How Power Loss Threatens Business Continuity

Feb 17, 2023

Power outages have always been a threat to business continuity, but in recent years, they have become more frequent and longer. According to AP analysis, since 2017, the number of power outages nationwide has doubled compared to the previous six years​. This trend is expected to continue, posing a significant risk to businesses of all sizes and sectors.

This blog will examine the growing reliance on power for business operations and the strain it puts on an aging power grid, as well as the direct and indirect costs that power loss can have on businesses. Finally, we have some recommendations for businesses to be more prepared for power outages and ensure continuity in the face of this growing threat.

The Growing Reliance on Power for Business Operations

Businesses have become increasingly reliant on power to run their operations. From lighting and HVAC systems to manufacturing equipment and computer networks, power is the lifeblood that keeps the wheels of commerce turning. Without a reliable source of electricity, businesses can quickly grind to a halt, resulting in lost productivity, damaged reputations, and, in some cases, even threats to public safety.

The cascading effects of failure on an aging power grid can be significant. When a power outage occurs, it can disrupt not only the business that directly relies on it but also those that are interconnected through the same grid. For example, if a manufacturing plant experiences a power outage, it may not be able to produce products, which could disrupt the supply chain for other businesses that rely on those products. Similarly, if a hospital loses power, it may not be able to provide critical care, putting patients' lives at risk.

The financial losses caused by power outages can also be significant. A power outage can result in lost revenue, increased operating costs, and reduced profitability for businesses that rely on power to produce and sell goods. In extreme cases, power outages can even lead to bankruptcy or closure of the business.

The Changing Landscape of Power Generation and Distribution

The current state of power generation and distribution in the world is a mix of different energy sources and the infrastructure that supports them. Coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, and renewable sources such as solar and wind all contribute to the global energy mix. However, the infrastructure supporting power generation and distribution is aging, which presents significant challenges to the industry. Many power plants and transmission lines were built decades ago and are reaching the end of their useful life. The cost of upgrading or replacing this infrastructure is substantial, and the investment required can deter some utility companies.

Cybersecurity threats are another major challenge for the power industry. Power generation and distribution systems are becoming increasingly digitized and connected, which makes them vulnerable to cyberattacks. A successful attack on a power grid could have catastrophic consequences, including power outages and system failures that could impact entire regions or even countries.

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires are also a challenge for power generation and distribution. These events can damage power plants and fuel supplies. When natural disasters strike, the impact on power availability can be severe, and recovery can be slow.

A power outage can disrupt supply chains, damage equipment, and lead to lost productivity. It can damage a company's reputation and lead to lost revenue, and in extreme cases, power outages can threaten public safety.

The Importance of Power Protection and Backup Solutions

Given the significant financial losses and reputational damage that can result from power outages, businesses must have power protection and backup solutions in place. These solutions can help ensure continuity in the face of power disruptions and enable businesses to maintain their operations and minimize losses.

One of the most common types of power protection and backup solutions is a backup generator. Backup generators are designed to provide power automatically when a power outage occurs. Backup generators are often used by businesses that need to maintain power for critical operational systems like hospitals or manufacturing plants.

In addition to backup power solutions, businesses can also invest in technology to ensure internet connection during power outages. A technology solution like Agility's on-demand technology can provide businesses with backup resources and an internet connection that does not rely on a traditional wired connection. This can help businesses maintain their operations and communication channels even when the power is out.

Overall, power protection and backup solutions are critical for businesses to ensure continuity in the face of power outages. These solutions can minimize the risk of financial losses and reputational damage and help businesses maintain their operations during challenging times.

Recommendations to Mitigate Damages from Power Loss

Power loss poses one of the greatest threats to business continuity in 2023. Businesses have become increasingly reliant on power to run their operations, and a power outage can cause significant financial losses and reputational damage.

With challenges facing the power industry, including the aging infrastructure, cybersecurity threats, and natural disasters, it is critical to be prepared for an extended outage.

To mitigate the risk of power outages, businesses should invest in power protection and backup solutions. Solutions, such as backup generators, mobile workspace, and cellular failover technology, can help ensure continuity in the face of power disruptions.

We recommend that businesses test their backup power plan and equipment regularly, prioritize recovery for mission-critical operations, develop alternative continuity strategies for remote functions, and secure assured vendor support prior to an interruption. Creating diversified access to resources when possible will help businesses avoid both supply chain and infrastructure-related delays and ensure all vendor contracts meet their current RTO.

By implementing these recommendations, businesses can improve their resilience to power outages and minimize the risk of financial losses and reputational damage. In this age of increasing power disruption, it is critical for businesses to be prepared and take proactive measures to ensure their continuity in the face of power loss.