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Data Lifecycle Management: Why It’s Crucial for Your Organization


May 04, 2023

Data lifecycle management is an approach to managing the flow of an information system’s data throughout its lifecycle: from data creation to different levels of data storage to when it becomes obsolete and is deleted.

Effective data lifecycle management for your Salesforce data involves structuring and organizing business information in a way that aligns with business objectives, ensuring compliance with data protection laws, and maintaining the security and privacy of your organization’s data.

Let’s take a deeper look at data lifecycle management as we cover the following:

This post is based on the webinar, Beyond Backup & Restore: Full Data Lifecycle Management, hosted by Odaseva. Get a glimpse into the webinar in this snippet below:

The organizations data lifecycle management is most crucial for 

Data lifecycle management is most crucial for organizations that:

1. Operate in a regulated industry

In today’s data-driven world, organizations of all types must navigate a complex web of regulations governing how they collect, use, and store data. From financial services to government, healthcare, telecommunications, and beyond, compliance with data protection laws is critical to avoiding fines, legal consequences, and reputational damage.

CCPA, HIPAA, and GDPR are all common examples of complex regulations. These regulations mandate that data cannot be stored in perpetuity, especially in highly-regulated industries such as finance, healthcare or life sciences. Some regulations, such as HIPAA, are very clear that organizations cannot keep personal data longer than is necessary. After a given number of years since the last interaction, you will have to remove the record from Salesforce. Other regulations stipulate you must retain that data for at least seven years, but also ensure you have robust and strong access controls on that data.

What this means is that it’s important for you to define and maintain a strategy that aligns to how you use Salesforce to meet regulatory compliance and engineer a robust platform for optimal performance; and these are good reasons to think about data lifecycle management right from the start.

2. Have a lot of data coming into their Org

What happens in your Org when the data in your Org continues to grow?

When you have a lot of data coming into your Org, there’s a lot that you need to take into account. Your data may grow into the range of hundreds of gigabytes and sometimes even up to the terabyte level. Data models then become increasingly complex, especially while working with Large Data Volumes. This often results in system performance issues, including longer search periods, slower reporting, and even timeouts, impacting user experience and customer satisfaction. Additionally, data skewing and record locking issues may arise. 

And in the midst of all this, business users will ask for access to data of all sorts: from designed flows, integrations, migrations, third-party apps etc.

From a sole data standpoint, what do you take into consideration? 

When data comes into your Org through designed flows, third-party integrations, or data migrations, to achieve effective data lifecycle management you need to make sure that:

  • All necessary data has been created or captured
  • Only authorized users see and edit data 

Importance of the CIA triad for an effective data lifecycle management strategy

So it’s great that there’s a lot of data coming into your Org. But what happens to your data as it ages?

The security and privacy of your data are paramount, whether it lives within your Salesforce Org or in your backups and archives, whether it is stored on-premise or off-premise or a combination of these platforms. The need for an effective data lifecycle management strategy has never been greater. Which is why it is important to think through your CIA (Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability) triad.

The CIA triad and its significance within information systems security 

The CIA triad serves as a framework to guide information security policies within an organization.

The CIA triad is rooted in the fundamental principles of information security. It collectively represents the most critical concepts within information security and are crucial to the security policies of your organization. By leveraging these concepts, organizations can ask specific questions about how new products and technologies can deliver value in the three key areas of confidentiality, integrity, and availability. 

The CIA triad forms the cornerstone of your organization’s security infrastructure:


Confidentiality measures need to be taken to ensure that sensitive information remains secure from unauthorized access whether it’s within your Salesforce Org, backups or archives. Data is commonly categorized based on the potential damage that could result if it falls into the wrong hands, allowing organizations to implement appropriate measures ranging from less to more stringent, based on the level of data protection required. Data in your Salesforce Org or in your backups and archives need to be securely stored to guarantee continuous protection against possible breaches. Odaseva, as a no-view provider, ensures that your data is always protected, even when it’s at rest.


Integrity ensures that data is not altered during transmission and that appropriate measures are taken to prevent unauthorized changes, such as in the event of a confidentiality breach.

Regardless of the location of your data, or the number of users accessing it, or the number of copies of that data that exist, your data should always remain accurate and reliable throughout its lifecycle. It’s essential to protect it from unauthorized changes especially when data is transferred from your Org to backup or archive files, as any copies of the data must remain immutable to maintain data integrity. 


