In the face of a global health crisis, the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries are accelerating the adoption of digital engagement channels faster than ever. While the pandemic has expedited this trend, the shift to digital began well before the crisis and will continue far beyond its impact.
This digital transformation is the main reason why cloud platforms like Salesforce and Veeva are critical to the pharma and life science industries’ future. By creating a 360-degree view of the customer and tracking every interaction, these solutions are revolutionizing how pharma and life sciences companies engage with and deliver content to healthcare professionals.
While this shift to digital channels is vital, it’s equally important to mitigate risk during a transformation. When innovating on a SaaS application like Veeva, there's always a chance of user-inflicted loss and corruption, which can be caused by human error, migration errors, buggy code, and malicious intent.
Let's take a look at some other reasons why life sciences companies using Veeva should have a cloud data protection solution, and what that solution should include.
Data volume is growing exponentially. As cloud apps and platforms are adopted, data volume and velocity are growing faster than ever. According to the IDC Data Age 2025 report, healthcare data will experience an annual growth rate of 36 percent through 2025, the most substantial increase of all of the industries analyzed in the report. While all of this data helps deliver insights to improve the patient experience, it also presents more opportunities for loss or corruption.
You are responsible for the data loss you create. You might assume that your Veeva data is protected because it’s in the cloud. The truth is, though, most SaaS apps like Salesforce and Veeva require shared responsibility for keeping data safe. These platforms provide reliability and security controls, but customers are ultimately responsible for the errors and corruption they create during migrations or integrations.
Before migrating to Salesforce’s new Enterprise Territory Management (TM2.0), for example, Veeva CRM customers should consider having a backup and recovery solution in place. Although migrations are ideal for moving large volumes of data, consolidating data, and complex transformations, these events always pose a risk of incorrect data overwriting.
Compliance requirements continue to evolve. Government regulations increasingly target how companies manage customer, employee, and sensitive health and financial data. Pharma and life sciences companies in particular, including those using Veeva, must maintain compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, and other related regulations. Complying with GDPR’s mandate of “the right to be forgotten,” or the right to erasure has challenged many US pharma companies. The regulation strengthens individual rights, and organizations must honor all patient requests to erase their data.
Salesforce’s Data Recovery Service is no longer available. On July 31, 2020, Salesforce retired its last-resort data recovery service because it did not meet its high customer success standards and trust. While this service was expensive and slow to recover lost data, it’s still one less option that Salesforce and Veeva customers have when a data loss or corruption occurs.
As you can see from the points listed above, pharma and life sciences companies have unique challenges when it comes to SaaS data protection. When evaluating a backup and recovery solution for your Veeva data, make sure that you:
1. Define your recovery point objective (RPO) to determine how much data you are willing to lose. If you’re not backing up your data at least daily, or better yet, leveraging high-frequency backups, you have no way to recover any data that has changed since your last backup. In many cases, this could be weeks or months of data that is gone forever.
2. Identify your recovery time objective (RTO) to determine how long you can afford to be without your data. With a cloud data protection platform, time to recovery can be minutes vs. days or weeks with out-of-the-box solutions. Many organizations have shared stories about it taking over a month to recover their data with out-of-the-box solutions.
3. Can recover your data from every point in time, whether that’s yesterday or six months ago, in a way that allows you to put it back together exactly like it was before the problem occurred. When a user discovers a Veeva data loss or corruption, administrators are not always sure where or how the data was lost. To recover the exact data needed, you should have the ability to compare data to historical data quickly.
4. Meet (or exceed) security standards. Due to the sensitive nature of the data they collect, pharmaceutical and life sciences enterprises bear a higher data protection liability than many other industries. You should choose a backup and recovery solution that has passed security reviews and has built-in platform security features that meet enterprise needs. Some of these controls include:
Role-based Access Controls (RBAC) for control over who has access to backups
IP whitelisting for controlling domain access
Two-factor authentication for ensuring only authorized users have access
Single-sign-on for a reduced number of threat surfaces
5. Can count on your data backup and recovery solution when you need it most. You deserve automated and dynamic backups, proactive monitoring, and world-class support to ensure backup and recovery are as stress-free as possible. You don’t want to have to configure your backup to specific fields and objects.
6. Have access to your data if Veeva or Salesforce is temporarily unavailable. A backup and recovery solution is key to keeping patient data available when systems fail. But just as important is that this information be accessible through a user-friendly, controlled user interface outside of Salesforce. This way, should the Salesforce platform have an outage, your critical Veeva data will still be accessible.
With OwnBackup, you can protect your Veeva data and metadata with comprehensive, automated backups and rapid, stress-free recovery. OwnBackup proactively prevents you from losing access to mission-critical Veeva data, so you never have to worry about data loss disrupting your business—or your life.