Cloud icon with lock and data flow showing SaaS backup

Why Backing up SaaS Is Necessary

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions have become widely adopted and mission-critical for many organisations. As such, they should have the same protection as their non-SaaS counterparts. Reality shows, however, that many organisations ignore the threat that the data on their trusted SaaS provider’s platform might be at risk. This makes easy-to-use SaaS-protection solutions a necessity.

SaaS solutions have become ubiquitous

SaaS products like Salesforce, Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365 have seen explosive growth over the last couple of years. During the pandemic, they provided a cost-effective and easily scalable way to give a remote workforce access to a collaborative environment and to share data. At the same time, big providers like Microsoft and Adobe moved away from their previous licensing model to a subscription service. This created the perfect opportunity, especially for smaller organisations without many internal resources, to solve a business problem without big investment and without worrying much about IT issues. A few years on, many customers now begin to realise that their business-critical SaaS applications do not have a lot of protection for users’ data in place.

SaaS solutions need the same protection as traditional business applications

SaaS solutions are widely used and are mission-critical for their users. As such, they should be treated with the utmost importance, just like their mission-critical non-SaaS business applications. Looking at the possibilities to protect their data on those SaaS-platforms, organisations started to quickly realise that their SaaS solutions were not as protected as their other applications run in their own datacentre or their private cloud. Companies that did know that fact had to put up with it as the product forced them to use it as it was. Users had to learn the hard way that most SaaS solutions have a shared responsibility model where the customer is responsible for his or her own data. Customers realising this gap in their security have ever since been looking for solutions to secure and back up their data on their used SaaS platforms.

Backing up SaaS-data

Most SaaS vendors do have some kind of solution in place to secure the user’s data. They are however not easy to use, offer only rudimentary features and are not on par with professional enterprise solutions for data protection. Having multiple SaaS solutions in place would also mean that there must be multiple different backup solutions in place, all with their own features, pricing structures and user interfaces. This would add a lot of complexity and administration to a solution that was meant to be easy to manage from the outset.

The advantages of a vendor-agnostic SaaS-backup solutions

To backup and protect their various mission-critical SaaS workloads and data without adding much cost, complexity and administration, solutions have become available that offer vendor-agnostic SaaS backup. Using just one solution for a breadth of supported SaaS platforms, such as Microsoft 365, Salesforce, and Azure Active Directory, protects large swaths of an organisation’s SaaS subscriptions. Even more critically, it’s important to ensure backups are stored in an independent cloud dedicated to data protection and not dependent on one of the large hyperscalers. A third-party cloud gives total control over backed up data and can easily ensure three to four copies are always made and reside in multiple locations. By retaining SaaS data in an independent backup-focused cloud, customers can also avoid the egress charges that come part and parcel with the public cloud. These extra charges often result in surprise bills after data restores and make it difficult to budget. Lastly, customers should look for SaaS solutions that are hyper-focused on security. For example, immutable backups are untouchable by ransomware or bad actors and ensure all stored data is safe no matter what disruption may come along.

Conclusion: independent third-party solutions are best in breed

SaaS solutions are commonplace in today’s modern organisations. Many of the SaaS workloads are indeed mission-critical. However, organisations have ignored the fact that it is their own responsibility to protect their data as adequately as their non-SaaS-applications. To protect their mission-critical data and be compliant, organisations must put SaaS backup solutions in place to recover their data if necessary. Third-party, vendor-agnostic, independent SaaS-Backup-solutions are best in breed as they use a dedicated private cloud and protect all data from various SaaS platforms with just one solution.