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Why Data Independence is Essential for Salesforce Users

The Critical Role of Salesforce Data Backup 

Source: Image created by OpenAI’s DALL-E, June 5, 2024

In today’s data-driven world, nothing is more important than the ability to control, access, and protect your data. Business success depends on it. In fact, 94% of organizations say their customers will abandon ship if their data isn’t properly protected. But with 74% of them storing sensitive data in SaaS applications, you have to wonder how much control they really have. 

This is especially true for CRM applications. More than 85% of businesses rely on cloud-based CRM platforms, with Salesforce having the largest marketshare

If you’re a Salesforce user, you need a way to keep your data independent from the application. Otherwise, you’re at greater risk for data breaches, data loss, business downtime, and competitive disadvantage.

Explaining Data Independence

Data independence is akin to the concept of separation of church and state. Enshrined in the US Constitution, separation ensures neither church nor state has undue influence over the other. By allowing for independence and autonomy, it enables both entities to operate without interference.

In the tech world, there are different types of data independence as you’ll see from the below. However, what they all have in common is the concept of separation.

Database Management Systems (DBMS)

Many people think of it in relation to database management systems. Data independence in DBMS means changes in the structure of the database, storage, or retrieval mechanisms do not impact the data itself or the applications that rely on it. Physical schema and logical schema are separate. 

  • Logical Data Independence
    Includes adding or removing fields from a table, or redefining relationships between tables, without altering external schema or apps.
  • Physical Data Independence
    Includes physical storage, file structures, and retrieval mechanisms without altering the logical schema.  

Data Independence and “Shared Responsibility”

If you use SaaS applications – and who doesn’t these days – you may be familiar with the “shared responsibility” model. It means SaaS providers are responsible for managing and keeping the infrastructure and the app up and running. Customers are responsible for securing and managing their own app-generated data – even though the data resides in the vendor’s environment. 

Do you really want to trust your SaaS vendor to be the sole guardian over your most important asset: your data – when it’s not their priority? 

If not, it’s time to get serious about data independence. 

What Data Independence Means for Salesforce 

Here, data independence means the ability to access, control, and protect your Salesforce data without being dependent on a single vendor – i.e., Salesforce. It means having the flexibility to retrieve, move, and manage data outside the Salesforce ecosystem. In essence, it requires backing up your data outside of Salesforce using a separate 3rd-party solution.

But doesn’t Salesforce provide backup?

Yes, Salesforce recently began offering native backup. However, this comes with limitations. Salesforce’s backup options store data within Salesforce’s infrastructure. As noted earlier,  this poses risks. If the platform has outages or experiences issues, you’re likely to suffer from data loss or inaccessibility.

Moreover, Salesforce’s native backup doesn’t offer the flexibility and customization that many businesses require. Recovery options can be limited. You also may not be able to tailor backup processes to your needs.   

Bottom line? If you back up your Salesforce data in Salesforce, you’re completely dependent on them. Your data is at the mercy of Salesforce’s infrastructure and policies.

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5 Benefits of Data Independence for Salesforce Users  

  1. Flexibility 
    Allows organizations to adapt to changing requirements and support growth and innovation without extensive rework or disruptions.
  2. Cost Efficiency 
    Reduces cost since keeping all Salesforce data in Salesforce instead of backing it up and archiving it elsewhere can become prohibitively expensive.
  3. Improved Data Management
    Facilitates better data management practices by separating data storage and data generation.
  4. Continuous Access
    You set and control your own policies around access, availability, and more.
  5. Reduces Risk 
    It’s easier to implement your own protective measures and ensure compliance with industry regulations. In addition, by ensuring all your eggs aren’t in one basket, you’re minimizing the chance of downtime, data corruption, and data loss impacting your business.
Source: Image created by OpenAI’s DALL-E, June 5, 2024

Supercharging Data Independence with Data Ownership

To get the full benefits of data independence, you need to truly own your data. Ownership is the only way to continually possess and be fully responsible for protecting it.

What is Salesforce data ownership? 

  1. Storing backed-up data in your own cloud environment –  such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform – rather than in a 3rd-party vendor’s infrastructure.
  1. Maintaining a Digital Chain of Custody. Digital chain of custody is the process of tracking and documenting every interaction with data within an organization. This includes who accessed the data, when it was accessed, where it was accessed from, and any changes made. 

    Much like the physical chain of custody used in legal contexts, the digital chain of custody ensures data handling is transparent and traceable, safeguarding it from tampering and misuse.

It’s time to take back ownership of your data!

Don’t just rent access to your data—take control of it.

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GRAX: Enabling True Data Independence and Ownership

Unlike other 3rd-party backup solutions, GRAX has always been designed for Salesforce data independence. Since day one, we’ve been focused on ensuring our customers have full control and ownership, providing continuous data accessibility and data integrity, and making it easy for you to take action on your data.

  • GRAX’s Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC) data protection model
    Enables true data independence. We automatically back up and archive all historical Salesforce directly from Salesforce into your own AWS, Azure, or GCP cloud environment – or even on-premises. 
  • Digital Chain of Custody
    Your backup and archive data is never stored in GRAX’s infrastructure and never touches a system that you don’t own.
  • Full control
    Provides you with granular control, including the ability to define access levels, encryption protocols, retention policies, and use. You also choose where to store your data, ensuring it aligns with your specific needs and compliance requirements.
  • Fuels actionable insights
    GRAX ensures data is complete and readily available for a unified data lake strategy, data analytics, data models, machine learning, and more. Because GRAX makes all Salesforce-generated data available in the Parquet format, APIs, or GRAX Data Connectors, you can use popular analysis tools – such as Google Sheets, Excel, Tableau, Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics, AWS QuickSight, or PowerBI – to gain actionable insights. 

The only way to ensure you have full control over your Salesforce data is by embracing data independence and ownership.  

Now is the time to evaluate your current backup strategies and consider how a third-party solution like GRAX can enhance your data independence – and empower you to operate with greater flexibility, security, and confidence.

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