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Singapore SMBs not too keen on backing up their systems

Jack Loo | Aug. 30, 2012
Disaster planning usually appears at the bottom of their priority list: Symantec study

Some 74 percent of Singapore SMBs surveyed in a recent Symantec study do not have a formal disaster recovery plan.

The report 2012 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey also found out that only around half (58 percent) of Singapore SMBs are confident in their level of preparation in the face of disasters. Out of the 2,053 organisations who responded to the survey, 100 were from Singapore.

Tan Yuh Woei, country director, Singapore, Symantec, shared with Computerworld Singapore more details about the survey and how SMBs in Singapore back up their systems.

1) Can you elaborate on the survey results on the Singapore SMBs?

SMBs in particular, often forgo basic protection against business risks due to lack of time, budget and staff resources. Disaster planning usually appears at the bottom of the investment priority list as SMBs focus on channelling all their efforts into propelling business growth.

Putting this into perspective, only around half (58 percent) of Singapore SMBs are confident in their disaster preparedness level, which comprises of having backup and recovery processes in place, according to Symantec's 2012 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey.

Key challenges that SMBs face making disaster preparedness efforts include lack of interest shown by management, being busy with other IT issues, difficulties with staffing at the appropriate level or with suitable skill sets, and inadequate budget.

This lack of preparation, such as the failure to back up their systems, comes at a high cost and has significant impact on local SMBs' businesses. Survey findings reveal that in a typical outage, Singapore SMBs suffered loss of productivity (57 percent), data (53 percent), revenue (38 percent) and labour costs to recover from outage (34 percent).

2) What would you say to SMBs who think that Singapore is not a disaster-prone country and therefore do not see the importance of backing up their systems?

These are serious misconceptions because the reality is that accidents in various other forms, such as fire outbreaks and power outages, do occur. According to the same survey highlighted earlier, over half (54 percent) of Singapore SMBs have been affected by hardware, software and network failures, which are critical components to operate just about any business today. On average, Singapore SMBs experienced seven recovery failures in the past 12 months.

These figures should encourage more SMBs to consider and embrace a robust disaster preparedness plan, especially when the current state of preparedness is alarmingly poor. The survey revealed that a whopping 74 percent of Singapore SMBs do not have a plan for disasters or business disruption. This is an increase of 36 percent when we compare against findings from Symantec's 2011 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey, where 38 percent of Singapore respondents did not have a plan.


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