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The Odds Of Losing SaaS Data Come Down To A Coin Flip


Over 40% of SaaS users say they have suffered data loss.

The objective was simple – we wanted to understand how often SaaS users lose data from their tech stack.

Teams rely on the data inside SaaS tools to run their businesses; complete daily tasks, extract insights, and set strategies that help grow the bottom line. However, if this vital information gets deleted or compromised, Saas companies can’t restore the data at the customer level. This usually brings day-to-day operations to a grinding halt. It’s essentially the reason why we started Rewind.

Our own internal data showed that people were experiencing data loss. From our end, we see them restore things each and every day. However, Rewind only protects a fraction of all the SaaS tools being used by businesses. In today’s tech landscape there are thousands of online software options and they all follow the “Shared Responsibility Model” of data protection in the cloud.

With this ubiquity, we wanted to understand how often are businesses facing data loss and what is the impact on their operations when it happens.

According to a major report by Oracle & the analyst firm ESG, 49% of organizations who used SaaS tools encountered data loss. It was the first time we had seen a study done specifically on data loss and SaaS tools. It was a great start, but we wanted to find out for ourselves. In December of 2020, Rewind surveyed 639 people who use SaaS in their daily lives. Here are some of the results.

A bar chart demonstrating that 40% of respondents had previously lost SaaS data.

This was the most significant finding of our survey, and the results are similar to the findings of the Oracle/ESG report. Taking both findings into account, it appears that the odds of losing data in a vital SaaS tool are the same odds as a coin flip.

We also wanted to understand the impact data loss had on operations. We know from our 2020 Ecommerce Data Protection Survey that data loss can cause sales to plummet, while teams are scrambling to fix everything. But what about other SaaS tools? Considering that today’s businesses can have dozens of tools integrated into a tech stack – what’s the fallout if they lose vital information?

A bar chart detailing respondents' fallout of data loss.

Over half of respondents said there would be a significant impact on their business operations if they lost vital data in a SaaS tool. Speaking anecdotally, here are how Rewind users have described their challenges with data loss:

“I have run into situations when I have clicked a button too fast, and had to go back and spend a lot of time fixing it…or a client accidentally ‘does’ something in their file that they shouldn’t have.”

“I almost fainted when I noticed one of our developers maliciously deleted all our products (3000+) which we’ve been perfecting into our store for over a year and a half.”

“I had a web developer upload an API onto our site and lost EVERYTHING.”

“A colleague recently posted about a client whose data was mysteriously lost somehow, and it took more than 7 hours on the phone with the SaaS provider for them to find a version that was two weeks out of date.”

The underlying theme here is that when data loss does happen, it throws a wrench into everything. A team is going to be spending a lot of time fixing and restoring all the information that’s vital for making decisions.

We also wanted to understand what type of backup solution people were using. We discovered that not all respondents use a cloud-to-cloud backup solution to protect against data loss:

A bar chart detailing how respondents are currently backing up their data.

Some are using an on-site server, or alarmingly, a desktop computer to store data. Although that approach is technically fine, it’s a big gamble in the universe of data protection.

Less than half of the respondents are using a cloud backup service. It’s concerning as most cloud storage solutions simply store “copies” of data. Considering the sheer volume of data created in SaaS on a daily basis, these static copies get old very quickly. And companies still have all the manual work of putting data back, should the original files go missing or become corrupted.

Although there are businesses that understand the need for a cloud backup, a significant amount of businesses are not currently protecting their data. Rewind offers automatic, set-it-and-forget-it data backup and restoration solutions. Our apps integrate directly with your SaaS platform, allowing you to restore individual items of data or your entire file set.

Special thanks to our friends at Rewind for their insights on this topic.
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