Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that neglect disaster recovery may find themselves struggling to keep mission-critical data safe and accessible during major disruptions. Cloud backup is one potential solution leaders can choose to achieve these needs without going over budget. Unlike on-site IT systems that require an upfront capital investment, the cloud is available through the Internet, scalable and firms only pay for the services they consume.
TechTarget recently reported that more SMBs are currently employing cloud backup to address their disaster recovery needs. However, Werner Zurcher, Gartner research director, indicated that some SMBs do not take bandwidth into account regarding their cloud deployments.
“Even if you had up to a 1 Gbps carrier using that connection into the cloud, the distance becomes a mitigating factor, so latency in cloud backup is a really big issue,” Zurcher said, according to TechTarget.
Despite this potential hurdle, the cloud’s advantages outweigh the negatives by a wide margin. SMBs that keep important data backed up on tapes, disks or hard drives may experience disasters that damage or destroy these devices, delaying the response time even further. Companies leveraging the cloud, however, can support a mobile workforce and allow staff members to remain productive without being in the office when the building is closed.
Knowledge of the cloud another hurdle
The cloud is becoming more popular on a global scale. However, some SMBs are not embracing the technology because they lack enough knowledge regarding the solution. A survey of more than 1,000 U.S. and U.K. SMBs conducted by AVG Technologies found that 28 percent and 31 percent of American and British respondents respectively believe the cloud is usable primarily by large firms, resulting in only a quarter of participants having launched hosted environments.
Gene Marks, a small business owner, noted that greater efforts must be made to educate SMBs regarding the potential of cloud computing.
“It is clear that SMBs are juggling the same challenges as their larger counterparts but are making complex technology decisions without the benefit of an IT department or outside expertise to guide them,” Marks said.
SMBs that have not adopted the cloud up to this point do not have to move all of their data and applications to cloud-based environments all at once. The technology is extremely flexible, and companies can take their time testing the solution without allocating significant funds.