Most Australian SMBs still unprepared for disaster recovery: Symantec

Most Australian SMBs still unprepared for disaster recovery: Symantec

Latest results from vendor’s latest survey finds that last year’s events did little to sway local businesses towards DR

Despite the disasters that happened last year, local SMBs are generally unprepared to deal with a disaster.

That is according to Australia/New Zealand results from this year’s Symantec Disaster Preparedness Survey, which provides an overview of how well prepared businesses are in coping in an emergency outage.

The biggest change Symantec Pacific director of specialist solutions, Sean Kopelke, saw in this year’s report compared to the previous one was how bad of a year 2011 was for national disasters.

“When you look in Australia alone, we had the floods at the end of 2010 and early 2011 in Queensland,” he said.

“Globally, there were over 355 large scale disasters globally due to earthquakes and floods.”

Even due to that and the overall increase in disasters locally, companies such as Symantec are still seeing a lot organisations that are under prepared.

“A typical organisation in 2011 saw about five significant outages in a 12 months period, and they come from major power outages, storms, floods or industrial accidents,” Kopelke said.

He admits that five outages in 12 months is a “fair amount,” and when one looks at the average duration of those outages, it was approximately three hours.

“When we look from one year to the next, the challenge for a lot of SMBs is that although they are seeing the challenges, we still have what I would refer to as a very low and unprepared segment of the market around national disasters,” he said.

Other key observations in the survey was that 43 per cent feel that they are less or somewhat less prepared around disaster scenarios, only 45 per cent have a disaster recovery plan in place, and just over 40 per cent have off-site failover.

“When you start looking at all of those numbers, that’s a fair proportion of a big market segment of SMBs that have not prepared themselves for disaster scenarios,” Kopelke said.

“Because the way that technology has changed over the last year or so, or some of the things that have been talked about coming into place, you would expect it to become easier but they still have not acted upon that.”

With the advent and growth of Cloud services, Kopelke feels that there is one simple and cost effective way that SMBs can prepare some of their applications for a disaster recovery scenario.

In particular, whether one has a hosted CRM system or hosted mail service provider, if there is a disaster in your local area, typically one can still access those services.

“Now with mobility becoming standard within a lot of organisations, they can access their mail and online systems through their mobile devices, you’d expect to see more prepared scenarios for disaster recovery,” Kopelke said.

“However, they still have not embraced that as much as they need to be in an SMB market.

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