The terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, got businesses large and small to think about disaster recovery. Hurricane Katrina, just a year ago, then pushed many to get serious about adopting those plans.
Still, many solution providers expected disaster-recovery solutions to continue to be a hard sell in the small- and midsize-business segment. But now, falling product costs along with new technology, new services, and even new business pressures are opening the doors for solution providers to boost sales of disaster-recovery solutions to their SMB customers.
Even more important, the combination of high-profile disasters, regulatory and compliance issues, fiduciary responsibility and other business concerns has taken away every excuse solution providers may have for not bringing disaster-recovery solutions to customers of every size.
Businesses are more aware now of the interdependencies of their equipment and how a problem with one impacts another, said Michael Croy, director of business-continuity solutions at Forsythe Solutions Group, a solution provider in Skokie, Ill. And, he said, they are looking for a return on investment from disaster recovery. Investments in this space used to be a black hole for companies, Croy said, but not anymore. "Now customers want to invest in disaster recovery and business continuity not only to recover from a disaster but to improve IT performance and resiliency."
For small and midsize businesses, disaster recovery is a balance between cost and risk, said Steven Robb, vice president and general manager at LaSalle Business Solutions, Rosemont, Ill. "They know they need it," he said, but the ever-present question has always been, can they afford it?