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We're a SaaS company, filtering email and web traffic. It makes sense to do this as a service because the traffic is coming from the net anyway. But whilst taking another look at CRM's, primarily because some friends of mine have just launched 'Total Enterprise CRM', it occurred to me that using a SaaS CRM may not be such a good idea if your organisation is particularly caring of your valuable sales and marketing related data.

For many years I seen companies pour large sums of money into security systems to protect companies networks and data. If your core business data is stolen or deleted the consequences range from some very bad PR to closure of your business if the backups won't restore (you do test your backups don't you?).

The question I'm asking here is having justified spend on IT security systems, often by presenting a business case based on avoiding the nightmares described above, how does the business (often the same CIO or Director) justify outsourcing the businesses CRM, which probably contains the very data the business is trying to protect? So here are the alternative IT strategies;

  1. Outsource EVERYTHING (CRM, ERP etc) and limit IT security spending to network protection, forget data protection
  2. Make sure you audit (security, SLA's etc) your outsourced provider and get penalties in the contract that ensure they go bust not you WHEN they have a data loss or outage.

OR

  1. Keep your CRM and other essential business data inside the business, well protected by that IT security budget
  2. Use a VPN so that staff get web access to these systems.

Maybe I've had one too many coffee's this morning, or I've missed something here, comments anyone?

Published: May 13th 2009 at 12:46pm

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