Customer relationship management software has solidified its place as a premium cloud offering. Using data to empower frontline employees with valuable consumer insight has become the reality for many, but companies racing to give everyone expanded business intelligence may have outpaced their data protection practices. According to a survey commissioned by cloud backup provider Asigra, 55 percent of organizations polled use Salesforce, and 74 percent said they expect the use of software-as-a-service applications to increase in coming years.

SaaS business intelligence solutions can yield significant advantages, as 50 percent of respondents cited lower total cost of ownership as the primary factor in using cloud-based CRM solutions. However, many companies may be putting their digital assets at risk by not implementing comprehensive data protection alongside their SaaS deployments. Only 22 percent of respondents said their cloud application data is backed up.

"While SaaS/Cloud applications have introduced higher levels of simplicity and value to organizations, they have also altered the way IT professionals must architect their backup environments," said Tracy Staniland, vice president of corporate marketing for Asigra.

Other cloud storage concerns may have shifted attention away from disaster preparedness, as Asigra's research indicates. Data security represented the largest concern for 21 percent of cloud buyers, and 59 percent noted fears regarding cost.

Cloud customers demand transparency
Some of the data security concerns outlined by Asigra's research could be addressed by cloud storage companies. As a recent study from Damovo illustrates, vague service descriptions can lead to misunderstandings and accountability issues, particularly as firms turn to cloud-based disaster recovery.

"It’s perhaps understandable that disaster recovery concerns feature so high on the agenda after the number of high profile service outages and disruption seen over the past 12 months," said Kevin Little, head of client solutions at Damovo UK "However, the growth of cloud services continues on an upwards curve, so it is it up to service providers to work closely with customers to help them achieve tangible benefits."

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