in place to recover if it happens. That’s why Salesforce recommends using a “partner backup solution that can be found on the AppExchange.”
Despite this recommendation from Salesforce, our 2020 State of Salesforce Data Protection survey found that 88% of companies are lacking a comprehensive backup and recovery solution, which may be especially risky with many companies increasing their remote workforce. Furthermore, 69% say their company may be at a significant risk of user-inflicted data loss.
What Causes Accidental Data Loss and Corruption?
- Over half the time, data incidents are caused by human errors. More often than not, this is the result of having too many people with administrator permissions, which can lead to data loss or corruption that may go unnoticed for days or weeks. A remote workforce could increase the risk of human errors.
- Integration errors cause 17% of data loss/corruption. This can happen when companies enrich their Salesforce platform by integrating internal systems and applications. The default configurations or changes made to configurations can result in unexpected behavior that overwrites or delete data.
- Migration errors cause 5% of data loss/corruption. Migrations are ideal for moving large volumes of data, consolidating data, and complex transformations, such as transitioning to Lightning. Some risk of incorrect data overwriting exists.
- Bad code also caused 3% of data loss/corruption. Developers and administrators working on applications, workflows, and system updates can detect data across many different objects in a company’s Salesforce environment. Poorly tested code and a lack of relevant test data can cause serious corruption to data and metadata when the code is released into production.
You’re Responsible for the Data Loss You Create
When data problems occur, there is a quantifiable impact that extends to employees like sales or service teams who are unable to perform their jobs until data is restored. This hit on productivity correlates to lost revenue, customers who cannot be served, and damaged reputations. Don’t forget the direct cost associated with trying to recover data, as well as the risk of not complying with internal policies and industry or government regulations.
The impact of the data loss or corruption only compounds the longer it takes to recover the data. No company is immune. Even companies that are using rudimentary backup processes like the Weekly Export are heavily exposed. That’s because the focus shouldn’t be on whether a company is backing its data…the only thing that matters is can the company restore all of its data, and can it do it quickly?
Interestingly, many companies don’t even realize they are at risk of experiencing these consequences. They assume that if they experience data problems, they can easily recover it from Salesforce. This is not the case.
For over 20 years, Salesforce has been building its platform to help companies manage and activate customer data. Today, they are the most secure, high availability solution on the market because of the infrastructure, network, and application services they provide.
On top of this, they provide a solution called Salesforce Shield. It includes a host of security tools that admins and developers can use for governance of Salesforce data.
But in the end, the data belongs to the customer. They are responsible for user-inflicted loss and corruption, and that means it is up to them to secure their own solutions for backup and recovery and data archiving.
Salesforce Is Retiring their Data Recovery Service
Salesforce recently announced that they will be retiring their last-resort data recovery service, effective July 31, 2020, because it has not met their high standards of customer success and trust. For customers who aren’t proactively backing up their data, Salesforce currently offers this last resort Data Recovery service. However, at a cost of over $10,000 and a 6-8 week recovery time, this service is not an adequate option for many customers.
The upcoming retirement of this last resort Data Recovery service is an excellent opportunity to remember that a proactive backup and recovery has always been a required and recommended best practice. Salesforce offers a number of native backup options to minimize your business risk of user-inflicted data loss.
Protect Your Data and Maintain Business Continuity with Comprehensive Backup and Recovery
By making the tough decision to retire their Data Recovery service, Salesforce has reiterated their commitment to customer success and trust. Now is the perfect time to reassess your current backup and recovery strategy. Were you completely relying on Salesforce’s Data Recovery service? Why not start backing up with their native Weekly Export service instead? Any backup strategy is better than doing nothing at all.
We’d also encourage you to explore Salesforce AppExchange partner solutions, such as OwnBackup. OwnBackup brings ROI to its over 2,000 customers every day by helping them protect their Salesforce data. OwnBackup customers are almost 3x more likely to notice a data loss or corruption and they feel 3x more prepared to recover.
Now is the perfect opportunity to take a step back and put a comprehensive backup and recovery plan in place to ensure that your Salesforce data has the same level of protection as your other critical systems.
OwnBackup has committed to helping our communities through difficult times. We understand that this is a challenging situation and there are lots of things you may be concerned about. At OwnBackup, we are doing everything possible to make sure your Salesforce data isn’t one of them.
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About the author
Matthew Hutchinson is VP Product Marketing at OwnBackup.
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