90 Percent of Indian SMBs Unprepared for Disasters: Survey

The 2012 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey uncovered that less than 10 percent of Indian SMBs are sufficiently prepared for disasters even as they grapple with high instances of disasters. However, the survey also revealed that Indian SMBs are adopting technologies such as virtualization, cloud computing and mobility, often with improved disaster preparedness as a goal.

Symantec engaged market research firm ReRez, a Texas-based company, which gathered data from 100 Indian SMBs (less than 249 employees) in order to put together the survey report. The survey reveals that Indian SMBs experienced at least one natural disaster in the last 12 months. Power outage (74 percent) and industrial accidents (72 percent) are the top disasters cited. Indian SMBs also experienced an average of five instances of operational outage, due to power outages, industrial accidents and IT system failures, lasting an average of 11 hours.

"Small and medium businesses are the backbone of India. These businesses cannot afford lengthy downtimes and so their ability to quickly recover from a disaster is critical," said Vijay Mhaskar, Vice President- Information Management Group, Symantec India. "It's time Indian SMBs start looking seriously at having a sound plan with effective security and data protection solutions that will enable them to better prepare for and quickly recover from potential disasters," he said.

Pointing to the poor levels of disaster preparedness, the survey findings reveal that of the respondents, only six percent of Indian SMBs said that they are "extremely prepared" for disaster, eight percent replied that they "have a disaster recovery plan", and one third of the respondents said that they "have an offsite failover". The reasons for not having a disaster recovery plan range from lack of resources (42 percent), computer systems not critical to business (37 percent), budgets (21 percent) and business priority (16 percent). Showing complete unawareness for the need of disaster preparedness, a sizeable number of respondents (21 percent) said that it never occurred to them to have a disaster recovery plan.

In many cases, a desire to improve their disaster preparedness played a part in adopting emerging technologies like virtualization, cloud and mobility. According to the survey, 56 percent of respondents were influenced to undertake server virtualization to improve disaster preparedness. In the case of private cloud computing, 62 percent reported that disaster preparedness influenced their decision, similar to the 63 percent who said it affected their commitment to public cloud adoption. This held true with mobility as well, with disaster preparedness influencing the decision 55 percent of the time.

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