SMBs not prepared for disaster

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 29 September 2009, 09:11 Hrs
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California: There is a huge discrepancy between how small-and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) perceive their disaster readiness and their actual level of preparedness, according to the latest survey by Symantec. The survey called 2009 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey reflects the attitudes and practices of SMBs and their customers toward technology disaster preparedness.

"The startling part of this research is the fact that SMBs don't realize the impact their outages have on customers, particularly when they have tools at their fingertips to help them be prepared to deal with disasters," said Pat Hanavan, Vice President, Backup Executive Product Management, Symantec. "While no one wants a disaster to occur, the reality is that they happen. Rather than continuing to be unprepared, small and mid-sized organizations can take simple steps to protect their data. And, as companies communicate their plans to their customers, they strengthen those relationships and become a trusted partner."

The data also suggests SMB downtime costs their customers tens of thousands of dollars each year. As a result, SMBs often lose business as a direct result of being unprepared for disasters. Surprisingly, the findings also show that SMBs are confident in their disaster preparedness plans. 82 percent of respondents say they are satisfied with their disaster plans, and 84 percent say they feel protected in case a disaster strikes. SMBs have a belief that their customers will be understanding and patient if there is a disruption to their computer or technology resources.

SMBs are also confident that in case of such an outage, only one-third (34 percent) of SMB respondents believe their customers will evaluate other options, including looking at competitors. But the survey shows that SMBs should not be so confident about disruption in services. An average SMB has experienced three outages within the past 12 months, with the leading causes being virus or hacker attacks, power outages or natural disasters.

Another shocking fact discovered in this survey is that only one in five (23 percent) SMBs back up daily and an average SMB backs up only 60 percent of their company and customer data. More than half of the SMBs estimate they would lose 40 percent of their data if their computing systems were wiped out in a fire. SMB customers surveyed estimated the cost of these outages as being $15,000 per day on average. 42 percent of these outages lasted eight hours or more. Two in five (42 percent) SMB customers have actually switched vendors because they felt their vendor's computers or technology systems were unreliable.

The study included more than 1650 respondents from 28 countries in North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Asia Pacific and Latin America.

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