February 16, 2021
How MSPs Can Support Businesses Impacted by Power Outages with BCDR
Spanning from Texas to the Northeast, snow and ice as a result of Winter Storm Uri have left millions of homes and businesses without power. In Texas alone, more than four million do not have power, and only 10-15% of those outages are expected to be restored by Tuesday afternoon. Operators of the area’s electrical grid are unsure when it will stabilize.
Power outages can cause significant downtime which means lost revenue for businesses. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are less equipped to absorb the impact of financial losses like an established enterprise does. Managed service providers (MSPs) should take steps to mitigate the impact of power outages as an essential part of their clients’ business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) planning.
What Causes Power Outages?
Weather-related events are the most common cause of outages, as we are currently seeing across the South, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast as a result of Winter Storm Uri. Outages cost American businesses as much as $150 billion per year, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE), with weather-related disruptions costing the most per event.
There are a number of preventative measures that businesses can take to minimize the impact of power outages. It’s important MSPs work to evaluate the tolerance for downtime associated with power outages and invest in preventative tools like backup and BCDR for the clients.
Without power, electronic equipment is inoperable. More importantly, power outages can cause devastating damage to a business’s IT infrastructure, which can significantly increase downtime after power is restored. This is because electronic devices, including desktops computers, servers, printers, etc., require a steady electrical current. When that current becomes irregular, permanent damage to system components can occur.
How to Avoid Data Loss from a Power Outage
Avoiding data loss from a power outage is straightforward—businesses need a secure, second copy of critical business data in a separate location that is easily accessible in case primary systems are damaged due to power loss or other data disasters.
Power outages hit businesses of all shapes and sizes, in any region or industry. Blackouts result in billions of dollars in losses per year. SMBs, in particular, are vulnerable to downtime and financial loss from a power outage and should take the appropriate steps to mitigate the impact of this type of event as highlighted above. At a minimum, businesses should protect electronic equipment against power surges and ensure they can shut down properly in the event of an outage. Backing up data should be considered essential, in case the above measures fail.