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Information Unleashed

Disaster Preparedness Is Not at Odds with New Technology

Created: 18 May 2012
Steve Cullen's picture
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One of the great challenges businesses face today is enabling productivity by giving people access to the resources they need, without compromising the safety of that information. And while it’s not always easy to see the risks, recent events have made it obvious that disaster can strike at any time, in many different ways. It’s vital for organizations of all sizes to have a plan in place to keep their business operational when things go wrong.

Complicating the situation are several megatrends that are having a significant impact on IT today: namely, virtualization, cloud and mobility. These technologies are giving even small businesses the flexibility they need to compete better in a global market, but how are they affecting our ability to keep our information safe? In order to find out, Symantec contacted more than 2,000 SMBs in its recent Disaster Preparedness Survey.

Megatrend Technologies Are Gaining Traction

We first learned that SMBs are in fact steadily adopting the megatrend technologies. About one-third of them are now using mobile devices to access business information, and a similar number (34 percent) are virtualizing servers. Slightly more of them (43 percent) are using private clouds, and 40 percent are taking advantage of public cloud services.

SMBs Are Aware of the Need for Disaster Preparedness

As it turns out, SMBs were optimistic about the effect that the megatrend technologies would have on their organizations. In the case of server virtualization and public cloud deployments, 34 percent reported that disaster preparedness influenced their decision to adopt the technology, with slightly more (36 percent) saying it influenced private cloud adoption. It also held true with mobility, as 36 percent said it affected their decision.

Embracing Virtualization, Cloud and Mobility Improve Disaster Preparedness

The SMBs that have decided to embrace the new technologies have been enjoying better disaster preparedness. Particularly beneficial was server virtualization, which led to improved preparedness in 71 percent of businesses surveyed. In addition, private cloud deployment helped 43 percent of the time, and with public clouds it was 41 percent. Even mobility helped improve disaster preparedness in 36 percent of cases.


The most important lesson we learn from the survey is that businesses shouldn’t be afraid that adopting new technologies will negatively impact their ability to keep their information safe. The following tips can help businesses get the most out of these megatrends without compromising their ability to respond to a disaster.

  • Start planning now. Don’t wait to develop a disaster preparedness plan. As part of the plan, be sure to consider how the megatrend technologies can help.
  • Implement strategic technologies. Cloud and virtualization technologies in particular can help restore information lost in a disaster, and even provision new virtual machines to minimize downtime.
  • Protect your information completely. An important part of information protection is to employ comprehensive security measures that protect all layers of the infrastructure, from the network to the endpoint.
  • Review and test your disaster preparedness. It’s important to regularly assess the effectiveness of disaster preparedness measures. This should be completed at least on a quarterly basis.

For more information on the 2012 Disaster Preparedness Survey, see the full report.