Disaster Recovery in European SMBs

Insights for vendors and the channel

Published/updated: October 2011

By Tony Lock, Martha Bennett and Dale Vile


The term ‘disaster recovery’ is not widely used in small and mid-size organisations
When we asked 160 small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) about their views on ‘disaster recovery’ (DR) we found that unlike in the enterprise arena, the term is not at all widely used. Suppliers selling into this space must therefore be very careful about the language they use.

Few SMBs have formal ‘disaster recovery’ plans, but they do manage risk proactively
SMBs don’t tend to formalise policy and process in the same way as large enterprises, but they do generally take steps to protect themselves and recover in case of a major incident. Suppliers can therefore assume risk awareness, but customers will often need help in crystallising requirements.

SMBs only use a small selection of available DR solutions
Traditional file-based backup and recovery dominates DR in SMBs, with relatively little knowledge of what’s available beyond this, and a common assumption that more advanced data protection solutions are not suitable for a smaller environment. An opportunity therefore exists for suppliers who are willing to educate SMBs on modern DR techniques and technology.

A potential DR-related role exists for virtualisation and hosted services
x86 server virtualisation and ‘cloud’ play only a limited role in SMB IT today, but there are signs that this is set to change over time. As there is potential for both to enhance an organisation’s DR capability, suppliers who can offer broader integration/managed services that embrace these disciplines, are likely to do well.

SMBs recognise that their data protection and DR capabilities could be better
Clear gaps in capability exist, but investment commitment to improve systems is not readily available in most organisations. Help is therefore often needed to understand the options and put together business cases. Traditional suppliers of backup and recovery solutions - along with suppliers of specialist DR solutions - are likely to be the primary sources for new DR and data protection systems.

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