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How prepared are SMBs for disaster?


That’s the question Symantec aimed to find the answer for in their latest global 2012 Disaster Preparedness Survey.

Symantec looked at probably the three biggest mega trends in IT today – Virtualization, Cloud, and Mobility – and how Small to Medium Sized Businesses (SMB) disaster preparedness is affected after adopting these technologies.  The survey included 2,053 business and IT executives at companies with employee counts between 5 and 250 from 30 countries.

Summary of the findings:

1. Adoption of mega trends:

  • 35% use mobile devices to access business information.
  • 34 % plan or have deployed server virtualization.
  • 43% use private clouds
  • 40% use public clouds

2. Disaster Preparedness had a moderate to large impact on their decisions to adopt a mega trend:

  • 30% for mobility
  • 34% for server virtualization
  • 30% for private clouds
  • 34% for public clouds

3. Impact on disaster preparedness

  • 36% experienced improved preparedness with mobility
  • 71% experienced improved preparedness with virtualization
  • 43% experienced improved preparedness with private clouds
  • 41% experienced improved preparedness with public clouds

What is interesting about surveys like this is to flip the numbers around.  Granted, we don’t know what the answer options were for each question, but let’s assume it’s a combination of the opposite or “I don’t know”. Consider this…

65% of SMBs don’t use mobile devices to access business information, or don’t know. 66% have no plans to deploy server virtualization, or don’t know.  57% don’t use private clouds, or don’t know, and 60% don’t use public clouds, or don’t know.

I am surprised by the mobile device numbers especially given the growth of mobile and the whole consumerization of IT phenomenon. The server virtualization I can see, it’s still a growth area in SMB.  But, when it comes to the cloud…I find this one a bit surprising – especially the public cloud number. I thought the number would be much lower. Maybe it’s all in the definition of a public cloud or lack thereof that may steer the numbers in one direction or another.

When it comes to the impact on disaster preparedness, with the exception of server virtualization, a majority of SMBs surveyed experienced little or no improvement – or didn’t know.

I like to take these surveys with a little grain of salt.  No doubt the information is helpful, but it’s best to go off and triangulate, validate, substantiate, etc with other 3rd party research, or better yet, ask your own customers, peers, or partners you work with.  There’s nothing like first hand knowledge.

Are you disaster-ready?

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