Cloud computing has opened up a world of opportunities for businesses and organizations that previously could not afford the software and hardware necessary to compete in the global market. As a major component of cloud computing, software as a service (SaaS) is breaking down barriers for expansion.
However, it will probably come as a surprise to most SaaS users that backing up your data is not one of the common features provided. Your organization needs to take control of performing your own backup because a failure to do so could lead to disastrous consequences.
SaaS enables businesses to install and run applications without needing a local version of the software on their systems or data center. This means that organizations can easily run software applications like Microsoft Office 365 or Google Cloud, to name a couple, without having to invest in the hardware necessary to run them.
SaaS also facilitates rolling out application upgrades and easily delivering them to their subscribers. In addition, SaaS allows for flexible, pay as you go plans, usage scalability, and greater accessibility. These are certainly excellent advantages and a major reason why SaaS vendors are increasing in popularity. However, their services usually do not include backing up your data.
The Problem with SaaS Vendor Backup
One-third of SaaS users report losing data in the cloud. The reality is that there are many vulnerabilities and few incentives for SaaS vendors to provide data backup as a service.
Though the cloud might be safer than many onsite backup systems, safe is not equal to infallible. User error, deletions, malware, ransomware, and other external data corruption errors can eliminate data located within the storage provided with SaaS packages, or it can become inaccessible. The bottom line is that depending upon SaaS data storage is no different from relying on the hard drive of your device.
Why Is Backup Necessary?
If you have ever lost extremely valuable data with no way of recovering it, then you are already aware of the costs. If you haven’t, they can reach far beyond easily measured dollar amounts, which are in no way insignificant. Operational recovery and disaster recovery are concepts associated with 101 level computing but they are impossible to perform if you do not backup your data. To drive the point home, Network Specialists point to several dangers you face when you fail to backup your data:
- Revenue Loss. Loss of data without backup can interrupt sales revenue activities until you are able to rebuild your revenue stream.
- Direct Recovery Costs. Data that is fully or partially recoverable will require costly technical support and your organization will take a major financial hit in the process.
- Lack of Accessibility. Properly backed up data can be accessible from wherever you are located. Without it, you are at the mercy of others to provide you with the critical data you need, and their level of urgency might not be the same as yours.
- Damaged Brand Reputation. Having to ask your clients to provide you with information that they have already entrusted to you is extremely damaging to the reputation of your brand.
- Regulatory Issues. Losing some critical data can violate federal or state laws. Penalties and fines for regulatory non-compliance, costs of re-compliance, and the possibility of a governmental investigation into your organization are possible consequences.
- Time Expense. Every moment spent recovering data is time lost in other areas of productivity.
These consequences are avoidable if you backup your data, including data stored within cloud-based SaaS applications. The answer is to take control of backing up that data rather than hoping that it will be okay.
Take Control of SaaS Backup
Taking control of SaaS backup requires a backup system with the flexibility to meet the specific needs of your organization, and it should allow you to maintain greater control over email and data backup operations. Here are some features you should look for in an Office 365 backup solution.
Your Data Your Responsibility
Own the responsibility for protecting your data through backup. Regardless of whether you have fully migrated to Office 365 or use it in combination with Exchange, a solid backup solution for Microsoft Office 365 will allow you full access and control of emails and data at your fingertips.
Recovery and Restoration
It should facilitate recovery and restoration of data lost via operational or disaster events. A solution needs to allow for quick search and recovery of individual mailbox items regardless of whether they are stored on premises or within archived Office 365 content. Besides restoring emails, you also need the ability to recover calendar events and contacts.
A cloud-based backup and an extensible storage engine (ESE), aka the Jet Blue database, a backup solution for Microsoft Office 365 needs to allow for on-premise backup. A best practice utilizes the same APIs as Office 365 to reduce slowing down Exchange while it is running, which allows for an increased frequency of data backups.
Meet Compliance Requirements
Keeping up with long-term retention policies to meet regulatory or compliance requirements is easier using a backup tool that has advanced search, recovery, and export options for Office 365. Granular searching and recovery allow you to recover precisely what you need without having to sort through the data.
A backup solution should allow for scalability and be built to handle multi-repository and multi-tenant configurations. Among the comprehensive automation functions that should be included are:
- RESTful API support
- Self-service restore for customers who are service providers.
If your organization uses SaaS applications to keep up with the global market, it is an absolute necessity to take control over frequent backups of your data. Reliance on your SaaS vendor is a costly mistake, which you cannot afford. Those utilizing Office 365 should take a serious look at Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 in order to receive the most comprehensive backup control, accessibility, restoration, and recovery for the application.