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VMware Survey Shows Improving Application Availability and Data Protection Are Among the Top Benefits of Virtualization for SMBs

VMware, Inc., the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop through the datacenter to the cloud, today announced the results of a comprehensive survey on the operational efficiency, disaster preparedness, and use of virtualization among small-and-medium sized business (SMB) IT centers. Among many conclusions of the survey is that one-third (33%) of SMBs have had an IT systems outage within the past two years and more than one in five (21%) has lost critical business data as a result of an accident or disaster. Of those, more than three in five (62%) have lost sales or customers as a result.

At the same time, fewer than half (47%) have a business continuity plan that has been updated in the past two years, or have a detailed data backup and retention policy -- even though retaining current customers was ranked as a highly important business goal by 77%.

"Small and medium business owners understand that their customers are their top priority. However, they don't fully appreciate the risks of permanent damage a systems outage can have on the relationship with their customers," says Joe Andrews, Group Manager, Product Marketing at VMware. "The good news is implementing virtualization can greatly improve disaster preparedness and recovery so businesses can more easily meet customer demands and maintain their business operations. Furthermore, the VMware vSphere(TM) Essentials Editions for SMBs deliver a truly affordable business continuity solution that can be managed through a single console for optimal efficiency. VMware vSphere also offers the lowest cost per application in the industry."

SMBs and Virtualization
The survey found that SMBs are achieving a wide range of benefits with virtualization. The areas in which the most SMBs reported significant improvements were time spent on routine IT administrative tasks (73%), application availability (71%), ability to respond to changing business needs (68%), backup and data protection (67%), business continuity preparedness (67%), and company profitability and growth rate (67%).

"Even a very small business with only a few servers can benefit from virtualization, and it's easy to get started with free VMware solutions like ESXi," said Andrews. "Whether it's time freed up to respond to new business challenges, reduced hardware costs, improved disaster preparedness, or more satisfied end users, these results show that the benefits are significant across the board, and for all kinds of companies."

Further Results of the VMware SMB Survey:

  • The top IT initiatives for 2010 are improving security (61%), data backup & protection (52%), maintaining current infrastructure (42%), reducing energy use (39%), and business continuity & disaster recovery (39%).
  • The top business goals for 2010 are retaining key employees (81%), controlling costs (81%), finding new customers (79%), retaining current customers (77%), and increasing productivity (77%).
  • Almost nine out of ten (89%) IT departments spend half or more of their time on routine administrative tasks.
  • Companies that have implemented virtualization see their IT departments as more effective. 71% of companies that use virtualization rate their IT department as somewhat or very effective, versus 45% of companies that have not implemented virtualization.
  • IT departments are generally perceived as responsive to business needs; Companies that have implemented virtualization see their IT departments as more responsive. 73% of companies that use virtualization rate their IT departments as somewhat or very responsive, versus 57% of companies that have not implemented virtualization.
  • IT budgets have been mixed in 2009. 45% have been cut somewhat or significantly from 2008, but 32% have increased somewhat or significantly. 22% have held steady.

Survey Methodology
The VMware SMB survey was conducted online among 309 senior business and IT managers at companies with 20 to 1,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada by Bredin Business Information, Inc. between October 21 and November 5, 2009. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 5.66 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence.

A written report with the survey results can be found here: http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/VMware-SMB-Survey.pdf

Published Thursday, December 17, 2009 8:15 PM by David Marshall
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