5 Reasons Why You Still Need to Backup Your SaaS Data

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In this special guest feature, Madhan Kanagavel, CEO of FileCloud, discusses the question: should a discerning company with its eye vigilantly on the bottom line employ backup when it’s already invested in the safety net of SaaS? The short answer, and one every CEO needs to hear, is a resounding yes. CodeLathe Technologies is a privately-held software company headquartered in Austin, Texas. Over the last 15 years, Madhan has worked on diverse systems and technology, including building highly scalable MMORPG game server technology, high-speed real-time video acquisition systems, digital video engagement solutions, and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). He is an open source enthusiast, and holds a Master’s of Science in Engineering from Boston University.

SaaS has long drifted on the attractive notion that enterprises are golden once its services have been employed. This premise of security makes sense as SaaS — or the cloud phenomenon — is billed as a 360° almost omniscient solution. So, should a discerning company with its eye vigilantly on the bottom line employ backup when it’s already invested in the safety net of SaaS? The short answer, and one every CEO needs to hear, is a resounding yes.

Data loss happens every day, and the results can be disastrous. SaaS is a step in the right direction, for sure. But there’s a giant leap between safer data protection (which SaaS can promise) and fail-safe data protection (which it most definitely can’t). Here we explore the main reasons why enterprises handling mission-critical data must create and manage their own backup.

1. Recovery is a Slow Process

Try Googling “slow backup” to realize the ubiquity of this complaint. When disaster strikes a company system, every minute waiting for data retrieval is devastating. Time is literally money and the slower your backup, the bigger your costs. Cloud products have backups enabled, but they are typically stored in a slow backup medium. Whether it’s an issue of bandwidth or bottleneck, there’s a breakdown in the system that leaves the enterprise in a stressful holding pattern. To cover your bases, ensure that your SaaS data is backed up to reduce every minute possible when it comes to recovery times.

2. ToS Changes

Rarely do people read the legalese fine print of Terms of Service (TOS). And even if one does due diligence, quadruple checking TOS, the contracts are living documents, subject to sudden shifts (like, for instance, when the GDPR blew into existence). If there’s a sticking point in enterprise data that violates the agreed-upon TOS, the content in question can be subject to permanent removal. Backing up your SaaS data can protect you in cases of misinterpretation or failing to pay attention to ToS changes. Without independent backup that data ceases to exist.

3. Nothing Lives Forever, Not Even on the Cloud

Today’s parent may rightly be cautioning their teens that everything lives forever online but one shouldn’t stake their company’s livelihood on such a promise (or threat). Old backups or versions may be lost or replaced. Old school Hotmail users learned this the hard way back in 2008, for example. There was an old provision that users would lose emails unless they logged on within 30 days. Upgrading to the Live version gave them a 90-day window before erasure. That may sound like ancient news, but technology moves at breakneck speed. Of more recent note, Dropbox recently purged accounts. Don’t trust that today’s SaaS isn’t considered glacial tomorrow.

4. To Err is Human; to Backup, Divine

Anything created by humans, managed by humans, operated by humans and used by humans is subject to error. In other words, have a superhuman solution in store to manage inevitable breakdowns in a user-implemented system. Mistakes can lead to corrupted, partial or irretrievable data. It’s best to be prepared with an independent backup.

5. Control of Information

In many cases, SaaS can recover from system error such as hardware fault or software bugs. However, some of the user-initiated deletes can be treated permanently. Employees might accidentally delete or a disgruntled employee might purposefully delete data, such changes will propagate to backup in Saas. To avoid this, you can have a local backup under your control. You can determine backup parameters such how long you want to keep backups and how many versions.

The reality is that cloud software and apps can — and do — go down, and take a company’s data with them. Leaving the lifeblood of an enterprise solely in the hands of a third-party and hoping for the best is not the only option. Instead, hold onto the wheel and insist upon taking control of the road you want your company to travel. A company’s mission-critical data is their best roadmap to success. Hang on to it.


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