Considering the value of digital data for a company (no matter the size), it is surprising about a sixth (16%) of SMB executives don’t know their own Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs).
The data comes from a survey and report by Infrascale, a company specializing in backup and disaster recovery solutions since 2011.
What is an RTO? It is the time between the recovery process a business initiates until its infrastructure and services are available. With consumers now taking seconds to make a decision about a site, not being available for any period will cost you dearly.
Infrascale Disaster Recovery Survey
In addressing downtime and data loss in the press release, Russell P. Reeder, CEO of Infrascale, says, “Whether a business is dealing with a server crash or a site-wide disaster, unplanned downtime comes with serious consequences.”
It goes without saying, the need to eliminate downtime and data loss is something common of all organizations. The good news is businesses now have access to solutions and service providers to minimize/mitigate the loss. However, they have to be prepared beforehand to fully take advantage of the solutions that are in place.
According to the report, many SMBs don’t know what it means to be prepared. It attributes this to the different expectations businesses have when it comes to disaster recovery. It goes on to say there isn’t a common understanding of disaster recovery. Furthermore, disaster recovery solution results and recovery times vary by industry, which explains the different levels of expectations businesses have.
What is even more baffling is most businesses in the survey think they are ready to recover after a disaster. But more than one in five of those same respondents say they don’t have a disaster recovery or backup solution.
Reeder goes on to say, “Data suggests that there are either varying definitions of what it means to be able to recover from a disaster or, quite simply, a lack of understanding of what it truly means to be able to recover from a disaster.”
As to why they are not ready, the top answers with nearly a third (31%) are not having the right resources or the budget.
The data for this report comes from a survey of 500 C-level executives at SMBs made up of CEOs (87%). The rest of the respondents is split between Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs).
In addition to 16% of the respondents not knowing their RTOs, another 24% expect to recover their data in less than 10 minutes after a disaster. And almost a third (29%) expect the recovery to take place in less than one hour following a disaster.
When it comes to knowing the exact RTO, the vast majority or 84% say they are aware of the time. And the recovery time is impressive. Nine percent say they have an RTO of one minute or less and another 30% report it is less than an hour.
Almost one fifth or 17% say their RTO is one day, which is an eternity for any business with a strong online presence. If you happen to have an eCommerce site, even the most patient of customers might not come back after trying for a whole day.
All of these shortcomings are even more worrying when you take into account more than half (51%) of the survey group have faced micro-disasters in the past year. Yet there is still not a consensus on what disaster recovery is.
How to Define Disaster Recovery
In this survey disaster recovery has a range of definitions for the respondents, depending on the industry vertical. However, overall, 58% say it means recovering data after data loss with 55% adding it involves recovery from a malware attack. Yet another 54% say disaster recovery makes it possible to become operational quickly after a disaster.
For the survey respondents in the telecom segment, 59% say disaster recovery means recovering data after data loss. Those in the accounting/finance/banking sector (56%) define it as the ability to recover from a natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado. But no matter how they define it, they all want the ability to quickly get their company up and running as soon as possible.
The challenge for small businesses is finding an affordable solution capable of addressing the full spectrum of disaster recovery features. From DIY to disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) there is a wide range of solutions available in the market place.
The key is to find the solution that best suits your needs and budget without sacrificing reliability. Do your due diligence before you chose a solution. Because it will have serious repercussions if you chose the wrong one.
According to Reeder, a DRaas, “Can prepare for events like ransomware attacks, server crashes, and site-wide disasters. A DRaaS can enable organizations to quickly recover from ransomware attacks without ever having to pay ransoms. And it dramatically reduces business downtime from any IT-related event.”
Do you need a backup and disaster recovery solution? The answer is a strong yes. As Reeder puts it, “Make no mistake, if a business does not have a disaster recovery solution in place, or at the very least a solution to back up its data, there is no way it can get the data back from a data loss event.”