Disaster recovery is on many "to do" lists for midsize businesses, but due to lack of time, resources and money, the job either never seems to get done. Even worse, it can sometimes be done without the necessary attention to detail — and that ironically can scare businesses away from fixing problems and beefing up IT recovery efforts, said Mike Dupuy, product marketing at Axcient, a data recovery vendor.

"Customers often have situations in which they are wondering, 'do I have to build another data center? Do I have the resources and expertise needed to create and deploy a DR solution?" Dupuy noted. "We can provide the hardware and software so there is no need to build a redundant center."

Axcient sat down with us at the MES East 2016  Conference in Indianapolis and discussed disaster recovery efforts at midsize business and how his company views the challenges facing the market.

Dupuy said that midsize customers need to scale up. They are asking for solutions that adjust, are flexible and can quickly restore a business when disaster strikes. Axcient offers levels of IT resiliency typically expected at larger corporations.

In addition, deploying a cloud solution such as Axcient's means that already time-strapped IT staffers do not need to learn how to use a system; in fact, a system can be put in place often within an hour, the company claims. Too often, the process of implementing a DR solution seems overwhelming, which makes executives shrink away from the entire process.

But avoiding the problem doesn't make it go away, and, often can be catastrophic for a business that does get impacted by a natural or man-made disaster. The cost of downtime is top of mind for most CIOs, Dupuy said, adding that Gartner has estimated the cost of downtime in the hundreds of billions when you factor in lost sales and productivity.

What is the cost of downtime? For CIOs, the question is top of mind. Dupuy noted that of the Gartner estimate, 78 percent of that dollar figure is attributable to the time costs of employees not being able to work.

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to reduce downtime is to perform disaster recovery tests at least once a year and optimally twice per year. The number of organizations that perform tests annually is less than 20 percent—Gartner recommends testing twice a year.

Why is the testing number so low? Dupuy says research suggests that testing typically uncovers so many problems that companies get too scared to proceed and fix the holes that have been discovered. The amount of work is daunting, and so the problem is ignored. In other words, ignorance is bliss.

As blissful as it may seem in the short term, the long-term effects of such shortsighted behavior can be devastating in the event of a disaster. A cloud DR solution lets customers replicate their entire IT systems inexpensively, efficiently and at a regular, fixed monthly cost through a solution or service provider. There is no performance degradation and data can be recovered quickly to get a business or department back up and running.

For more information, Axcient offers several case studies on its Web site, including how the vendor helped the City of Williamsburg improve IT resiliency and how it saved All Natural from Cryptolocker.