Despite Lack of Bailout Money for SMBs, Now is the Wrong Time to Stop Innovating in IT

As small and midsize businesses (SMBs) take a look at the worsening economic crisis and begin to understand how it impacts them, reality is starting to set in. A recent survey reports that nearly 80 percent of SMBs are not convinced the U.S. government’s $700 billion financial bailout will help them. Furthermore, SMBs’ purchasing power is being drastically altered, which will undoubtedly cause ripple effects throughout the economy. Case in point, the reluctance and abrupt spending halt of SMBs has impacted SAP — causing SAP’s third-quarter earnings to tank. This has already prompted SAP to implement financial help and discounts on its software that is explicitly intended for SMBs.

A recent press release published by American Express provides another confirmation of what many SMBs already know to be true:

  • One-third of SMBs report that the economic crisis is their biggest challenge
  • One-quarter of SMBs are challenged by the high cost of doing business
  • Cash flow concerns are on the rise
  • Capital investment plans continue to plummet
  • SMBs are putting more focus on adapting to customer demand
  • There is a high level of concern to keep current business and sources of revenue
  • Three-quarters of SMBs still want to grow their business

Faced with a variety of conflicting goals, many SMBs feel they can’t invest in IT. But now is not the time to ice spending in this crucial area. Actually, it’s time to re-evaluate and remove inefficient solutions, people, licenses and technologies that only increase operational costs. Part of doing so includes examining your existing infrastructure and making adjustments so your IT infrastructure becomes more agile and ready to act when the economy begins its turnaround.

Changing infrastructure to make use of new technologies that can produce immediate results while helping curtail some out-of-control spending and operational inefficiencies. For instance, the high cost of IT support coupled with uncontrolled data growth is taking its toll on SMBs as much as on enterprise organizations. As a result, many SMBs are over time exposed to the same risk of data loss as larger entities because of partially or poorly implemented data protection solutions. It’s not unusual for SMBs’ IT staff to find themselves pursuing one or more of the following scenarios when trying to protect company’s data:

  1. Mission-critical and secondary data are given the same priority in backup schedules, resulting in excessive, unneeded and inefficient backup of data
  2. Investment in WAN optimization and a dedicated backup server, disk farm or tape storage to hold backups result in creating a bottleneck because of explosive data growth or network limitations
  3. Implementation of an off-site tape protection plan with tape rotation resulted in limited backup success, loss of tapes and reduced access to critical data

Remote backup challenges for SMBs are difficult but these challenges cannot be left unchecked. Overland Storage‘s SNAPserver family of network attached data protection appliances is designed to address these challenges and offers a cost-effective remote backup and disaster recovery solution. SNAPserver with Snap Enterprise Data Replicator (Snap EDR) distributes, protects, and reports on business-critical information throughout distributed enterprises. Snap EDR controls the movement of files between local and remote Snap Servers and Windows, Linux, and Solaris application servers from anywhere on the network. Further, with its integrated security, companies can transmit sensitive data across inexpensive Internet connections instead of procuring and putting in place expensive private networks.

The current economic crisis is prompting all size companies to re-evaluate and re-prioritize their IT spends but to altogether stop innovating in IT is a mistake. Rather companies need to identify solutions that allow them to meet their existing requirements while positioning them to meet tomorrow’s needs. SNAPserver is one example of a product that gives companies the flexibility they need to build an efficient, secure, resilient and reliable backup and recovery infrastructure that accommodates both central and remote offices without forklift upgrades, massive IT investments or training people on new processes.

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