SaaS Data Management Challenges to Watch Out for in 2018

Julia Salem
Senior Content Marketing Manager
March 5, 2018

SaaS platforms, such as Salesforce, ServiceNow, Veeva, and nCino, have made operations so much easier, more powerful, more efficient for many. Even so, they may pose a few data management challenges for global corporations in 2018. Challenges could include the increased need for data backup and recovery for stronger data protection, the growing number of global data regulations, and further pressure to reduce data management-related costs. Read on to learn why these three challenges should not be left on the back burner of your data management strategy.

Necessity of SaaS data backup and recovery will increase

Backup and recovery has become a foremost concern for organizations looking to protect their SaaS data. Incidents of known data loss and corruption have risen seven percentage points from 2016 to 2017, according to OwnBackup’s 2017 Dreamforce survey of over 1,000 respondents. Unknown data loss is more difficult to account for, yet 21 percent of survey respondents did not know if they lost data last year.

Even though SaaS platforms do keep backups, they’re not intended to help individual companies recover records that were accidentally deleted by you or metadata that was corrupted by bad code. Rather, these backups are designed to help SaaS providers stay up and running in the case of a rare outage. SaaS backup for the data loss and corruption you cause is your responsibility. In fact, Salesforce recommends working with a “partner backup solution that can be found on the AppExchange.”

Countless companies are realizing the need for a better data protection solution by experiencing actual data losses. When the IT team at Multnomah County, Oregon deleted historical data from their Salesforce platform as part of a clean-up, it took them 80 hours over five weeks to restore, after they realized they still needed it, with the Weekly Export (a CSV file-based backup solution provided out-of-the box by Salesforce).

To restore this data, Multnomah used OwnBackup’s “7 Steps to Restoring Lost Data Using Salesforce Weekly Export” eBook, which guided them through the process of first understanding their Salesforce data schema, understanding the database dependencies of the data within the schema, and documenting the order of operations for data recovery. After this difficult effort, Multnomah’s IT team never wanted to experience this manual recovery scenario again, so they sought out an easier backup and recovery solution.

Read the full case study:
Multnomah County, Oregon Saves the Day with the Help of OwnBackup

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Number of data regulations will continue to expand

With the GDPR enforcement date (May 25, 2018) fast approaching, regulations impacting global companies are making headlines more than ever before. In addition, fines for not complying with industry-specific data regulations, such as HIPAA and WORM, continue to hit organizations’ bottom lines. 

GDPR is an important right for EU individuals, as well as an opportunity for organizations to deepen their commitment to data privacy and protection of all personal data. This regulation impacts all companies that capture and store personal data of European Data Subjects. If you are using a third-party data management solution, you will need to ensure they have sufficient guarantees and technical measures in place to protect the rights of Data Subjects, the customers from which you collect data, and to keep your SaaS data and backups compliant

HIPAA protects US patient data stored by companies in the healthcare industry. This regulation applies to any companies operating in the US, even if located outside the country. To keep your data management strategy compliant with HIPAA, you must store exact copies of patient health information using a strategy in which the data can be backed up and fully restored in the event of a data loss. HIPAA essentially makes an effective backup and recovery solution mandatory for any healthcare organizations operating in the US. If you use a third-party platform to manage or backup your data, a Business Associate Agreement must be signed to stay compliant.

WORM (Write Once Read Many) protects investors in the US. This regulation is enforced by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and impacts how data is backed up and archived in the financial services industry. To remain compliant with WORM, finance organizations must not only have a data backup and archiving system, but that system must be able to store files in a format that cannot be altered before the set retention date.

CIOs will look to further reduce SaaS data management costs

Big data has fueled automation and artificial intelligence processes across industries by providing the extensive amounts of data that helps these tools learn how to process future input. Companies need to store all of this data, but SaaS data storage and management can be expensive. In order to feed this fire, while managing IT budgets, CIOs are seeking ways to reduce the costs.

IT teams are reducing storage costs by simply deleting old data. This cost-saving method is not recommended because it could bite back if users later decide they need data that was deleted. Another strategy is to archive the data outside of your SaaS platform before deleting it. While archiving before deleting is a good practice, those archives are useless without an effective way to bring the data back.

IT teams are reducing data management costs by selecting self-service data management and protection solutions, rather than those that require consultants or third-party implementation. In addition to avoiding setup fees, self-service products do not charge consulting fees when your data needs to be restored or managed.

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