Hindsight is 20/20. You only get to realize the importance of doing something when the time comes for you need it. Disaster recovery planning is just that -- it's something you do now, in order to avoid problems in the future. In the Asia Pacific region, though, a big percentage of small and medium businesses (SMBs) do not have adequate disaster recovery systems in place.

According to Symantec's (news, site) APAC 2011 SMB Disaster Preparedness Study released earlier, a majority of APAC companies forgo disaster recovery planning, with 52% of SMBs in the region not having a DRP in place. Among these, 44% do not think that computer systems are a critical part of their business, 38% have not considered the need to put up a plan and 28% do not have disaster recovery in their list of priorities.

Eric Hoh, VP for South Asia, says that most SMBs in the region do not prioritize backing up, which can mean losing customer data when something goes wrong. "This lack of preparation comes at a high cost and has significant impact on local SMBs' business and customers," Hoh said.

A Perceived Sense of Security

The APAC region has a higher sense of perceived security compared to the rest of the world, Symantec says. 80% of the surveyed SMBs said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their current disaster recovery plans. This is in light of only about 48% of the entire set having either a formal or informal recovery plan in place. Symantec also found out that less than 50% of the surveyed SMBs do weekly backups. Only 21% run daily backups.

In an earlier report by CMSWire contributor David Roe, doubts on cloud data integrity were found to contribute to the slow cloud adoption, echoing a common concern among APAC businesses. The earlier Symantec report notes that nearly half of data on virtualized systems are not backed up.

What Are the Implications?

Enterprise customers in the APAC region have reported losing data due to lack of recovery planning by vendors. Symantec says that 45% of small enterprises will lose 40% of their data when disaster strikes. Such outages will usually cost customers in the APAC region US$ 45,000 per day in losses. As such, 59% of end-users surveyed say they have switched SMB vendors due to unreliability.

Symantec says that SMBs tend to focus their resources too much on revenue-generating activities, but forget to invest in reliability. The recommendation: don't wait for trouble to come. Have a disaster recovery plan in place, and implement it. "[I]t is critical for SMBs not to wait until after a disaster to think about what they should have done to protect their data and digital assets, because downtime is costly and may even cause the complete demise of their business."