Events of the past 12-15 months have brought business continuity to the forefront for many companies. By preparing business continuity plans in anticipation of risks, companies can minimize the resulting impact on their operations. One particularly important aspect of a business continuity plan is staying resilient in the face of data disruptions.
The pandemic notwithstanding, it’s important to keep in mind that the vast majority of data loss and corruption issues aren’t tied to major events- simple mistakes happen each and every day. Because the nature of data disruptions is so diverse, your backup and recovery tools must allow you to respond to the full range of disruptions in order to protect business continuity.
As you evaluate Salesforce backup and recovery solutions, look at how versatile they are in helping you cope with different disruption scenarios - both the rare ones and the day-to-day ones. Let’s explain the difference between two scenarios and the different demands they are going to make of your backup and recovery solution.
Disruption type #1: Your data is completely inaccessible
If just reading the sentence above makes your stomach churn and your palms sweat, you’re probably a Salesforce admin. While situations in which your data is completely inaccessible are rare, the potential business impacts are significant. Consider the range of business processes that could be affected by not having access to your Salesforce data:
- Marketing: Will your marketing team be able to notify the sales team on hot leads for prompt followup?
- Sales: Will your sales team be able to access opportunity details they need to continue closing out the current week’s opportunities?
- Customer Service: Will your customer service reps have contact information and issue details to continue working on high priority cases?
For all of these departments, ensuring continuity, protecting revenue generation and customer satisfaction requires having access to data that will help them continue their workflows. Your backup solution should allow you to have controlled access to your data even if your CRM workflows are temporarily inaccessible. This is why a key requirement of any effective backup solution is that access to backups should not be dependent on the system they are meant to protect. In order for your data to remain accessible in the event that there is an outage with production systems, backups must be stored on separate infrastructure from the production data.
Disruption type #2: Critical subsets of your data are lost or corrupted
Data inside Salesforce is always changing, and the pace of that change accelerates as your organization increasingly relies on Salesforce as the key pillar for digital transformation. Integrations, customizations, and clean ups happen regularly so you can keep the data as useful as possible to your business stakeholders. Despite your best efforts, the need to move fast with these types of projects can introduce errors. Human error is the leading cause of Salesforce data loss, and can include things like:
- Integration errors: These can occur when companies extend Salesforce with new applications like a marketing automation or ERP system, or enrich data with third-party feeds to enable more effective prospect outreach. Due to the complexity of setting up these integrations, ensuring configurations and mappings are correct can be very difficult, and data loss and corruption as these applications and feeds are integrated can be common.
- Customization errors: Developers and administrators are constantly working on custom objects, new fields, workflows and triggers so that the application better supports business needs. With the pace and volume of changes, it’s inevitable that some code with errors is going to be deployed, and these errors can cause inadvertent data loss or corruption in the production system.
- Clean up errors: It’s a rare moment when system data is as clean as it could be. De-duplication of records, mass changes to field values to accommodate new business processes and harmonizing inconsistent field values are all examples of mass updates to support data clean up. All of these updates present the possibility of data loss or corruption when the wrong clauses or filter criteria are used.
Data disruptions from these day-to-day activities threaten business continuity, drain productivity and reduce trust in the data and the system.
The challenges of recovering from these types of data disruption are quite different from the first type of disruption. First, unlike scenario #1, you may not immediately know that a data loss or corruption has occurred (until you get that first frantic text from a user). So it’s important for your backup and recovery solution to proactively monitor data changes and alert you when out-of-the-ordinary changes occur.
Second, these data loss or corruption scenarios typically impact only certain objects, records or fields. So it’s vital that your backup and recovery solution help you quickly and visually pinpoint just the precise data you’ll want to restore from a backup - so you can fix errors quickly and without overwriting valid data. The solution should also allow you to keep data relationships intact when you restore, regardless of how many levels deep they go.
Can your backup and recovery solution handle all types of data disruptions?
Having a backup and recovery solution in place is essential for ensuring business continuity, but not all backup solutions are created equal. Make sure you look for ones that can help you cover the full range of data disruptions.
To learn more, check out our “Buyer’s Guide for Salesforce Backup and Recovery”, or request a demo below.