What are some of the key issues that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are facing in their quest for better IT operations and data management? To find the answers, security, storage, backup and availability software provider Symantec is lending support to a survey titled "TechFire Backup and Recovery."
According to Symantec, this survey will serve two main objectives: one is to better understand the real issues of SMEs, and at the same time, place a "barometer" on the state of readiness of SMEs in their preparedness on security and storage issues. For the purpose of this survey, SMEs refer to companies that employ between 200 and 1,000 employees.
The survey, will also enable Symantec to ensure that its offerings are constantly relevant to meet the ever-changing needs of SMEs, said Raymond Chan, Symantec's senior director of product marketing for APJ, in an interview.
In an exclusive interview, Chan elaborated on the three "Cs" of security and backup challenges confronting the SMEs. The first is complexity. "Managing data might become a burden for SMEs as the volume of data continues to increase. Moreover, data today might be sitting on more than one platform — be it on the physical system, virtual machines, and cloud — making data management more complex."
The second is capability. Since SMEs — particularly the smaller ones — might not have a dedicated IT team to look after enterprise-wide storage and security issues, business owners often tend to leave the responsibility of backing up data to other employees who may not have in-depth knowledge or skills to do a proper job. This might worsen the complexity of managing data if the employees were to backup their data to different platforms.
The final C refers to continuous operation. To meet the customers' demand for high availability and reliability of services, IT teams today need to ensure that information-based systems are not just running on resilient platforms but also remain continuously available. Backup plays an important role in providing that resiliency, as timely availability of backed up data during a disaster or system failure will enable the organisation to recover quickly, with minimal disruption to the business, said Chan.
Overcoming the challenges
"Since data is the lifeblood of businesses today, SMEs definitely need to have a backup and recovery plan that can be easily deployed on their own or with a partner to counter the complexities of backup and recovery mentioned earlier," asserted Chan.
For those planning to do it by themselves, he suggested implementing solutions that are "established, proven and easy to deploy and manage." He also highlighted the need to choose backup and recovery solutions that are well supported by an ecosystem of partners. "The network of partners can serve as extended IT resources when you need support, which is crucial for SMEs if they lack dedicated IT staff."
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