Doubling down on Microsoft 365 and Salesforce helped Vision Australia provide productivity tools to its 2,750 end users and volunteers, but the organization soon realized that cloud services did not provide enough data protection to meet its governance requirements.
As a registered charity, Vision Australia – which provides blindness and low vision services from 35 Vision Australia centers to more than 25,000 Australians – is legally required to keep written financial and operational records for seven years.
The consistent attrition rates of Vision Australia volunteers made it difficult to manage over 4.5TB of data stored in Microsoft 365 and 330GB of Salesforce data.
With employees coming and going, documents, emails and other content were generated and stored haphazardly, with little centralized organization and only the platform’s built-in backup capabilities were used.
As the charity’s use of Microsoft 365 services expanded to include Microsoft Teams, it became clear that their data growth would only continue.
Vision Australia has considered how it could better meet its data management obligations and ensure that data is backed up and restored at all times during this seven-year lifecycle.
“Microsoft 365 is great because there are basic protections, but it’s not enough,” said Vision Australia’s senior system administrator, Vip Thong. “The data is only kept for a short time and it is not easy to restore it natively. [without complex and onerous PowerShell scripting.]”
“Salesforce has even less backup capability than Microsoft 365,” he added, “and losing that data would be a big deal because customers trust us to secure their information and have it when they need it. . “
A higher standard of data management
Vision Australia’s experience reflects the situation of many companies that have increased their use of cloud computing. Their system administrators face the challenge of managing, backing up and restoring data over which they do not directly control.
“While Office 365 is becoming the center of business productivity,” notes Archana Venkatraman, associate research director for IDC European Datacenter, “a backup and recovery strategy is an afterthought.
“As the data footprint in Office 365 grows, businesses need to realize that wherever the data resides, it is the user’s responsibility to protect it. “
But less than a quarter of Office 365 users adopt third-party backup solutions, according to IDC. Venkatraman said that “Businesses expose Office 365 data to risks such as ransomware, data deletion and compliance exposures, which hamper their resiliency and business continuity.”
Vision Australia assessed the market and selected AvePoint Cloud Backup, a cloud-based platform, which was recently named a leader in The Forrester New Wave ™, SaaS Application Data Protection, Q4 2021, which served the needs of the ‘backup organization on various Microsoft 365 and Salesforce tools.
Regular backup was table stakes. Thong said the real power of the system lies in its ability to streamline data restores. Vision Australia runs about ten times a year, usually when it needs to find a document stored in the OneDrive or Exchange inbox of an employee or volunteer who has left months earlier. AvePoint Cloud Backup allows the organization to restore a single email or document, eliminating the need to restore entire file folders or mailboxes.
Short-term benefits, long-term governance
Easier administration saved Vision Australia IT staff around 15 minutes per day managing backups, which translates to around one day per month. The system has also improved overall security.
The new system “makes us more secure,” Thong said, “and I don’t have to wonder if [backups] will exist in a few years.
Other users find cloud backup platforms to be beneficial in terms of data sovereignty. This was crucial for Laser Clinics Australia, who chose the AvePoint system for its ability to limit data to specific geographic areas.
These multi-geographic rental capabilities allow Laser Clinics Australia, which is a global organization with a presence in the UK, to retain client data in accordance with its obligations under EU GDPR laws.
While cloud-based applications improve accessibility, costs, and scalability, customers often don’t realize that their data protection capabilities are insufficient to meet legal and regulatory requirements.
As analysts have made clear and CIOs increasingly recognize, backup is just the start of building the right data protection architecture in the cloud.
The use of cloud platforms has also complicated questions about where companies’ data is stored, who can access it, the security threats to which it is exposed, and the processes for retention and deletion of records in place. .
Organizations should have a comprehensive understanding of their data storage, user permissions, and potential risks, and then implement a governance strategy to ensure data security (see AvePoint’s blog post titled “3 Must-Have Rules for enhanced organizational security ”for more information).
Collaborate with Confidence. AvePoint is the leading provider of Microsoft 365 data management solutions, offering a complete suite of SaaS solutions to migrate, manage and protect data.
On November 30, AvePoint was named a Leader in The Forrester New Wave ™: SaaS Application Data Protection, Q4 2021. AvePoint received the current highest bid score of 10 vendors for Cloud Backup and was the only vendor to receive a differentiated assessment, the highest possible score, in the three criteria of Microsoft 365, Google Workspace and Salesforce. In addition, AvePoint received differentiated ratings for security and privacy, usability, storage options, planned enhancements, and roadmap criteria for innovation.
Over 8 million cloud users trust AvePoint solutions to make their organizations more productive, compliant and secure.
Founded in 2001, AvePoint is a five-time Microsoft Global Partner of the Year and is headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey. For more information, visit https://www.avepoint.com.