Generic Backupify
January 25, 2013
Cloud-to-Cloud Backup

SaaS Data Loss: The Embarrassing Problem That Is More Prevalent Than You Think

One of the venture funds that invested in Backupify lost a bunch of data in Google Docs. That is a big part of the reason they became investors. Like most instances of data loss in the cloud, it wasn’t Google’s fault. It was user error – an intern who was “cleaning things up” and made a mistake. I was so excited when I found out because I wanted to get the partners from this fund to talk about their experience and why they made the investment… but they wouldn’t do it.

Fast forward to one of our largest deals from last year. This well known tech company—whose products you probably use—lost several terabytes of data in Google Drive. Again, it was not Google’s fault, but the fault of a third-party application that was interfacing with Google Drive. I was excited to have this brand name company as a customer and thought this would be a great marketing case study… except that they wouldn’t agree to it.

And so it goes in the world of marketing SaaS data loss. Our number one source of leads is companies that have lost data in Google Apps or Salesforce, and are searching for a solution to make sure it never happens again. But almost no one will serve as a case study because data loss is embarrassing. No one wants their customers or investors or partners to know they made such a big mistake that put the entire business at risk, so no one will go public about it.

We even know from our own system data that the average Backupify user restores 3.68 items per year. That is much higher than you would think. But again, most of these companies, some whom have sent us ecstatic emails about how we saved their lives by allowing them to recover lost data, won’t go on record as talking about it.

We’ve never seen a case where data loss was the SaaS provider’s fault. It’s always user error, third-party applications, hacked accounts, malicious damage, or something like that. But all that stuff happens much more often than you would suspect. We know it because we see it. We talk to customers who lost a bunch of their own customer records in Salesforce, lost an important email in Gmail and they don’t know why, or deleted a Google Doc accidentally and didn’t realize it until it was too late. We hear stories from people who were so thankful that they had a backup. And I know from personal experience that Backupify has saved my tail twice (one email last year and one calendar entry about a month ago).

People make mistakes. They make more than you think. Backupify is there to protect you against those mistakes, but unfortunately, we can’t always talk about it. You should backup your SaaS, so you never have to talk about data loss either.


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