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Just 16 per cent of IT managers in UK SMEs are confident that their firm's disaster recovery procedures are as good as they can be, whilst a further 14 per cent were unable to answer whether or not they could be improved, a new survey has found.
Furthermore, one in three companies are putting data and business operations at risk by storing back-up systems on-site, rather than at a secondary location.
The research, by specialist IT providers Onyx Group and industry magazine, Computing shows that less than half of the businesses questioned back-up data off-site in a secure data centre, despite the risk that loss can pose to firms.
“This research shows a real lack of confidence in existing disaster recovery procedures and an obvious need to review and improve the business continuity plans that many UK SMEs currently have in place,” said Neil Stephenson, Onyx Group’s CEO.
“Our research paints a worrying picture of how UK SMEs would deal with issues such as theft, fire, flooding, hardware failures, power outages or human error that all place business continuity at risk.”
In a recent survey by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), IT loss was rated as the greatest threat to business continuity ahead of loss of skills, electricity and even people. Research by Gartner has shown that the average cost of downtime for SMEs is £27,000 per hour, with this sum reaching six figures for larger companies and e-commerce businesses.
Only one third incorporate cloud services into their business continuity strategies however, despite the benefits that off-site data storage and hosting bring. Half of the companies that are yet to include cloud in their disaster recovery plans say that it is due to lack of security and trust in a provider’s procedures and services.
“IT is the lifeblood of most businesses today and so constantly keeping your data safe and secure to maintain business continuity is essential. The research results show that many businesses are taking unnecessary risks with data management and that could prove to be extremely costly,” added Stephenson.
“The research highlighted obvious gaps in business continuity planning. All businesses should have procedures in place in the event that a workplace is inaccessible due to circumstances such as flooding or fires.”