Disaster Recovery in European SMBs

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.

Content Contributors: Martha Bennett, Tony Lock & Dale Vile

Tony is an IT operations guru. As an ex-IT manager with an insatiable thirst for knowledge, his extensive vendor briefing agenda makes him one of the most well informed analysts in the industry, particularly on the diversity of solutions and approaches available to tackle key operational requirements. If you are a vendor talking about a new offering, be very careful about describing it to Tony as ‘unique’, because if it isn’t, he’ll probably know.