SMBs should consider cloud for disaster recovery


    Companies of all sizes need to prioritize the use of tools and technologies that support restoration endeavors in the wake of an emergency. Unfortunately, many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are still encountering challenges with disaster recovery initiatives. This suggests that decision-makers should consider replacing old phone systems and other solutions that will provide more substantial returns.

    A recent Spiceworks study of more than 1,000 SMB IT professionals highlighted the ongoing struggle with developing a robust disaster recovery program, noting that roughly 42 percent of respondents think their plans for restoring operations in the wake of emergency fall short. In fact, only 30 percent of executives believe their projects are efficient enough to recover every asset after a disaster.

    The survey revealed that approximately 45 percent of SMBs have experienced data loss, with more than half of these companies blaming hardware failure. This suggests that some changes should be made to improve the efficiency of security and recovery projects.

    "While small and mid-sized businesses recognize the importance of having a data protection and recovery plan, many are using on-premise hardware that leaves them vulnerable to data loss from device failure, performing manual backups infrequently or on-premise problems that affect both the original copy and backups, such as power surges, natural disasters or theft," cloud backup expert Piyum Samaraweera said.

    The evolving face of disaster recovery

    Spiceworks found that SMBs spend an average of $5,700 each year to manage backup and recovery solutions. Unfortunately, only 70 percent of IT executives believe these methods are effective, while the remaining 30 percent think some upgrades need to be made to improve operations.

    "Data is the lifeblood of any business - big or small," said Deni Connor, founding analyst of Storage Strategies NOW. "The opportunity to provide small and mid-sized businesses with better and more cost-effective ways to protect and recover data is huge. While these companies may have smaller IT staffs, they collectively account for a significant portion of the total backup and recovery market."

    Because SMBs cite reliability and security as their top priorities when developing a disaster recovery plan, many organizations are opting for tools hosted in the cloud. Incorporating a hosted PBX system into business continuity strategies will give firms the speed needed to restore operations quickly and efficiently without introducing more challenges.

    Developing a disaster recovery program means recognizing what assets are the most important and prioritizing them over all resources. Because communication is critical to the survival of any successful company, decision-makers should opt for a cloud PBX system that can be restored almost immediately.

    Cloud phone systems are also extremely flexible, giving them the unique ability to provide access from virtually anywhere at any time. This is important during a disaster, especially if the event had a physical impact on an area. If individuals cannot make it to the office, having the ability to support a remote workforce is critical to the survival of a company.

    After witnessing the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and the other natural disasters of 2012, executives need to prioritize the importance of developing and deploying cloud-based business continuity strategies. If decision-makers neglect to incorporate advanced disaster recovery programs into day-to-day operations, they risk facing problems that could result in the permanent closure of their organizations. By taking the time to evaluate their current assets, firms of all sizes can come up with robust and effective restoration strategies that will help guarantee long-term survival.