It took some digging since there wasn't a lot of information online - but I ended up stumbling upon this page:
As it turns out - Google created a mechanism in ICS to create full desktop backups for apps, data and even system apps, without the need to have the device rooted.
Keep in mind this only works on Ice Cream Sandwich... So don't ask me if this will work on GB based ROMS... It WON'T.
Make sure you have a recent version of ADB on your machine, go to the developer menu, set-up a password, and then use adb with the following syntax to create a backup of your system (taken directly from ADB's help):
adb backup [-f <file>] [-apk|-noapk] [-shared|-noshared] [-all] [-system|-nosystem] [<packages...>] -f <file> (write an archive of the device's data to <file>. If no -f option is supplied then the data is written to "backup.ab" in the current directory.) -apk|-noapk enable/disable backup of the .apks themselves in the archive; the default is noapk.) -shared|-noshared (enable/disable backup of the device's shared storage / SD card contents; the default is noshared.) -all (means to back up all installed applications. This will include SD-Card backup) -system|-nosystem (toggles whether -all automatically includes system applications; the default is to include system apps) <packages...> (is the list of applications to be backed up. If the -all or -shared flags are passed, then the package list is optional. Applications explicitly g iven on the command line will be included even if -nosystem would ordinarily cause them to be omitted.)