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The Confident SMB

Despite Negative Financial Impact, SMBs Are Still Not Prepared for Disasters

Created: 11 Jan 2011
Bernard Laroche's picture
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We all know that any business, regardless of its size, has a responsibility to protect its customers’ information. However, if a company isn’t prepared and an unexpected disaster occurs, it could lose important data – and it may even be impossible to recover from the damage.

But preparedness isn’t always easy for SMBs, who often face time and resource constraints that make it difficult to prioritize something like disaster preparedness. And yet a disaster plan is just as crucial to their success as it is to any enterprise.

So are SMBs prepared? And if not, how is that affecting their business and customers? Those were our questions going into this year’s SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey. Here are some of the findings:

First, we found that SMBs are still not taking disaster preparedness seriously. Half of the SMBs we surveyed said they do not have a plan, and 52 percent don’t think that computer systems are critical to their business.

But do SMBs really need to worry about disasters? According to the study, 65 percent live in areas prone to disasters, and in the past year, SMBs experienced an average of six IT outages – so the risk is real.

If SMBs aren’t prepared for that risk, the impact of a potential disaster can be expensive. An IT outage costs SMBs an average of $12,500 per day if their computers are down, not including its effect on their customers. In fact, 54 percent of SMB customers switched SMB vendors due to unreliable computing systems.

In short, SMBs cannot afford to procrastinate their preparation for disasters. Many aren’t acting until it’s too late, putting plans in place after experiencing an IT outage, rather than the other way around. Avoiding or procrastinating the creation of a disaster preparedness plan may seem like the easy way out, but the financial risk is hard to ignore. Crucial data must be protected, and if SMBs want to retain their customers and stay in business, they need to be prepared for the unexpected.