SMEs run without a cloud safety-net

Many small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are moving mission-critical applications into the cloud without a backup internet connection, leaving themselves open to loss of business if their primary connection was interrupted, according to a Pacnet survey.

Many small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are moving mission-critical applications into the cloud without a backup internet connection, leaving themselves open to loss of business if their primary connection was interrupted, according to a Pacnet survey.

Pacnet's Broadband Barometer survey points to more SMEs leaving themselves vulnerable if their primary internet connection was interrupted.

Pacnet has released its Broadband Barometer survey with results pointing to more small and medium enterprises leaving themselves vulnerable if their primary internet connection was interrupted.(A message image by Naama Ym, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Broadband Barometer survey of 369 small- to medium-sized enterprises said that although 60 per cent of the businesses were interested in taking up cloud services, 43 per cent of respondents had no plans to deploy backup internet connectivity, while 23 per cent said that they had a plan to implement a backup connection in 2011.

Dr Vu-Thanh Nguyen, research analyst at AMI-Partners, which also helped create the survey, said in the report that businesses were putting all their connectivity eggs in the one basket by not having a backup internet plan.

"Businesses would be in a much safer position to have two separate internet connections connected through a simple solution like a dual-WAN router," said Nguyen.

The survey report suggested that the absence of an internet contingency plan for business could be due to the lack of alternative connectivity options when it came to implementation.

The advent of faster, more affordable 3G and wireless data offerings would lead to backup internet connections becoming more common in the future, according to the survey.

"For businesses accessing the internet using ADSL, until very recently the only option for backup was dial-up. With the implementation and improvement of 3G networks in Australia, a mobile broadband connection with comparable access speeds to ADSL, can be now implemented easily and with minimal time and investment," it said.

Increased take-up in 3G wireless was evident in the 33 per cent of businesses already using wireless to access data from outside the office.

With cloud making the internet connection mission critical, businesses "must not be lulled into a false sense of security or complacency", the report said.

The Pacnet Broadband Barometer survey was compiled by conducting 30-minute phone surveys with companies that employed between five and 999 staff across 19 different industries.

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