Small businesses are turning to mobile devices and technologies, virtualization and cloud computing to improve disaster preparedness.
Cloud computing, virtualization and mobile technology are increasingly prevalent among small and midsize businesses, according to a survey from IT security firm Symantec. The findings of the companys 2012 "SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey" indicated that disaster preparedness is closely connected to these three technologies. The survey found more than one-third of SMBs (35 percent) are now taking advantage of mobile devices for business use.
In addition, SMBs are embracing technologies like virtualization and cloud computing that were once solely in the domain of larger enterprises, with 34 percent of SMBs surveyed either currently deploying or already benefitting from server virtualization. These companies are even more active in the cloud computing space: 40 percent said they are deploying public clouds, and a similar number (43 percent) are implementing private clouds to help run their businesses. The survey, by research firm ReRez, covered decision makers at 2,053 organizations worldwide, each with between five and 250 employees. Of the survey respondents, two-thirds were C-level and senior management, while the others were IT representatives.
The survey indicated disaster preparedness is a key factor in the adoption of these technologies and said they had improved the companys ability to deal with the loss of data or other security threat. Mobility increased their disaster preparedness 36 percent of the time, while 71 percent reported that their disaster preparedness improved with virtualization. Private and public cloud deployment also boosted their ability to handle a disaster, according to 43 percent and 41 percent of businesses surveyed, respectively.
"Today's SMBs are in a unique position to embrace new technologies that not only provide a competitive edge, but also allow them to improve their ability to recover from a disaster while protecting the information that their businesses depend on," Steve Cullen, senior vice president of worldwide marketing for SMB and .Cloud at Symantec, said in a prepared statement. "SMBs cannot afford lengthy downtimes, so the ability to quickly recover from a disaster is critical. Technologies such as virtualization, cloud computing and mobility, combined with a sound plan and comprehensive security and data protection solutions, enable SMBs to better prepare for and quickly recover from potential disasters, such as floods or fires, as well as lost or stolen mobile devices and laptops."
Based on the results of the survey, Symantec offered a list of recommendations small businesses should follow to improve disaster preparedness, including the development of a disaster plan, taking into account cloud computing, virtualization and mobility, implementation of strategic technologies, such as automated physical to virtual (P2V) backup conversion, and a quarterly review of the plan.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.