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Nine Principles of PROACTIVE SaaS Data Protection

Archana Venkatraman
Associate Research Director, Cloud Data Management, IDC Europe
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Data is the currency of a digital business. 85% of CxOs IDC surveyed in 2020 said becoming an intelligent organisation by 2024 is a top priority in their future enterprise strategies. But protecting valuable data from data loss and corruption is easier said than done when a company's data footprint is spread across multiple environments, especially SaaS environments. According to IDC's 2020 multi-cloud survey, only 29% of data resides in core data center environments.

SaaS platforms are viewed as a breath of fresh air because they are easier to adopt, bring modern UI, facilitate collaboration and transform legacy business processes. And as data's value becomes more significant, "PROACTIVE" protection — an acronym derived from nine guiding principles — is imperative.

Proactive Approach to SaaS Data Protection

Is your data safe?

Mature processes such as CRM, email and collaboration are becoming critical to businesses as developer teams, super users and business owners rely on that data and customise the platforms to meet their specific needs. But as the data footprint in SaaS environments grows, organisations are finding out the hard way that the threats of data loss and corruption — due to cyberattacks, accidental deletions, human error and oversight — are real and negatively affect their brand's digital trust, resilience and business continuity.

As a result, SaaS has accelerated as one of the top data protection challenges, according to IDC's multi-cloud survey.

It is risky to exclude SaaS data protection from broader enterprise security, resilience and data management strategies. You need to assess several what-if scenarios, including:

  • As the data owner, am I executing on my responsibilities for data protection in the shared responsibility model for SaaS data?
  • In the case of ransomware attacks or data loss, can my business recover and restore the lost data quickly, granularly and correctly?
  • Is my highly skilled SaaS application administration team spending time manually backing up and propagating data for secondary needs such as testing and development?
  • As my data footprint with SaaS applications grows, how will the cost to store that data in the native environment grow?
  • Do the default or native protection capabilities give my business the required flexibility around retention, compliance and the reuse of data, as well as speed and scale of recovery?
  • Am I in complete control of SaaS data security, protection and encryption?
  • Can I give the super users, developers and lines of business the data they need to innovate without worrying about production environments?

Protect your data with nine PROACTIVE principles

Protecting data in SaaS environments and protecting it in the right way are critical for success. IDC believes a PROACTIVE approach to SaaS data protection can help businesses optimise their SaaS environments, minimize risks, and boost trust, resilience and digital innovation.

How? The nine principles of PROACTIVE data protection cover all the fundamental requirements of safeguarding your SaaS data:

  • Protected: backing up all of the data and metadata critical for the business
  • Resilient: demonstrating digital resilience by swiftly restoring the exact data that your business needs when incidents occur
  • Observant: getting immediate alerts in case of data loss or corruption, so you can remediate instantly
  • Accessible: having data in a different environment so that it's accessible and available when you need it, regardless of platform availability
  • Compliant: meeting regulatory obligations through policy-based retention
  • Trusted: leveraging data protection platforms with automation, integration, certification, world-class encryption and key management services
  • Insightful: maximising the value of SaaS data for analytics, testing and innovation
  • Versatile: ensuring protection, resilience and recovery of instances of any scale
  • Exact: granular and precise restore of only the lost or corrupted data instead of restoring the full data each time an incident occurs

Organisations need to shift their perception that backups are merely an insurance policy for data that resides within the data center perimeter. Modern data protection platforms help in the swift restoration of data and empower organisations to take calculated risks and reuse data for business innovation.

SaaS platforms are digital business enablers only because of the value of the data in them. It is time to minimise the resilience gap and maximise the value of data by ensuring world-class data protection for SaaS environments.

For more insights on the best practices to protect SaaS data and for examples from your peers on how they benefit, download IDC's A PROACTIVE Approach to SaaS CRM Data Protection InfoBrief.

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