Do authorized users have access to the data they need? And if it is removed from the Org, can they still access that data in case of legal or regulatory situations that require them to restore that data? 

It’s important to know who needs access to what data and how to get them access without causing disruptions to day-to-day operations.

It’s worth noting that not everybody requires access to every piece of data within your Salesforce Org.

While the CIA triad helps guide, govern and evaluate how your organization handles data during storage, transmission, or processing, a data strategy puts you in control of your data lifecycle. Let’s look at it in more detail:

Why and how to implement a data strategy

A data strategy puts you in control of your data lifecycle.

When implementing a data strategy, it is important to consider the value and usage of data to the organization and its stakeholders. This approach involves identifying data that is critical to ongoing business operations and decision-making, data that is important for compliance or historical purposes, and data that is no longer needed.

When managing data, protecting customer data is of utmost importance. Confidential customer data must be safeguarded against unauthorized access, modification, and disclosure throughout its lifecycle. This includes not only the data that resides within the Salesforce Org but also data that is moved to backup platforms or archived for long-term retention.

To achieve effective data lifecycle management, it is essential to define and implement appropriate data policies that align with regulatory compliance requirements and the organization’s data strategy. This involves defining retention periods for different categories of data based on their value and usage, and ensuring that data is securely stored and appropriately disposed of when it is no longer needed.

Active data is what’s currently in use and frequently accessed, providing direct value to your business and decision-making. Your focus in the active stage is to leverage Salesforce to enrich and make this data as useful as possible, and maximize its value. At the same time, you need to ensure compliance with how that data is used, stored, and protected. This data usually needs read and write access, and it must be considered that active data may still need to be managed to ensure compliance for managing sensitive data, and at a point be anonymized or fields partially deleted to remain compliant. Odaseva can help you manage your active data lifecycle and trigger anonymization of fields to stay compliant in your active use of data.

Operational data is where the active life ends, and you move into the operational phase. Many processes within a CRM rely on operational data to provide accurate reporting, drive AI insights, and spot macro trends within your data. This includes data that is important for compliance or reporting purposes, such as customer records or activity that still needs to be referenced in Salesforce. When managing data to sustain the operation of your CRM, you need to define how long you need to keep it legally and be compliant. Sensitive fields, such as PII data, can now be removed or anonymized.

Reference data is where the operational use of your data is diminished to a point where it purely serves as a point of reference. This is where you should consider why it needs to be referenced and by whom. By defining appropriate retention periods and ensuring that data is stored securely in backup platforms or archives, organizations can achieve regulatory compliance and security of that data by minimizing its accessibility. Trimming reference data to the minimum is the best way to boost performance and improve data efficiency and effectiveness. Where data still needs to be accessible to a wide user base, Odaseva helps you continue to benefit from performance while making it accessible with Odaseva’s Archive Viewer, enabling you to remove data from your CRM but still make it available to your business users.

Inactive data that is no longer needed for day-to-day operations and has reached the end of its useful life is where you need to consider and take action for its safe removal from your CRM. This includes expired customer records and other data that is no longer relevant or required for compliance or reporting purposes. This data must be disposed of in a secure and compliant manner if deemed to impact or protect customer privacy and comply with relevant regulations. Inactive data will also impact performance if it is not removed or maintained. Be sure to consider the wider impacts when removing data, as complex relationships and deep data models can have unintended consequences such as orphan records or cascade deletion if not thought out when designing this process.

By adopting a value and usage-based approach to data lifecycle management and protecting customer data throughout its lifecycle, organizations can achieve regulatory compliance, reduce storage impacts, and improve data management efficiency and effectiveness.

Determine which data needs to be deleted, anonymized or pseudonymized for an effective data lifecycle management strategy

There will be various patterns to apply throughout the architecture. Consider a contact object as an example. We want to retain that data in most archive scenarios. Formulas and sensitive business information derived from this object will also need to be retained for future decision-making. Rather than removing this data, we can pseudonymize or anonymize it within Salesforce to ensure that key business decisions can still be made.

Similarly, anonymization is necessary for records related to opportunities, tasks, and events to retain critical business information and ensure reports show accurate numbers. Any items marked for deletion, such as chatter, attachment case comments, can be deleted.

