It's a scenario that makes most small business leaders' collective blood run cold. Starting up normal opening processes, getting ready for what will hopefully be a busy and profitable day ahead when, at 8:30 a.m., the lights go out. So do the computers, and everything else that's plugged into a wall socket. It's a blackout, and without power protection, it's a crippling blow to a business. That's just what happened in San Andreas on Monday, and it's a wakeup call to businesses everywhere.
The day dawned normal in San Andreas before the power outage hit, and with it took much of the area's electricity away. Most of the town was out of power, with 3,000 customers reporting outages. The town itself only has 2,600 residents, with the excess and then some accounted for by outlying residents. Some in the town didn't lose power, but this was a comparatively small number.
Reports from provider Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E (News - Alert)) noted that the outage was caused by “equipment failure at a substation,” and power was restored after almost four hours without. The Pickle Patch Deli saw one of the worst problems, as customers discovered they were unable to pay with a credit card. Since many didn't have cash, that represented sales lost outright.
Stories like these are increasingly prevalent in the field, and are demonstrating the necessity of power protection. Whether using an uninterruptible power supply for those last few seconds of power that allow a user to save work and shut down safely or turning to complete generator and battery backups—or even just something as simple as some mobile workforce tools to allow workers to work from somewhere else that has power—having some kind of power protection system in place is vital to the ongoing health and safety of business operations.
We are dependent on power for everyday operations. The growth of online operations has made that an irrevocable fact; bandwidth requires power to operate. If your working day has ever been hamstrung by a network outage, then a power outage will be even worse. I speak here from experience; I've been blacked out in a working day more than once, but by using mobile workforce methods, I've been able to pack up and drive to somewhere else where power is working and carry on mostly as normal.
Power protection can take on many different forms, from the simple to the complex, and which is best depends largely on how a business is run. So consider just how important power is to your business, and then consider from there how to protect these systems from unexpected outages. It's either that or risk sending business out the door to competitors who will make these considerations.