Network downtime is incredibly costly for SMBs

SMBs must secure the data center to reduce downtime
SMBs must secure the data center to reduce downtime

Network downtime costs 80% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) at least $20,000 (about £11,500, AU$21,300) per hour, according to a report conducted by IDC for Acronis. For 20% of SMBs one hour of downtime can cost at least $100,000 (about £58,400, AU$107,000).

Despite the costs involved with data downtime, the report, which examined data protection and disaster recovery across eight countries, revealed that global businesses are less likely than US businesses to back up data to the cloud. Ninety-three percent of US SMBs back up at least some of their data to the cloud, whereas only 65% of their international counterparts claim to do so as well.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents back up servers across virtual, physical and cloud-based environments. Only 13% of organizations rely on cloud storage alone to house all of their data.

SMBs and the need for advanced tech

Because of resource and talent limitations, SMBs must make informed technology decisions in order to stay ahead of the competition. A Symantec study conducted last year revealed 83% of SMBs that are confident in IT operations use technology as a strategic business driver. The most confident organizations listed information security as a business priority, with 78% stating that they are somewhat or extremely secure.

Organizations that were less confident in IT's ability to drive business growth were also less likely to list information security as a business priority (39%).

SMB cost-savings

In addition to new revenue sources, SMBs also leverage technology to save money. The time saved by small businesses that use mobile devices in their day-to-day activities is equivalent to $67.5 billion (about £40.2bn or au$71.8bn) a year, according to a study conducted by AT&T and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Despite the inherent cost-savings involved with enhanced mobility, 70% of IT decision-makers at small-to-mid-size businesses do not believe the C-Suite will increase IT spending to provide them with the resources necessary to tackle additional security problems created by the Internet of Things, according to a survey conducted by Opinion Matters for GFI Software.

The same survey also revealed small business IT decision-makers do not think existing anti-spam, anti-virus and anti-malware infrastructures will protect their organizations from the new endpoints created by the Internet of Things. Almost half of those surveyed said firewalls would be their top priority in an Internet of Things era, while 35.7% cited mobile device management.

Solutions among us

Because of data concerns among SMBs, companies like HP and Acronis have launched solutions designed to provide added security at lower cost, to ensure that organizations with fewer resources can avoid the potential revenue losses reported in the IDC study.

To conduct this research, IDC surveyed IT professionals at organizations with fewer than 1000 employees. Survey respondents were based in France, Germany, Russia, the UK, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the US.