More and more companies are transitioning to software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications such as Google Apps, Salesforce and Zoho. In fact, analyst firm Gartner estimates SaaS sales in 2010 reached $10 billion, and will more than double by 2015 to a projected $21.3 billion.
Cloud-to-cloud backup provider Backupify recently teamed up with Spiceworks to survey more than 200 IT professionals and gather their insights on data in the cloud — from the SaaS apps where it lives to if and how it’s being backed up. Some of the results may surprise you.
Click through for some surprising SaaS adoption survey findings, provided by Backupify and Spiceworks.
More than half of IT pros have adopted SaaS apps.
Fifty-four percent of IT pros in the U.S. have currently implemented SaaS applications in one form or another, and 14 percent plan to implement them within the next six months. Amongst these IT pros, the most commonly used SaaS applications include Google Apps (46 percent), Dropbox (45 percent) and Microsoft Office 365 (43 percent). The rapid increase in SaaS application adoption makes sense given all of the advantages, from the anytime, anywhere accessibility and the ability to foster greater collaboration, to the ease of installation and wallet-friendly price tag.
Mission-critical data is stored in SaaS apps.
As more employees use SaaS applications, they become more dependent on the solution for mission-critical data, and it becomes more important to ensure that documents aren’t lost, deleted or compromised. According to the survey, a whopping 81 percent of IT pros consider the data stored in their SaaS applications to be very to extremely important, while 14 percent state it’s somewhat important. Only 1 percent said the data is not at all important.
Access to data when it’s needed is an issue.
SaaS application providers do a great job maintaining high availability of their applications by protecting against catastrophic failure, but despite their best intentions, their apps sometimes do go down and data becomes inaccessible. That data can also be lost or deleted forever. This could occur when a well-meaning employee accidentally overwrites an important document or a disgruntled employee clears out the trash, among many other scenarios.
However, many SaaS app providers do not currently protect against this, and when they don’t, IT can be left stuck trying to find a solution. In fact, 40 percent of IT pros surveyed have lost data within their SaaS applications. More than one-third of those respondents (35 percent) have lost access to data at critical times, 10 percent have lost data at non-critical times, and 5 percent have experienced data corruption.
Majority of IT pros don’t currently back up SaaS app data.
Although most IT pros believe their company’s data stored in the SaaS application is very to extremely important, more than half of survey respondents (52 percent) don’t back up or have plans to back up data within SaaS applications. This signals a dangerous disconnect. Part of the problem is that many IT pros have a false sense of security that their cloud data is already backed up — in fact, 79 percent believe their SaaS applications are being backed up by their cloud app provider, which is often not the case.
Those that back up, mostly do it manually.
Of the IT pros who do back up or plan to back up their SaaS data, 43 percent do so by manually exporting their company’s critical cloud data. This method can be needlessly cumbersome and time consuming. Alternatively, 28 percent of the survey respondents utilize the SaaS provider’s data access API. In order to make API calls, these IT pros have either written their own software or purchased backup software that has this functionality built in — an approach that’s not for everyone given the challenges of writing complicated code and the fact that API calls change over time.
Finally, 15 percent of IT pros use a cloud-to-cloud backup vendor. Cloud-to-cloud has the advantages of greater availability and performance than making manual or API-based local backups and is less costly. A cloud-to-cloud backup solution can save IT pros serious time and money since backups are automated. Of the three options (manual, API calls, and cloud-to-cloud), cloud-to-cloud makes the most sense for today’s IT pro.
A full copy of the complimentary survey report is available at Protecting Data in the Cloud: The Truth About SaaS Backup.