In this article from Computer Weekly the author talks about the common issues many SMEs face when considering business continuity. Their IT systems are so centralised that issues can bring the business to its knees. Even companies in multiple locations rely on centralised systems. Without a solid, tested, business continuity plan many SMEs are putting themselves at risk. Risks can often come from unlikely sources. One company I was recently working with had a fire, then a hacker attack in the space of 6 months. Both times the operation was effectively shut down for days while everyone raced round desperately trying to get essential systems back up and running.
This is where outsourcing can offer a competitive advantage. By moving servers to a managed environment, using Software as a Service or transferring the whole IT department to an outsource provider, the risks can be greatly reduced. Outsource vendors make it their business to offer these services and attempt to be "Best in class". This means they will take business continuity and treat it of paramount importance. Leveraging this expertise reduces risk and can often offer a reduction in cost than in-house IT departments.
Here is the full article.