One year after Hurricane Sandy ripped through the Northeast, most small businesses remain unprepared for the next disaster, according to a new report from Carbonite.
The survey, conducted by Wakefield Research, includes some key takeaways. As of now, more than two-thirds of small businesses have not created a disaster plan, while another two-thirds are not backing up all of their business data. Meanwhile, while 75 percent of small businesses do back up data electronically, 63 percent are using disaster-vulnerable local backup technology such as external hard drives, NASes, and servers. Finally, almost half of all small business owners do not have an alternate location to work from if their workplace becomes a disaster zone.
“Few businesses are really prepared for disaster. Hurricane Season is coming up again,” Carbonite chairman and CEO, David Friend, said at a NYC event today. In the event of a disaster, businesses that are not backing up their data “have a small chance of getting back up and running again,” if they suffer hardware and local data loss, he cautioned.
The survey also shed light on some common misconceptions about disaster recovery among small business owners. More than a third of business owners state they don’t back up because they have all of the files they need locally. Yet, as Sandy proved, local data can be obliterated during a storm.
More than 20 percent complained that backup takes too long. However, according to Carbonite, with the average business taking 16 days to recover data after a disaster, the 10 minutes it would require to set up an online backup solution is a worthy time investment.
Fortunately, the SMB community is increasingly becoming aware of the need for an off-site backup strategy and disaster recovery plan. “When a storm is predicted in a particular region—people from that region light up our phones,” said Pete Lamson, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Carbonite.
Online backup service vendors are shifting more business focus to the small business market. Friend said that by this time next year Carbonite, “will primarily be a small business [centered] company; 50/50 small business and consumers.”
The company also has plans later this year to release an appliance for small businesses to run locally that will provide disaster recovery in case of a system failure in addition to the redundancy of a cloud backup solution.