I'm sure if you're reading this that one way or another you've heard much evangelism of the cloud: lower admin/maintenance, built-in data protection, and generally quite good security all for free!


The truth is: that's all correct, but with a condition; you have to uphold your end of the bargain as an administrator, and there's some pre-cloud admin practices you can't throw out just quite yet.
 
First and foremost among those? Backups. If you're using salesforce there's a excellent weekly data export function built right in. All too often this ends up going unused due to the excellent track record salesforce has with (errr, without?) data loss. Without serious concerns over hardware failure induced data loss too many admins put backups low on their priority list, if it's even on there at all.

The danger in this is that if anything does go wrong and your data gets mass updated with the wrong values; a bitter ex-sales person uses the data loader's hard delete; or any number of other situations come up you're now between a rock and a hard place. Before you write this off as a possibility I want to mention that the only permissions you need to hard delete data (bypassing the recycle bin) are "API Enabled" and having delete access to the record. If your account or opportunity sharing model is public then you are at a major risk if you don't have backups of your data. Quite possibly, any user with a strong desire can export and wipe out your key data. Even if you have sharing configured think that the sales guy who quits is perfectly capable of exporting his customer list and hard deleting it from your records! And that cascade deletes all the activity history as well!

Oh, and while salesforce does have tape backups of their database they can recover data from the way it's stored means they have to use a whole pod's worth of hardware to extract your org's data from them - at a cost of $10,000 and a turnaround time of 3 weeks or more

Think about how much 3+ weeks of no CRM would cost your business, add $10K to it, and then remember 20 minutes per week can mitigate that!

So please, go backup your org, and put weekly data exports on your calendar!