A glaring lack of comprehensive onsite and offsite backup and disaster recovery solutions by small to medium businesses (SMBs) around the world has created a golden opportunity for resellers. The recently released Acronis Global Disaster Recovery (DR) Index 2011 shows businesses want a single backup and recovery solution for physical, virtual and cloud environments, regardless of their attitudes towards backup and DR. IT system failure long ago joined death and taxes on the list of life’s certainties. Every organisation surely recognises that system failure or data loss equals lost revenue, customers and reputation. They are losses no one wants to wear – however, the Acronis Global DR Index reveals that many SMBs still cannot get some of the basics right. They need support in obtaining executive buy-in, managing resources and implementing easy to use and reliable technology. To some extent, there is still a lack of best practices being provided by vendors, and many SMBs rely heavily on their channel partners to be their best practice advisors to help them make the right choices. What has made the world more complex is the fact that organisations are now presented with three different platforms for their disaster recovery strategies: physical, virtual and cloud. So how to manage backup and DR effectively across two or more platforms?Added complexityBacking up physical machines is probably the easiest to achieve and can be done through a number of methods on various storage media. There is certainly more to think about once virtualisation comes in. While the DR Index didn’t specifically survey New Zealand businesses, the Australian findings are probably a good indicator of what’s happening in New Zealand.According to the Acronis DR Index, 71% of SMBs in Australia agreed that virtualisation has either completely or partially changed the way the business manages its backup and disaster recovery. 43% of Australian SMBs admitted that they do not back up their virtual servers as often as physical servers. There is no doubt that the cloud environment will just make the whole backup and DR story even more complex.SMBs, with limited IT resources, struggle to implement known backup and disaster recovery practices in a new hybrid environment, often using multiple different solutions to manage data across physical, virtual and cloud environments, making this process unnecessarily complicated and wasting valuable time and resources. In Australia, nearly six in 10 SMBs (57%) are using two or more different backup and DR applications, increasing their level of complexity.Even with hardware failures, natural disasters and insidious malware attacks providing very real and everyday examples, a third of local businesses still do not have an offsite backup and recovery strategy in place. The result of this lack of preparedness is astounding: almost eight in 10 said their backup and DR operations would fail in the wake of a serious incident of event. Little wonder more than 60% of those who have experienced an outage took a very costly day or longer to recover from their system failure.Bonus for resellersWe know from our customers that half of them have experienced the substantial damage inflicted to reputation and profitability when they are shut down by some disasters. And the unscathed remainder are insuring themselves against the distraction and stress by implementing risk mitigation policies.The good news is that businesses know they are taking a risk and they are looking for a solution. This represents a huge market opportunity for resellers. Nearly four in five SMBs (78%) said in the Acronis research that they wanted a single backup and disaster recovery solution for the hybrid environment they operate in today. So an ideal solution should be able to work across physical, virtual and cloud-based infrastructures through one single platform. At the same time, it needs to be simple, cost effective and flexible for SMBs who don’t usually have huge IT resources. This approach will make it easier for your customers to move data between different platforms and offer them the ultimate backup and DR protection, ensuring business continuity becomes easier to maintain. A reseller’s success as a solutions partner will be measured by a customer’s satisfaction in having been provided with the right advice and right solutions. In this case, an easy-to-use and feature-rich backup and DR solution across different platforms that sits quietly behind the scenes is what customers need in today’s complex IT environment.