Have you winterised your network?

It’s well known that severe weather is a leading cause of power outages, and that these outages have a high cost for businesses and individuals. In the US between 2003 and 2012, an estimated 679 widespread power outages occurred due to severe weather. Power outages close schools, shut down businesses and impede emergency services, costing the economy billions of dollars and disrupting the lives of millions.

This high impact is largely due to the fact that electricity is a utility. A utility is a commodity or service, like electricity, water, or public transportation, that is delivered to many and is regarded as a basic requirement for our ongoing day to day living. Today the network has also become a utility item, required by many for normal ongoing day to day operation of their business.

The impact of network outages on a business is becoming better documented. IT managers and business directors alike are recognising the impact of enterprise network downtime, in terms of both lost productivity and lost or delayed sales and loss of that important commodity, customer satisfaction. IT departments are being instructed to develop counter measures to minimise the impact of network outages.

With fewer IT services and compute resources physically located at branch offices, the reliance on networks is increasing. The choice of a wider range of lower cost cloud services has encouraged businesses to push applications and services out of remote sites and back into centralised data centres creating greater risks of loss of business from failure of remote site connectivity due to network outage.

Key to handling utility outages are diligent and high quality monitoring and having in place contingency plans for business continuity. Having virtual remote hands, eyes and ears through an effective management and monitoring device will help the IT manager to manage the network outage with minimal cost to the business this winter.

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