Power supply interruptions aren't as common a threat in North America as they are in other areas, but the potential still exists. In order to optimize business continuity planning, companies have to take every contingency into consideration, including power interruptions. If you don't, even a momentary brownout could have a drastic impact on operations.
"We know that [interruptions are] going to occur and, in order to put mitigation strategies in place, we first need to understand what the implications are," Michael Davies, CEO of ContinuitySA, told Continuity Central. "What are the issues that businesses should be looking at? Now is a good time to update your business continuity plans in order to assess the impact of [interruptions] on your business and weigh up what your risk appetite is."
Below are some considerations that the news source recommends any continuity of operations plan factors in regarding potential power interruptions:
Impact on employees – Beyond the business itself, it's important to consider how a power interruption will affect employee's personal lives. Were their homes affected to? Was their primary mode of transportation to and from the office impacted?
Impact on the supply chain – How many of your suppliers and partners were affected by the outage? Will it interrupt service over time, or just have an immediate impact on operations? These are considerations that should be made ahead of time, with arrangements worked out to minimize risk and streamline the supply chain regardless of power disruptions.
Impact on security – Will your company's security needs be affected, physical and cyber? Most firms use remote data centers these days, which means you'll also need to consider the potential risk a power outage at your data center's location could cause. Make sure your security strategies aren't affected by power outages and ensure there are backup systems in place to provide building access if the need arises.
Emergency supplies – Consider your employees' needs in the office as well, have a backup supply of food and water should a power outage strand any workers in the office and make sure that all building security and safety measure are up to code.
Power backups – Consider investing in uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) for your servers and in-office electronics, or generators for your building, to provide reliable power backups that will at least allow you to save your data safely before shutting down.
There are so many factors to keep in mind with business continuity planning that it can help to have an extra pair of hands working on the problems. Investing in business continuity consultants is the best way to bring experts in to ensure your strategies are up to par.