Odaseva's Sovan Bin on why having a backup and data recovery plan is the key to COVID-19 survival

Profile picture for user jbowles By Jerry Bowles May 26, 2020
Malicious hackers, remote workers, and a lack of IT support make backup and restore the most important directive for many companies.
(Armin Hanisch via Freeimages.com )

With thousands of business organizations still shut down or operating with remote staff and limited IT resources, enterprises are struggling to find ways to resume "normal" business operations safely and securely while-at the same time-making do with fewer workers.

Some returning companies are likely to discover that important data has been tampered with by malicious hackers or inadvertently deleted or corrupted by their users working from their home computers or devices without IT support.

For companies that don't have a disaster recovery plan in place, that data loss can be an existential threat to survival. Exactly how well companies fare in the new normal may well depend on the answer to questions like how safe is your data? Is it securely backed up? Will your firm be able to restore it if it has been compromised or corrupted during the long lockdown?

For answers, I turned to Sovan Bin, CEO and co-founder of Odaseva, a cloud data management platform that provides technology for managing mission-critical business applications, including data protection, compliance, and operations management for more than 10 million Salesforce users around the world and many other organizations:

The Coronavirus pandemic has raised the issues of disaster recovery and business continuity to top of mind for many enterprise executives.A lot of our customers have been very hard hit; for example, the travel industry and movie theaters who have seen their customer interactions dwindle way down to virtually nothing.When they start to gear up again will the data they need still be there and usable? COVID-19 is a useful reminder that you always need to prepare for a disaster before it happens.

One common misconception, Bin says, is that your data is completely safe if it is in the cloud because your cloud provider or SaaS vendor can always provide a backup.That is not generally true and is about to get even less so. Said Bin:

People are confused. We've done surveys where one-third of the respondents didn't believe backup was necessary because the vendor took care of it. But, data is always your responsibility; backup is your responsibility; ensuring the compliance of your data is your responsibility; and ensuring service levels that meet your business requirements, especially mission-critical ones, is your responsibility.

Cloud vendors are responsible for the data centers where if there is an incident at their center, the vendors are going to recover it. But customers remain responsible for the data on their application and this is what we provide, backup for their data.

Salesforce has had an expensive last resort data recovery process where Salesforce Support could recover your data at a specific point in time, in cases where it has been permanently deleted or mangled during a data import. But that service is ending on July 31, 2020. After that date, you'll need a Salesforce partner solution like our Backup & Restore for Salesforce which automates the optimal strategies to protect data at a fraction of the cost. Salesforce has already retired its Organization Sync which let you set up a secondary, synced Salesforce org where users could access a subset of Salesforce data in that org when the primary org was unavailable.

Odaseva offers three principal solutions-a Data Protection Cloud that protects the integrity and availability of your data, a DataOps Cloud that automates many of the processes of tapping into customer data and a Data Privacy Cloud that automates compliance with the growing number of privacy protection regulations emerging around the world.

For organizations for whom 99.9% uptime is not enough, Odaseva offers something called Ultra-High Availability for any user who wants to continue working on Salesforce -- even when Salesforce is temporarily offline. This enhanced mode ensures users never have to work in a "read-only" mode on Salesforce and instead, they can continue their work on the Odaseva platform. Once Salesforce is back online, their work is immediately synched and updated with the Salesforce platform.

During the pandemic, Odaseva is offering companies of all sizes a free daily backup of their Salesforce data every 24 hours for 30 days.That includes all Salesforce Standard and Custom objects that are defined as "creatable objects" in as well as metadata.See the offer here. Bin said:

Many of our customers were telling us they couldn't really afford a data crisis on top of the coronavirus crisis but that their IT teams were pretty limited.Some of the IT staff was working from home or they may have had to downsize temporarily.They needed to make sure their data was safe and that data governance was in place without necessarily having their entire team on hand to do it.We realized that we could manage many of these services for them.

My take

The abrupt transition from working in offices to working from less-protected home environments driven by the COVID-19 pandemic has caught many enterprises flat-footed and less prepared than they should have been.

The result is a spike in attacks by cybergangs and mischief-makers as well as an IT landscape that is more dispersed and vulnerable. The importance of having a solid data recovery and restore service has never been more urgent or obvious.I fear that for some smaller companies that didn't think of this possibility before this will be a teachable moment they won't survive.


Disclosure - At time of writing, Salesforce is a premier partner of diginomica.

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