It’s worth noting that this is just an example, as the data lifecycle process can vary depending on the Org and business scenario. Each object is unique and requires a customized approach.

Define steps and shared responsibilities while putting together a data lifecycle plan

By developing a well-defined data lifecycle plan, you can manage data throughout its lifecycle, retain critical business data, and maintain data privacy.

Defining lifecycle policies

A well-defined data lifecycle plan involves defining your internal policy per object to meet the requirements, identifying what needs to be deleted, pseudonymized, or retained, querying related records, and developing a repeatable process for anonymizing non-deletable records. 

Query related records

Build the list of records to anonymize, delete or keep.

Develop a process that is both repeatable and query-able, allowing you to query not only the primary objects but also all related objects, and then stitch them together to create a repeatable process.

Anonymize non-deletable records

The new Salesforce term for anonymization is data masking. Data masking ensures that personally identifiable information (PII) is replaced with non-identifiable data in non-deletable records that must be retained for business reasons. 

Archive and/or delete the records

The records retained for business reasons can then be securely archived or hard archived to ensure they are kept for a longer period of time for audit purposes. To the flagged records, apply deletion.

The data lifecycle process with Odaseva

Odaseva, the leading Enterprise Data Protection Platform for Salesforce, offers enterprise-level backup and restore, data compliance, data archiving, and data automation solutions for your Salesforce data. 

Odaseva’s Salesforce data compliance solutions focus on helping organizations manage their data throughout its lifecycle while maintaining compliance with data privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. The platform offers a range of features, including data discovery and classification, data retention and deletion policies, data masking, data subject access requests (DSARs) management, and data privacy compliance reporting. These features help organizations protect their data, ensure business continuity, and comply with regulatory requirements. 

Let’s go over the data lifecycle process with Odaseva:

Macro template

Odaseva’s data lifecycle process involves a macro template that stitches together over 35 different operations to work with Salesforce data. The complex template includes taking individual object and child object backups. There are separate datasets that will either be retained in Salesforce and anonymized, or deleted, to safeguard PII. 

Data masking

Odaseva has a data masking process that can anonymize or pseudonymize data such that it retains the shape and format of your Salesforce Org’s data. While you can still access and view the data, it will be rendered unusable and indecipherable, thereby safeguarding any personally identifiable information (PII) from being disclosed.

Dataset Designer

With the Dataset Designer, you can easily tailor the scope of your data extracts, and pull large volumes of data while maintaining parent-child relationships. 

Data deletion

The final step is data deletion with a certification process to ensure accuracy and to generate a report for review or distribution. 

With the Odaseva data lifecycle process, you can get very tailored and very surgical about what data you are pulling out of your Org. 

When going through the Odaseva data lifecycle process, keep these three things in mind for successful data management:

1. Anticipate Salesforce data growth

Be proactive in anticipating what you can do with your Salesforce data as you scale your Org. It’s not just about migrating data or what your users are contributing to Salesforce, but also about what your Org will look like in the future. As your Org scales and grows, consider the implications for your engineering infrastructure and regulatory requirements like GDPR and CCPA. Strategize accordingly to ensure compliance and efficient data management.

2. Talk to your users

It’s essential to communicate with your users throughout the data lifecycle management process to ensure that their needs are met and any potential issues are addressed.

3. Automate this process

With Odaseva, you can streamline the data lifecycle process on a macro level, ensuring that your data remains up-to-date and consistent. This is particularly important in the LDV space where repeatable processes are necessary.

In conclusion, data lifecycle management is an approach to managing an information system’s data flow throughout its lifecycle. It ensures that business information is structured and organized in a way that aligns with business objectives, instead of merely taking up storage space. 

Data lifecycle management is essential for organizations that operate in regulated industries, where data protection laws are critical to avoiding fines, legal action, and reputational damage. 

As data ages, security and privacy become paramount, and the CIA triad serves as a framework to guide information security policies within an organization. The CIA triad collectively represents the most critical concepts within information security and are crucial to the security policies of organizations. While the CIA triad helps govern how organizations handle data during storage, transmission, or processing, a data strategy puts organizations in control of their data lifecycle.

Protect and secure your Salesforce data with Odaseva. To learn more about how to develop an effective data lifecycle management plan for your Salesforce data, schedule a demo with us today.

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