Enterprise companies and SMBs have very similar requirements when it comes to business continuity. When servers and workstations are broken, damaged, or attacked, both enterprises and SMBs stand to lose time, money, and client trust if they do not have proper business continuity plans in place. Data backup alone is not enough to protect any SMB or enterprise that doesn’t also have a way to continue doing business while a network is down, or to bring data and network configurations back as they were before the outage.
What Does Downtime Really Cost?
As Justin Moore points out in his blog “How Much Downtime Can Your SMB Afford?”, businesses have to consider two factors when calculating financial losses due to downtime:
- The billable cost of company time lost per hour, times the number of hours it takes to be fully back up and running.
- The soft costs of dissatisfied customers, lost repeat business, and lost referrals.
In August 2011, a Ponemon Institute Study, concluded that companies are losing an average of $6 million each year because their data is being lost or stolen. For many small businesses, that could be more than the value of the business itself! The study included SMBs and enterprise companies, ranging from 700 to almost 140,000 employees. Translation? Network disasters and hackers don’t care whether you’re operating an SMB or an enterprise.
But which type of company really stands to lose more and suffer longer from downtime? Even if an enterprise company loses more actual dollars and time, it’s the SMBs that generally stand to lose more. Why? Let’s start with the obvious – enterprise companies can afford to lose more. A million dollar loss can be chalked up as a learning experience and a wake-up call for a large enterprise. However, a similar financial loss for a local private practice would be devastating.
A less obvious reason is that smaller businesses tend to rely more heavily on referrals. Earlier we referred to these as “soft costs,” but they can force an SMB to take a hard turn for the worse. If a single client loses trust in an international telecommunications provider after a network failure, that company probably won’t receive enough bad publicity to hurt it. But a small healthcare practice that loses client information during an outage would be hurt very badly by the loss of clients and the loss of referrals from those clients.
Why Take the Risk?
Given the above statistics and scenarios, why would SMBs take the enormous risk of experiencing data loss or downtime? For some, it’s denial (“it won’t happen to me”), but many others don’t realize that an affordable solution exists to deliver enterprise-level data and application continuity to SMBs.
When looking for a business continuity solution, both enterprises and SMBs alike can benefit from an integrated, all-in-one backup, business continuity, and disaster recovery solution on a single platform, using a single interface. Getting a total solution from one vendor is less time-consuming than shopping for multiple data protection solutions and trying to integrate them. It’s also cheaper to buy a single-vendor solution than separate ones. With one solution, you get a single point of contact for sales and support, and it’s easier to integrate and use. Those are benefits that both enterprises and SMBs appreciate, but that SMBs especially need. With such a solution, SMBs can stop taking risks and put an end to debilitating downtime.