A new survey sponsored by Retrospect, Inc., makers of Retrospect Backup & Recovery software, finds that more than half of small businesses have suffered data loss, through accident, loss, failure, theft, or disaster.
The survey, conducted with Google Consumer Surveys across a sample of 1,000 small businesses, highlights the importance of data protection for small businesses.
Data Loss at Small Businesses
The survey respondents reported accidents to be the most common form of data loss at 36%. Behind that, they reported loss at 21%, theft at 15%, disaster at 7%, and other at 6%. Under ‘Other’, respondents included “drive failure“, “manufacturer erasing the HDD during a warranty repair“, and “employees doing things they shouldn’t“. And with the ability to select more than one form of data loss, 2% reported that they were unlucky enough to suffer from all four types.
According to a Gartner study  of companies experiencing a “major loss” of computer records, 43% of companies were immediately put out of business, and another 51% permanently closed their doors within two years. Only 6% lasted longer than two years.
Even without a major loss of data, employee downtime is a costly result of any data loss situation. The survey revealed that, for the last data loss event, 29% of respondents had employee downtime of 1 to 8 hours; 21% had employee downtime of 8 to 40 hours; and, an astonishing 7% had employee downtime of over 40 hours. Just among the 1,000 small businesses surveyed, they lost two and a half years of employee productivity.
Mitigating this, 54% of small businesses backup every day. According to the survey, 28% of respondents backup continuously; 26% backup daily; 17% backup weekly; and, 11% backup monthly. Only 17% of small businesses do not utilize any data protection.
“Data loss can happen at any time, through accidental file deletion, misplaced laptops, stolen HDD, or flood, and the accompanying employee downtime can be extremely costly,” says Jean-Christian Dumas, VP of WW sales. “Small businesses need BC as much as larger corporations. We’re happy to see the majority of small businesses take data protection seriously and hope the rest will find a backup product that fits their business and their budget.”
 Gartner, Recovery will move to disk-based managers of managers approach by 2011