Denizen of the Greater Boston area, cat lover, bi-lingual (fluent in English and Spanish) Salesforce Administrator and BA, always looking to help end users, simplify processes and leave things better than I found them!
Ever had a hard drive, laptop or a mobile device suddenly not work? Ever experience the ‘blue screen of death’, puffs of smoke coming from your computer, or, just a black unresponsive nothing and your laptop ignoring you, when you attempted to turn on laptop or computer? How about spilling coffee, tea, coke, or even water onto your laptop, killing it right in front of you.
If any of that has happened to you, and it’s a personal laptop or a work laptop that wasn’t backed up to a network hard drive, then you’ve experienced the horrible pain of having weeks, even months worth of work disappear never to be seen again. Expand that data loss to a business and it can be nothing short of catastrophic. You then log into your email, hopping, hope against hope that there’s a copy of some of your documents, someplace, in some form. Businesses live on data.
Or you could simply start the process commonly known as backups. If you have a spare dev sandbox or two you can regularly back up your metadata, (the fields, objects, validation rules and various bits of automation that make up the structure of your org. Yes, this should be backed up too in case someone deletes it or alters it. Do that once a month and you can keep a backup of what you had in metadata terms for a specific time period, say 6 months.
For backing up your actual data, which contains that all important opportunity that you were chasing, I recommend using a full backup from one of the many vendors on the App Exchange or if your company is very large, then you can use the vendor they are using. Yes, Salesforce does back up your data for free, but getting it back in case you need to reload it, can be a pain. Do a search on the App Exchange using the term backup, and go from there. Your data should be considered the equivalent of gold, or water in the desert, in that without it, your company or nonprofit doesn't run. So, you really want to safeguard and make sure there's a copy of it backed up someplace, just in case someone deletes said data, either by accident (most likely), or on purpose.
Keeping spare backups of data is best done in the cloud or offsite storage. You should ask the potential vendor where their servers are. You don’t want their back up servers as well as their main servers to be in the same geographical location in case there are man-made, or natural disasters like the increasingly large hurricanes. And before 9-11, the idea of two separate, really tall buildings in the same general area collapsing for man-made reasons, was unimaginable. Now, we know better. Backup data keeps you from getting what can be truly eye-wateringly large fines from government entities like the FDA or whoever manages compliance over the industry sector that you’re in.
Keep or backup your data, and suddenly that all important opportunity your sales team was pursuing is there. Did the CEO suddenly get notice of a tax audit? Well, the data will be there to support the company position. Your employees don’t have to spend time re-doing reports, but can instead go back to selling, closing deals and making money. Backup data is available for marketing, client relationship management or investor relations. And you should include archiving with this so that you can move data that might only be used once in a great while to cold storage, avoiding the cost of storage and the performance hit.
Regular data backups lead to peace of mind. In the event of a cybercrime, system crashes or when disasters occur, there is a backup ready to go to restart a company's business. It is never too late to start saving important company data. In the end, data backup is necessary to save the business from losing investors and customers and closing down.
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