Data Archiving

The Last Leg of the Data Lifecycle Marathon: Why You Need a Salesforce Data Archiving Strategy

Matthew Hutchison
VP Product Marketing
March 16, 2020

This post is based on the webinar, “Show Salesforce Users Some Love: Build a Long-term, Secure Relationship with Data Archiving” from February 19. To view a recording of the webinar, including a demo of OwnBackup Archive, click here.

Do you know how much data you’ve generated today?

It’s probably not a question you get asked every day. But each time you type something into a search engine, swipe left on a dating app, “like” something on social media, take a photo on your phone, ask a virtual assistant a question, or request a ride, you’re generating data. Now multiply that by a few billion people. 

That’s why by the end of the year, experts predict there will be 40X more bytes of data than there are stars in the observable universe. That is a staggering amount of data.

One contributor to that ever-growing number is Salesforce. Over 150,000 organizations rely on the Salesforce platform to manage their customer data at an unprecedented scale. In fact, three million sales opportunities and 3.2 million leads are created in Sales Cloud every day, along with 9.7 million cases logged in Service Cloud.

The abundance of information stored in Salesforce magnifies the importance of having an end-to-end Data Lifecycle Management strategy. Your strategy should include how your Salesforce data is gathered, stored, accessed, shared, backed up, and archived. In this post, we’ll specifically focus on the importance of the archiving portion of this strategy. Companies that don’t have a strategy for data archiving are unnecessarily exposed to higher costs, reduced employee productivity, slower system performance, and non-compliance risk.

Water break: What exactly is data archiving anyway?

If you’re thinking, “I already back up my data, I don’t need to archive it too,” you’re not alone. A lot of people think backing up and archiving are the same. But they’re actually two distinct, important steps in the life of your data. If you’re curious about the difference between backing up and archiving, we’ve broken everything down here. At a high level, the main purpose of backup and recovery is data protection, while archiving is meant to help your business meet applicable regulatory requirements, reduce storage costs, and increase employee productivity. 

Remember, an archive does not replace the need for a backup, and vice versa. To better understand when an archiving solution could be needed, listen to four real anonymous user stories here.

3 reasons your company needs a Salesforce data archiving strategy to win the data lifecycle marathon

1. Data Storage Costs

If you’re a runner, you know the anxiety that comes from having not trained before a race. You may be ok for a few miles, but it’s only a matter of time before you’re out of energy. This is how many Salesforce admins feel when it comes to managing the size of their organization’s data—it’s just a matter of time before they run out of space.

Salesforce has two types of storage—data storage and file storage. File storage includes attachments, items a user has uploaded into the Documents tab, and Salesforce CRM Content. Contact Manager, Group, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited Editions are allocated 10 GB of file storage per org. All other data, including activities, counts towards your data storage limit at either 1 GB or on a per user limit (20 MB per user). 

However, once these limits are reached, Salesforce reserves the right to prevent any new data from being added until you reduce your current data storage or purchase more storage. 

Without an archiving strategy, an organization’s only options in this scenario would be to permanently delete data, purchase additional storage space, and/or add Salesforce licenses. None of which would be an easy conversation to have with a manager!

2. System Performance & User Productivity

Returning to the running analogy, it’s widely understood that overtraining and not managing your body can actually cause you to break down and underperform on race day.

Similarly, the more data within Salesforce, the more performance issues that tend to arise. Performance issues can include long wait times for fields to populate and pages to refresh, as well as a slow down for certain operations like search, reporting, dashboard rendering, calculations, and other critical tasks. Each of these directly impacts user adoption and productivity, and can adversely affect customer satisfaction due to longer response wait times. 

The problem is, Salesforce admins are typically hesitant to delete data for fear that it might be needed in the future. The truth though, is that roughly 20% of sales and service records in CRM systems contain outdated or dead data that nobody has taken the time to remove.

To help mitigate these issues, organizations need a strategy to relocate data that may need to be kept, but is no longer relevant to day-to-day operations, from production and into an archive.

3. Data Regulations and Retention Policies

Now, let’s say you are comfortable deleting old data. Or your manager approves the cost of additional storage or licenses. And maybe you’ve gotten used to the slower wait times (we promise you, your customers haven’t). It’s still critical to have an archiving solution in place. Here’s why:

More than ever, compliance teams are challenged to keep up with an ever-growing list of geographic, industry, and internal regulations and policies. This often involves how they manage data that is no longer actively used by the organization, but must be retained and/or deleted within specified periods of time. 

For example, while GDPR and CCPA are pushing companies to keep data for as little time as necessary, industry regulations such as SEC 17a-4, HIPAA, and CFR Part 11 require that data be retained and accessible for extended periods of time. This fluid environment requires the ability to quickly and easily implement customized data retention policies while storing any relocated data within secure, immutable archives.

Not sure where to start? Here are the seven things to consider when creating a data retention policy:

Winning the data marathon: How to address compliance concerns, reduce storage costs, and optimize productivity with OwnBackup Archive 

Does your organization have a high volume of customer interactions and transactions? Do you run applications or integrations that generate a lot of data? Or do you have a large amount of files, tasks, and email messages? 

If so, you might want to consider implementing an automated data archiving solution, like OwnBackup Archive. With Archive, organizations can effortlessly define, automate, and manage custom data retention policies that include specific data to be archived, how frequently data archiving activities occur, and how long archived data is retained.

To learn more about Archive and see it in action, request a demo below.

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