Mid-sized businesses that used cloud-based disaster recovery were back up and running four times faster than non-cloud businesses. That's according to research from the Aberdeen Group which examined the fortunes of SMEs with disaster recovery.

Not only did those companies with cloud-based disaster recovery programmes fare better but they met their recovery time objectives (RTOs) more often than companies using in-premise methods and also saw year-on-year improvements in the time need to recover from downtime, said the Aberdeen Group.

When Aberdeen examined the use of cloud and the effectiveness of the disaster recovery programme, it found that the average time of recovery for non-cloud users was eight hours compared to 2.1 hours for cloud users.

Disaster recovery was also the main reason for the SMEs to opt for cloud-based storage. According to the Aberdeen Group, 66 percent of organisations looking to cloud services saw this as a significant driver. And while the move towards cloud is often seen as being driven by a need to save costs, Aberdeen found that this was a factor for 55 percent of all respondents.

The company acknowledged that there were some major inhibitors preventing SMEs from moving forward with plans to migrate to the cloud but it suggested a three point plan for companies who have been slow to adopt the cloud to adopting a cloud-based programme. The Aberdeen Group suggested moving to the public cloud; development of a formal data governance policy and regular testing of a disaster recovery strategy – Aberdeen found that 54 percent on non-cloud users had no formal testing plan.

There's plenty of room for growth: Aberdeen found that 26 percent of organisations had no cloud element, although 58 percent had plans to go down that route this coming year.