Businesses lose hundreds of thousands of dollars due to IT operation interruptions that cause downtime. When a server crashes, the data center is flooded or a natural disaster strikes, employees can’t access their systems, communications with customers are cut off and business transactions slow to a halt.

Therefore, it is not surprising that companies believe backup and disaster recovery are critical to the business; yet, few are able to recover from a major IT failure within one hour, according to a recent national survey conducted by Dimensional Research of more than 450 IT professionals on the current state of IT recovery. Furthermore, only seven percent were confident that they could recover operations within two hours, and almost 25 percent said it would take more than an entire day.

As a result, in search for better protection, companies fall victim to New Shiny Object Syndrome, adding new tools and features to their existing IT infrastructures in hopes of improving their system and business protection in an effort to avoid disastrous IT events. According to the survey, 90 percent of companies report that they have multiple backup and recovery tools in place, and more than 60 percent of these companies say that these tools have duplicate functionality.

What we have seen in practice and what the survey also highlights is implementing multiple backup and recovery tools actually increases risk. Forty-one percent of respondents said it is difficult to fully recover after a disaster because each tool works differently; 39 percent said critical data may be missed because it is more complicated to review all backups; 35 percent reported it’s more difficult to recover within established recovery time objectives; and 29 percent mentioned there is increased likelihood of unforeseen costs.

In addition, constantly adding new tools, features and products to backup and disaster recovery solutions increases the complexity of protection and recovery for IT teams. Ninety-one percent of organizations reported that there are challenges in using multiple tools including the learning curve of utilizing multiple solutions, increased cost of licenses and maintenance and the management of multiple vendors. As a result, current backup and disaster recovery solutions are broken, making it difficult for IT teams to recover entire systems following an IT outage or a disaster.

To combat these challenges, the cloud has emerged as a viable alternative to traditional backup and disaster recovery. According to Dimensional Research, eighty-nine percent of companies see value in a cloud-based solution for business protection and recovery.

In fact, companies that have switched to a cloud-based recovery solution cite benefits, such as faster recovery time after a disaster (53 percent), less IT time spent on backup and recovery tasks (50 percent), immediate access to applications and data in the event of a disaster (45 percent), ability to fully recover (44 percent), and overall cost reduction (36 percent). Additionally, more than half of companies are more confident using cloud-based recovery solutions in the case of system failure for recovering all operations in two hours or less.

Is the cloud the solution for all backup and disaster recovery problems? Not likely, but for companies experiencing ever-pressing recovery times, utilizing multiple products for backup and recovery and working with complex IT environments where speed of recovery is paramount, the cloud has shown some potential answers. Cloud-based recovery solutions are becoming part of budget discussions not because they are the new shiny object, but because they are showing true results where traditional approaches have failed.

Read the full State of IT Recovery for SMBs survey report here.

Read more: 72% of Businesses are Unable to Meet IT Disaster Recovery Expectations