SMBs More Confident of Backup and Disaster Recovery Capabilities

Paul Mah
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Businesses are 14 percent more confident in their backup and disaster recovery capabilities in 2011 than in the previous year, says a new report by Acronis. Ironically, it may be the many natural disasters last year, such as the widely publicized flooding in Australia and Thailand, earthquakes in New Zealand and Turkey, as well as storms that resulted in billions of dollars of damages in the United States, that spurred decisions for businesses to re-evaluate and improve upon their existing disaster recovery (DR) contingencies and backup procedures.


Izzy Azeri, senior vice president and general manager, Americas from Acronis, said in a statement:

The survey findings suggest that the natural disasters of 2011 have been a catalyst for positive change when it comes to most businesses testing their backup and disaster recovery operations.

By surveying 6,000 IT practitioners in small and mid-sized businesses across 18 countries, a score was created based on average responses to 11 questions pertaining to the areas of backup and disaster recovery readiness, capabilities and practices. Conducted by the Ponemon Institute, the questions were designed to ascertain business confidence in areas such as technology, resources, procedures and executive buy-in based on the above-mentioned areas.


Some interesting tidbits gleaned from the survey:


  • Businesses are spending the same on backup and DR year on year.
  • A typical SMB creates almost 40TB of fresh data each year.
  • The majority (60 percent) of those surveyed blame human error as the most common cause of system downtime.
  • Average system downtime lasts 2.2 days costing each business $366,363 each year in lost productivity.


To err is human


The fact that human error is blamed as the most common cause of system downtime by such a large proportion of respondents suggests that such mistakes are likely to happen regardless of additional procedures or training SMBs may enact. As such, it may make more sense to plan for the inevitable system downtime than stick to the fallacious thinking that a downtime will never happen.


Cost of average downtime


One of the primary reasons SMBs are reluctant to invest in appropriate disaster recovery measures is due to the lack of concrete metrics with which to quantify the necessary investments. So while the figure of $366,363 is at best an average, it could serve as a useful start to compute the amount of investment that is necessary and justifiable to spend on disaster recovery purposes.


The full report titled "Global Disaster Recovery Report 2012" can be downloaded from Acronis here (free registration required).

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