- From The Confident SMB, January 2010 Issue (Download This Entire Issue in PDF)
The Road to Recovery
SMB Technology Spending Inches Back, Spurs New Hiring
SMBs are holding on to their servers and laptops longer these days, according to a new survey by Spiceworks, Inc. But most are also planning to invest in new hardware and software over the next six months. The study, which covered over 1,000 IT professionals, finds that even as 68 percent of SMBs are planning hardware purchases, they are squeezing an extra year out of their hardware. The average planned lifespan of hardware—desktops, laptops, and servers—increased 26 percent, to 50 months. Nonetheless, hardware remains the biggest ticket item with SMBs expecting to spend 37 percent of annual budgets refreshing and expanding their physical infrastructure.
New software purchases are also on the horizon, with 51 percent of SMBs budgeting for it. Security and antispam solutions top the list, with 32 percent of SMBs planning such purchases within the next six months. Cloud computing is a growing trend, with 57 percent currently using one or more cloud computing services. Virtualization solutions are also gaining momentum—44 percent of SMBs are currently using these and 30 percent plan to deploy or expand virtualization in their networks.
The most reassuring news: IT hiring among SMBs is poised to grow. While many are holding IT staff sizes steady, 22 percent plan to hire additional full-time or part-time staff, and only three percent plan to further reduce staff over the next six months.
For more information, check out Spiceworks’ survey.
Do You Have a Plan B?
Disaster Preparedness Isn’t Something You Can Put Off Until Later
Anything that can go wrong will go wrong—especially if you’re smaller and more vulnerable! That’s the lesson small businesses can take away from a recent market report on Small Business Data Protection Basics by the Enterprise Strategy Group.1 The threat spectrum is wide—from catastrophic natural disasters, power outages, or even acts of terrorism to more frequent, mundane nuisances such as accidents, errors, computer failure, burglary, and computer viruses. Yet, smaller companies have little cushion to ride out a prolonged shutdown due to these threats. Often, such security breaches could lead to lost revenue, adverse effect on customer service, downstream impact on suppliers and partners, and even damage to the company’s reputation—not to mention legal liability.
Symantec Support for Microsoft Applications
Symantec backup and archiving software solutions will now support Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and other Microsoft applications. These enhancements round off the company’s comprehensive information management portfolio.
The new features include direct drag-and-drop access to Symantec Enterprise Vault archives from Outlook; as a result, users no longer have to rely on “shortcut” links from their mailbox. This is now available for previous versions of Exchange and is scheduled to be available for Exchange 2010 early next year. Available now, Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 provides system backup and restore for Microsoft Exchange 2010.
Microsoft Exchange 2010. During the next several months, Symantec is scheduled to deliver updated versions of NetBackup, Backup Exec, and Enterprise Vault, which can help to reduce storage by deduplicating information stored in Microsoft Exchange 2010, as well as other applications such as Microsoft SharePoint and Windows Server 2008 R2. For more information, click here.
Symantec Partner Awards 2009
Symantec announced the 2009 North American Partner Award winners at Symantec Partner Engage 2009, held at the JW Marriott in Orlando, Florida from November 4–6. The Symantec Partner Awards recognize partners who successfully combine Symantec software with their own services to solve customers’ most complex business challenges. The winners of the 2009 awards were Allen Informàtica, CDW, Forsythe Solutions Group, GTSI, Ingram Micro Canada, Lanworks Inc., Precision Computer Service, and SHI.
At the event, Symantec also reinforced its commitment to help partners succeed and unveiled a variety of new resources. These include:
SymDemo—an online tool that allows partners to demonstrate Symantec’s products anywhere, anytime
Enhanced Enterprise Authorized Renewals Program—a revised enterprise renewals program to help protect partners’ investment with increased margins and current protection
Enterprise Security Specialization—a specialization certification that enables qualified partners to receive advanced tools and incentives for selling Symantec Enterprise Security Solutions
Partner Community on Symantec Connect—an online go-to resource for partners and customers
For more information on these resources, click here.
Norton Cyber Safe Challenge
To encourage parents to be more involved in their children’s online lives, Symantec held the Norton Cyber Safe Challenge on October 1. With school back in full swing, kids are exploring new activities—both online and off. And with each new grade level they’re not just getting older, they’re getting more computer-savvy. Yet, while parents are concerned their kids will come across Internet dangers, they’re not talking to them about appropriate online behavior.
The challenge gave schools across the country the opportunity to win cash awards totaling $35,000. More than 500 schools participated in the free challenge, and for families that took part Norton offered unlimited free access to OnlineFamily. Norton.
Cyber Crime Surpasses Illegal Drug Trafficking as a Criminal Moneymaker
A crime is committed on the streets of New York City every three and a half minutes. A crime is committed on the streets of Tokyo every two and a half minutes. But identity is stolen online every three seconds—that’s nearly 10,512,000 identities each year. Cyber crime is more profitable, provides more anonymity, and can be more difficult to prosecute than off line crimes. To arm Internet users with the information they need to stay protected, Symantec has launched the Norton Online Risk Calculator. An easy-to-use, free tool to evaluate risk, it helps users estimate how much their personal data would be worth to criminals in the cyber underworld.
The Business Case for IT Investments
Research Presents Compelling Reasons for New Investments in IT Security and Data Retention Technologies
Three new Business Value Analysis Market Research Reports produced by The Alchemy Solutions Group highlight interesting trends in the decision-making and evaluation process for investments in key IT areas—backup and recovery, endpoint security, and archiving and e-discovery.
The need to contain labor costs and boost employee productivity was cited by more than 30 percent of respondents as a key factor for planned future purchases of backup-and-recovery solutions. Among SMBs (less than 500 employees) this rises to 46 percent, perhaps indicating a smaller firm’s greater urgency to make the most of its limited resources.
Limiting IT risk exposure is also the most significant issue for SMBs investing in endpoint security. The endpoint security study found that firms tend to standardize endpoint security solutions on a common platform, component by component. For instance, antivirus and antispyware software are standardized much faster than others. However, SMBs are significantly less likely than large enterprises to standardize device control and intrusion prevention on the same infrastructure; it’s simply a less critical issue for smaller organizations.
Surprisingly, the report on archiving and e-discovery found that SMBs do a slightly better job than their larger counterparts in providing their IT groups with validation resources to evaluate results. Addressing the growth of data storage, the report finds that growth in stored Microsoft SharePoint Server data is slowest among SMBs, with 75 percent of those respondents indicating SharePoint Server data growth of 20 percent or less.
The reports draw on data gathered by worldwide Symantec surveys and Business Value Analysis studies produced by The Alchemy Solutions Group.
Check out the three Business Value Analysis Market Research Reports at the following:
Success in Action
Technology solutions yield bountiful harvest
Storage savings drive down costs
Endpoint protection delivers first line of defense
Casual furnishings kicks security into high gear
Guilty of achieving security and data protection ambitions
Banks on Symantec solutions to secure and protect its data
What you need to know to protect your data and systems
Learn the causes of data breaches and find out what industry-leading security teams are doing to safeguard their organizations
Why more midmarket organizations are considering Hosted Security in today’s business climate
The causes of email downtime and how implementing a hosted email continuity service can help ensure 100% uptime
Simple, cost-effective backup and -recovery solution for Microsoft Windows Servers
Get a three-year maintenance license for the price of two
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