IT firms must review power backup, following increased outages


Tuesday, 13 March, 2018


IT firms must review power backup, following increased outages

According to a new report, there has been a significant increase in power outages, which have affected homes and businesses across Australia.

Eaton has released its annual Blackout Tracker Report for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), which revealed more than 1.7 million people were affected by 327 power outages in 2017.

Overall power outages in Australia increased by 19%, with Queensland overtaking New South Wales as the top blackout state after Cyclone Debbie caused devastation along the east coast in March. Across the Tasman, New Zealand blackouts increased by 36%, with the North Island faced with widespread snowstorms, a big scrub fire and Cyclone Cook.

Businesses and IT managers are consequently being urged to review power backup and disaster recovery plans.

Gordon Makryllos, MD Australia and New Zealand at Eaton Industries, said while the total number of people affected by power outages almost halved in 2017, businesses and individuals should still be wary as there was a higher frequency of small-scale blackouts and the average duration of outages increased by 39%.

“With almost three out of four blackouts caused by weather, falling trees, faulty equipment or human error — it is clear that many power outages are unexpected and often unavoidable, which serves as a timely reminder for businesses to review their power backup and disaster recovery plans to ensure IT systems and data are protected in the event of a power disruption,” he said.

An EMC Global Data Protection Index that surveyed 125 Australian companies found the average organisation experiences approximately three days of unexpected downtime per year, with data loss and other consequences totalling around AU$70 billion. The majority of respondents were not fully confident in their ability to recover after disruption.

“In the current era of digital connectivity and data dependency, the cost of power outages can be significant for any business — in particular, those that have data collection technology in locations where recovery processes are complex and hard to reach. To reduce the risk of data loss, downtime and increased costs, it is important to have uninterruptible power systems (UPSs), generators and power management software solutions that can deliver backup power during outages,” said Makryllos.

As World Backup Day approaches on 31 March, Eaton is offering a complimentary consultation and Critical Power Site Audit to all Australian and New Zealand businesses that will assess the business’s vulnerability to power disruption. The consultation will provide recommendations on the steps that can be taken to minimise downtime.

Blackout Tracker Annual Report data is based on a full year of reported power outages across Australia and New Zealand. To view and download the entire report, click here.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/CreativeFire

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