Although small businesses recognize the impact data loss could have on their business, more than half (57 percent) do not have a disaster preparedness plan for business data, according to new research from Carbonite Inc., provider of online backup solutions for consumers and small and medium sized businesses.
Data is the Most Valuable Asset
The Carbonite study, which surveyed 130 small business owners in August 2011, revealed that 81 percent of small businesses consider data to be their organization’s most valuable asset. Small businesses ranked the permanent loss of data as the No. 1 challenge to maintaining their business in the event of a natural disaster – even more devastating than the loss of the physical location or of products and materials.
“With the recent hurricanes, tornados, fires and even earthquakes that have so significantly impacted people across the nation, disaster preparedness is top of mind. Based on our recent study, small businesses recognize the value of protecting their business data and assets–but most are not adequately prepared for a data disaster,” said Peter Lamson, senior vice president and general manager of small business for Carbonite.
Barriers to Preparedness
While small business owners understand the direct link between protecting their data and keeping their business running, the study revealed several reasons why the majority of small businesses have nonetheless neglected to develop a disaster preparedness plan.
- “Out of sight, out of mind” – The top reason businesses have not created a disaster preparedness plan is they simply “haven’t thought about it” (59 percent);
- “It won’t happen to me” – Only 13 percent think a data disaster could happen and 54 percent believed any occurring data disaster was unlikely to impact their business;
- “My business can withstand disaster” – Only 69 percent believe they will lose money if their business could not function for even just one day;
- “It costs too much to have a preparedness plan” – 20 percent said cost factors into their lack of planning, noting they either do not have money or that costs of planning for a data disaster are unpredictable.
“The fact that FEMA has stated that 40 to 60 percent of small businesses never re-open after a data disaster suggests that small business owners need to pay attention to the risk and to prepare accordingly,” said Lamson. “Small businesses that plan ahead and take key steps like protecting their valuable business data will be in a much better position to get their business back up and running if a disaster strikes.”
Technology solutions like Carbonite online backup are options that small businesses should ensure are a part of their data disaster preparedness plans and can be a predictable, sustainable part of their budget. Carbonite Business backs up an unlimited number of computers for a fee of $229 per year (with 250GB of storage included). Carbonite Business Premier backs up an unlimited number of computers and servers (with 500GB of storage included) for $599 per year. Businesses can add supplemental storage packs as their backup needs grow.
In recognition of September as National Preparedness month, Carbonite is demonstrating its commitment to support SMBs in their disaster preparation efforts with a special promotion. Current Carbonite Business customers who refer other companies to Carbonite Business will earn one free month added to their account for every business that starts a Carbonite Business trial from their referral – up to a total of 24 earned bonus months. New customers referred through the program will also receive one free month added to their subscription.