CMOs: Mastering Your New Role as Cloud Data Protector

CMOs: Mastering Your New Role as Cloud Data Protector

Part 1 – Replacing Myths with Facts

As if the expectations CMOs must meet weren’t daunting enough, CMOs now find themselves expected to take on a responsibility previously owned by IT: protecting cloud data in those applications owned by Marketing. This three-part article aims to clear up common misconceptions marketing executives have about cloud applications, and will introduce CMOs to key concepts, terminology, and best practices for cloud data protection. CMOs and their teams will also be able to access a checklist they can use to align their processes with known IT best practices.

Why am I, the senior marketing executive, now in charge of this?

Your team probably budgets for and uses cloud applications like Salesforce, Pardot, Marketo and others. These are not traditionally what IT manages, and your IT team may not even be aware your team, and the business, relies on these cloud applications. Since the IT team, who usually would be in charge of protecting the data, isn’t always involved, that means the job of protecting the data falls to the application owner–you and your team. But don’t worry; this series will help.

Myths and Facts About Cloud Data Protection

CMOs and the rest of the marketing staff often operate under misconceptions about what their cloud application vendors do and don’t provide for data protection. In fact, data protection may not be a top of mind concern at all. Either way, it’s time to get this issue on the table, dispelling common myths and replacing them with facts.


Myth Fact
Our SaaS vendor is solely responsible for protecting the data generated and stored by my organization in/with the vendor’s cloud application. You are ultimately responsible for your data. Read the vendor terms of agreement carefully; many terms specify that customers own, and are responsible for, their own data. You will often find that vendors protect your data from many risks, including their mistakes, but not from your organization’s employee or contractor actions, from synchronization errors, or from malicious activity originating from or through your organization.
It will be easy to restore data in the event a user or application owner makes a mistake or does something malicious. Most vendors will provide some way for you to recover data, but recovery (getting the data back in some form) is not the same thing as restoring (returning your data to its pre-loss state and usability). Be sure you understand what options you have for recovering data and that they meet your defined objectives for business continuity.
If we mirror or replicate our cloud application data, we’re protected. A mirror or replication of your data is typically a near real-time copy that changes as data changes in the Cloud application. When changes occur, they will be synchronized to the replicated copy which will overwrite any previous versions.Simply put, data loss in the cloud application often leads to data loss in the replicated copy and it it won’t be possible to restore the lost data to meet your business continuity needs.


Check your terms of user and service level agreements: in most cases, the ultimate responsibility for protecting an organization’s marketing and sales data/metadata rests with the cloud application owner or with IT. While many vendors have robust data protection protocols in place for their servers and systems, they cannot protect customers from every “customer-side” issue.

For Additional Information:

About the Author:

Lori Witzel – Product Marketing Manager, Spanning Backup

Lori Witzel has lived in Austin, Texas since there were more horned toads than technologists, and has been sharing info with, listening to, and learning from tech users ever since. Prior to Spanning Backup, Lori worked for various early-stage Cloud start-ups, mid-sized middleware providers, and eduducational tech firms, and she’s always eager to learn more. Visit Lori’s profile on Google+

Editor’s Note:

This article is part 1 of a 3-part series:


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