My colleague Naveen Chhabra wrote an excellent report in 2017, “Back Up Your SaaS Data — Because Most SaaS Providers Don’t,” that talked about how many companies have a gap in their backup strategy related to SaaS-hosted application data.

As software-as-a-service (SaaS) adoption has become more pervasive, that gap is only widening. While the application uptime for most SaaS providers is better than what you can provide in-house, their focus is on application availability, not necessarily whether your specific data is protected. Accidental or malicious deletion of data is common. It is easy to lose a crucial piece of data because its loss went undetected until after the hosting platform’s snapshots expired — if they even offer that level of protection.

Some platforms such as Microsoft 365 have archival and compliance support but only at premium subscription levels, sometimes almost 2x the standard tier of service. Thankfully, a marketplace has opened to help companies close that hole in their backup strategy, though the capabilities vary and choosing the right solution is difficult. But fret no more — Forrester is here to help decide which vendor fits your company’s needs.

Following up on Naveen’s work, I am kicking off research about options available for protecting at-risk data in SaaS applications. If your company offers a solution for protecting SaaS application data, please reach out to my research assistant, Renee Taylor (, to receive our questionnaire and be included in this research.