New research from Infrascale has shown that the majority of small and medium businesses (SMBs) feel they are ready for the unexpected, but they may not be. 92 percent of SMB executives said they believe their businesses are prepared to recover from a disaster. However, as previously reported in another Infrascale report, more than a fifth of SMB leaders said they don’t have a data backup or disaster recovery solution in place. The Infrascale report is based on a survey of more than 500 C-level executives at SMBs. CEOs represented 87 percent of the group, with the remainder being split between CIOs and CTOs.
The latest Infrascale report also indicates that approximately a sixth (16 percent) of SMB executives admitted they do not know their own Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs), although 24 percent expect to recover their data in less than 10 minutes after a disaster, and 29 percent expect to do so in less than an hour following a disaster. The results of the survey also reveal that there’s no common understanding of disaster recovery and that expectations around disaster recovery solution results and recovery times differ from industry to industry. There is also a sector variation in why businesses that feel unprepared for disaster stay unprepared.
In a press statement, Russell P. Reeder, CEO of Infrascale said, “the latest results from our survey are quite surprising, as they suggest that most SMBs think they are prepared to recover their data and be back up and running after a disaster. Yet more than one in five of those same respondents said they do not have a disaster recovery or backup solution in place. That data suggests that there are either varying definitions of what it means to be able to recover from a disaster or, quite simply, a lack of understanding of what it truly means to be able to recover from a disaster. Make no mistake, if a business does not have a disaster recovery solution in place, or at the very least a solution to back up its data, there is no way it can get the data back from a data loss event.
Expectation vs. Reality
Though 84 percent of the SMB group surveyed said they are aware of their business’ RTO, the rest revealed that they are not. More business-to-consumer (B2C) company leaders are unaware of their organization’s RTOs than business-to-business (B2B) C-level executives. 22 percent stated they do not know their RTOs, while a tenth of B2B leaders say they lack that knowledge. Of those who knew their RTOs, 9 percent said they have an RTO of one minute or less. Less than a third said they have an RTO of under an hour, and 17 percent said they have an RTO of one day. However, these expectations are not the reality in this scenario without redundancy, automation, and a substantial budget to pay for it.
The Infrascale report also analyzed RTO from an industry vertical perspective. The study found that 26 percent of telecommunications leaders said their RTO was 10 minutes, which was the top answer for this sector. Meanwhile, the most popular answer of executives in the accounting/finance/banking and retail/e-commerce sectors said their RTO was under an hour, with this answer getting 36 percent and 29 percent of the votes, respectively. The top answer for healthcare was an RTO of one day.
Different Reasons for Being Unprepared
Many SMBs expressed that they are prepared to recover from disaster, but 8 percent admitted they do not feel they are ready to bounce back from one. Of that latter group, 39 percent said they do not have the budget to prepare to recover from a disaster. 37 percent said they are unprepared due to a lack of time to research solutions. Almost a third said they are unprepared because they lack the correct resources. Additionally, 27 percent said they do not have the technology in place to recover from a disaster.
Healthcare (67 percent) and B2C entities (48 percent) both said the top reason their companies are not prepared to recover from a disaster is that they have limited time to research solutions. Half of the SMBs in the accounting/finance/banking group said their organizations are not prepared because their IT teams are stretched too thin. The top answers from the B2B survey group citing lack of preparedness to recover from a disaster were that they don’t have the necessary resources or budget. Both answers received 31 percent of the vote from B2B organizations.
Reeder continued, stating, “if there’s one thing we’ve all learned this year, it is to expect the unexpected. But businesses — regardless of industry sector — can prepare for events like ransomware attacks, server crashes, and site-wide disasters by implementing Disaster Recovery as a Service solutions. A DRaaS can enable organizations to quickly recover from ransomware attacks without ever having to pay ransoms and it dramatically reduces business downtime from any IT-related event.
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