Spanning’s Fifth Annual Survey of Salesforce Ohana Reveals Ongoing Upward Trends in Skill Growth, Minority Representation and Continued Risk for Data Loss

Austin, Texas – September 24, 2018 – Spanning Cloud Apps LLC, the leading provider of SaaS data protection, today announced the results of its fifth annual survey of the Salesforce Ohana – the Trailblazer Community, comprising Salesforce administrators and developers.

The survey uncovered three key themes that have emerged over the past five years — an upward trend of skill building, the growth of underrepresented groups in tech, and the continued risk for data and metadata loss among admins and developers.

“The Salesforce Ohana and the Salesforce Trailblazer Community are not like traditional IT communities; they are statistically more diverse and members are highly engaged with helping one another grow their careers,” said Lori Witzel, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Spanning and Salesforce MVP ‘15-’18. “For example, more than 60% of Salesforce admins surveyed are women. Even in Payscale data, 42% of Salesforce Certified Administrators are women, compared to just 7% of Microsoft Certified Systems Administrators. Groups like Salesforce Saturday, PepUp Tech and Vetforce make lifting others up and learning from peers easy.”

Survey data shows that Trailblazers have evolved their skills to grow with Salesforce. In the past five years, certifications have increased by more than 35 percent, Trailhead badges have nearly doubled, and implementation of Salesforce Lightning has more than quadrupled since 2016.

For the past five years, a majority of admins and developers have identified as female, and Spanning’s Trailblazer Community survey shows a marked increase in participation by younger, more diverse admins. Survey data gathered over time also indicates that there’s no clear path to becoming a Trailblazer.  The backgrounds of admins ranged from Computer Science students, to “accidental admins” with non-tech backgrounds, to students who discovered Salesforce through a training and workforce development program like PepUp Tech.

Despite these encouraging trends, survey data shows little change in the number of admins and developers are not actively protecting their Salesforce data and metadata. More than one-third (35 percent) of responders don’t apply any backup to Salesforce data and metadata and nearly half (48 percent) continue to rely on Salesforce’s Export Service, even though it’s not a complete backup solution. Although Salesforce continues to encourage the community to use a third-party app for data protection, less than 20 percent of respondents are following this direction.

“As we continue to see this incredible group grow in skills and diversity, we also observe a concerning lack of awareness around the importance of third-party Salesforce data backup,” Witzel says. “As a close partner to the community, Spanning will continue to help support admins and developers and encourage stronger data protection with Spanning Backup for Salesforce.”

This year, Spanning donated $10 for every unique survey completed (up to 450) to support PepUp Tech and its mission to increase the number of underrepresented people in tech.

“Our goal is to inspire individuals who might not think a career in technology is available to them to pursue computer science studies and tech careers,” explains Selina Suarez, founder of PepUp Tech. “By running programs that give bright, motivated, underserved students the skills, mentors and confidence needed to begin careers in tech, PepUp Tech has developed a scalable model of workforce development that benefits thousands of young people and the tech industry as a whole. Working with partners in the community like Spanning increases access and opportunities for those in underserved areas, and it’s vital in expanding the number of students PepUp Tech can reach. We’re grateful to Spanning for their support of our mission.”

To learn more about this year’s survey and to download an infographic, visit

About Spanning

Spanning Cloud Apps is the leading provider of backup and recovery for SaaS applications, helping organizations protect their information in the cloud. The company provides powerful, enterprise-class data protection for Google Workspace, Salesforce, and Microsoft Office 365. Spanning Backup is the most trusted cloud-to-cloud backup solution for thousands of companies and millions of users around the world. Learn more at Follow us on Twitter @spanningbackup.

About PepUp Tech is a non-profit dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented people in tech. Our goal is to inspire individuals to learn about computer science and technology, gain access to people and careers in these industries and ultimately give back to their communities. We seek to promote access in underserved areas. Learn more at