Trends in SaaS Data Protection Across the U.S. and the U.K.

SpanUS-UK Reportning by EMC recently published a report and infographic that presents findings from a survey that commissioned more than 1,000 IT decision makers across the U.S. and U.K. The goal of the survey was to compare the two regions in terms of software-as-a-service (SaaS) adoption, data protection and compliance. A key factor of the findings showed accidental deletion of information was the leading cause of data loss from SaaS applications ahead of data loss caused by malicious insiders and hackers.  Accidental deletion was a surprising 43 percent in the U.S. and 43 percent in the U.K.

The findings revealed a few notable divides between U.S. and U.K. perceptions and behaviors, but overall, the data tells an encouraging story about the SaaS industry. Not only are adoption levels high, but they continue to grow as organizations move more and more business applications into the cloud. Worry persists over threats like hacking, privacy, and user-driven data loss, but changes in the Safe Harbor Agreement and robust cloud-based backup and recovery systems seem to be alleviating some of these concerns.

Here are a few highlights from the research:

  • The U.S. and U.K. are largely deploying the same SaaS applications. More than 50 percent of U.S. and U.K. IT pros said that e-mail/messaging is deployed or will be deployed via SaaS in the next 12 months. Financial, HR and CRM applications followed closely behind.
  • A gap exists between perception and reality of SaaS data protection responsibility. Almost half of all organizations in the U.S. and the U.K. rely on their SaaS vendors for backup and recovery of SaaS application data despite the prominence of data loss due to user error. The U.S. saw 70 percent of data loss due to user error to 66 percent in the U.K. This number is astounding because SaaS providers are not typically responsible or in a position to restore the lost data. Roughly 37 percent of U.S. organizations and 31 percent of U.K. organizations are either using today or plan to use a cloud-to-cloud backup provider for backup and recovery of their SaaS applications within the next 12 months.
  • U.S. SaaS users are more confident in the cloud than U.K. counterparts. 80 percent of U.S. IT pros are confident in their organization’s ability to secure SaaS application data, compared to 45 percent in the U.K.
  • Security is the top concern when moving critical business applications to the cloud. While organizations in both the U.S. and U.K. have experienced data loss due to accidental deletions, migration errors, and accidental overwrites, they are still most concerned about external attacks.

There’s still education to be done on SaaS data protectionSpanning’s VP and GM, Jeff Erramouspe expressed the importance of the research findings: “This survey not only validates the accelerating adoption of SaaS, but also that U.S. and U.K. IT professionals understand the importance of having a backup and recovery strategy for SaaS application data, with only 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively, not planning or using any form of backup and recovery for their SaaS applications. When it comes to SaaS data protection, however, the survey shows misplaced confidence. SaaS providers are not responsible for recovery of data lost due to user error, yet that continues to be its leading cause. It demonstrates the need for cloud-to-cloud backup and restore solutions.”

This is just one of many points of confusion surrounding SaaS applications and SaaS data protection today.

On both sides of the Atlantic, organizations of all sizes, across industries, are putting more of their critical enterprise applications including employee and customer data in the cloud. While compliance, data governance and disaster recovery are key drivers for SaaS data protection, other issues will affect how data is managed and where it is stored in the coming months as further decisions are made around data sovereignty and the Safe Harbor agreement.

To get more details on this survey download the full report. And, be sure to check out this infographic designed to help clear up a few more of the persisting myths about cloud applications and SaaS data protection.    



About the Author: Melanie Sommer